Fire

Tunnel danger may be averted ... eventually.(Fire-Safe Tunnels)

Is Britain building fire-safe tunnels these days? Even the European Union is saying that ideas have got to be revised, or at least reviewed. In September 2002 the EU started a four-year study called Uptun, to consider cost-effective, sustainable and innovative methods of fire safety in tunnels.

The Brussels announcement read: 'While traffic has increased and its composition has changed, no measures have been taken to address the increased risks these changes entail'. The Fire Service and others are asking whether ventilation systems, commonly used for fire control, are actually effective or adequate. The argument lies here--and the biggest innovation would almost certainly be the fitting of sprinklers or some other fire suppression system, which is not standard in European countries, though the indications are that change is years away.

The awareness that change must be considered in existing and planned tunnels is heightened by a horrendous catalogue of tunnel fires involving hundreds of deaths in recent years, and rising fears that terrorists could strike any where at any time. …

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