About us

We have been researching industrial and domestic fires and explosions since 1978

In addition to advising governments and working with industry, we have conducted work that underpins many of the safety standards and guidelines impacting our environment today.

Controlled hydrogen explosion in EFRG laboratory.

Main areas of interest include:

Hydrogen Hazards

One of our main focuses is working with hydrogen to affect its use in transport and industrial systems. Currently our experimental work is looking at the ignition of hydrogen in air by mechanical stimuli and the mitigation of ignition and suppression of ignited hydrogen in air mixtures.  See our Hydrogen Hazards section for more information.

Aeronautical Engineering Fire Safety

EFRG has conducted research on oxygen system cleaning (including CFC solvent replacements), material selection for aircraft life support systems, and the investigation of fires and explosions in high pressure enriched oxygen. Most recently the group, with Prof. David Mba, have been awarded a grant of €150,000 to investigate new technology in the field of aircraft cargo fire suppression as part of the EU Horizon2020 Clean sky project in conjunction with partners Cranfield UniversityMälardalen University College and SP Boras. We have been asked to carry out a number of incident investigations for industry and government groups in the area using our unique facilities.

Runaway Chemical Reactions

Thermal explosions generally occur due to a lack of knowledge about process chemistry and/or inappropriate design and operation of equipment including a lack of control.  Our capability includes investigating the control of thermal events in polymerisation reactions by using small quantities of chemical inhibitors, the kinetic modelling of complex reactions using heat and gas generation data – including the analysis of off-gases, and the analysis of potentially undesirable events due to the accidental mixing of reagents whose reactions involve simultaneous/sequential nitrations and oxidations. Current research work includes investigation of ‘red oil’ reactions funded by the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Fire Safety and Investigation

We have a long relationship with the London Fire Brigade's Fire Investigation team and a number of the Brigade have obtained research degrees with us. Our research has examined methodologies employed in fire investigations including:

Vapour dispersion in ventilated air

Understanding dispersion patterns of airborne contaminants in indoor spaces has application to ventilation design, occupational health risk assessment and emergency evacuation planning. Measurement and predictive modelling methods developed by us contributes to research in environmental forensics and exposure monitoring.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

LPG storage and handling has always featured in our research. We’ve worked with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure the level of protection that’s required to defend storage and process vessels against jet fires. Research has centred on the optimal design of water deluge systems on industrial cylindrical and spherical tanks and the model is now a cornerstone in the planning of validation experiments of jet fire impingement on full scale water deluge protected tanks.

Active Fire Protection Systems

Our work has involved the use of computational fluid dynamics to look at:

Our water droplet and spray data library continues to grow. We have developed instruments to accurately measure water mist fog densities of droplets and to assess the efficiency of using additives in water being sprayed on fires.


Our expertise has also covered the impact and friction effects on explosives, safety of bitumen storage, dispersion following flange failure and industrial aerosol characterisation.

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