The concept of using heat sensing manikins to assess the protection against “flashover” fires provided by clothing has become increasingly recognised over the last ten years. In 2001 the UK Fire Service became concerned that because manikin test facilities only used a “male” form manikin, it was not possible to either assess clothing for female firefighters or to compare it under comparable test conditions with that for male firefighters. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shared these concerns but with respect to wider industrial situations where male and female employees might be exposed to “flashovers” or similar events.
BTTG was contracted in 2003 to develop and commission a “female” form fire test manikin facility, the intention being that this facility would also feature a comparable “male” form manikin. The project was funded by the HSE, the main sponsor, a consortium being created with additional organisations and companies to provide further funding, to give advice and to monitor progress.
Commissioning of the resulting test facility at BTTG was completed in March 2006 and its use on behalf of clients on a commercial basis then commenced.
In addition to the HSE, the following organisations provided funding for this project:
Bristol Uniforms Limited
Celanese PBI Inc.
Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA)
Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)
W L Gore & Associates (UK) Limited
HM Fire Service Inspectorate
The Scottish Office Home Department
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