FIT – Fire in Tunnels (project completed)
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Belgian Building Research Institute
The European Thematic Network FIT – an acronym for Fire in Tunnels – was launched in 2001 for a period of 4 years as a part of the European 5th framework programme 'Competitive and Sustainable Growth'. This initiative resulted from an increasing interest of the public and among professionals in the topics concerning tragically fires in tunnels (for example: Mont Blanc and Tauern tunnels (1999), Kaprun tunnel (2000), the Gleinalm tunnel fire (2001) and the St Gotthard tunnel fire (2001).
FIT aimed to establish and to develop a European platform and to optimise efforts on fire safety in tunnels. The Network's ambition was to develop a European consensus on fire safety for road, rail and metro tunnel infrastructures on the basis of existing national regulations, guidelines, code of practices and safety requirements.
Other objectives identified for the FIT Thematic Network consisted to enhance the dissemination and exchange of up-to-date knowledge on fire safety in tunnel infrastructures gained from current practice and ongoing European and national research projects and realise recommendations for the design of tunnels.
The activities of FIT were established around the set-up of databases with essential knowledge on fire in tunnels and three specific Work packages. A variety of other means of communication were also established, such as a website, FIT newsletters, the 1st international symposium 'Safe & Reliable Tunnels, Innovative European Achievements' in February 2005 in Prague. The symposium was a successful event that attracted more than 250 participants from over 30 countries for a two day active discussion and dissemination of latest research achievements and ongoing developments in the tunnel safety field.
The FIT work was concluded in a final technical report which presents the detailed reflexion and results of the network on the 3 following items:
- Design fire scenarios;
- Fire safe design;
- Fire response management.
On top of these activities the redaction of a common paper 'General approach to tunnel fire safety' was elaborated under the guidance of the FIT Steering Committee.
Finally, the FIT Network was also at the heart of seven multinational research projects and networks running on the topic of tunnels and safety: FIT, DARTS, UPTUN, SAFE-T, SIRTAKI, VIRTUAL FIRES and SAFETUNNEL. Five of the seven projects, funded by the European Commission, were initiated in 2001. UPTUN was initiated in 2002 and SafeT in 2003. In total, more than 100 companies, research institutes and governmental bodies worked together in these projects, which represent at least twice as many involved persons.
The activities of the thematic network were that interesting and valuable that an 'after life' was look for. FIT took the initiative to explore the wishes and possibilities to keep the networks of the seven EU RTD projects on tunnel and safety alive and a Task force consisting of representatives of all seven projects was formed. The outcome was the creation of a 'Committee on Safety of Tunnels in Operation' under the umbrella of ITA and supported by PIARC. More info at http://cosuf.ita-aites.org
FIT - FIRE IN TUNNELS: Final reports
The final reports of the FIT network are available for download below:
- General approach to tunnel fire safety
- Technical report part 1: Design fire scenario's
- Technical report part 2: Fire safe design
- Technical report part 3: Fire response management
The General report presents the outcome of the FIT activities. After the introduction of the FIT Network, the general approach to tunnel fire safety is presented. This chapter can be considered as a strategic introduction to the consecutive safety aspects and the integrated approach to safety in tunnels. It introduces the highlights of the technical reports of the FIT network with the executive summaries on design fire scenarios, fire safe design and fire response management.
The Technical reports on the FIT work packages presents the detailed reflexion and results of the network on the items in more then 450 pages state of the art research work.
- Technical report Part 1 'Design fire scenarios' describes recommendations on design fire scenarios for road, rail and metro tunnels. Design fires to cover different relevant scenarios (e.g. design fires referring to the evacuation of people, design fires referring to ventilation purpose or design fires referring to the structural load) are presented and recommended.
- In Technical report Part 2 'Fire Safe Design', a compilation of relevant guidelines, regulations, standards or current best practices from European member states (and important tunnel countries like e.g. Japan and USA) is given. The analysis is focused on all fire safety elements regarding tunnels properly said and are classified according to the transport nature: road, rail and metro.
- The occurrence of a fire in a tunnel provokes a need for response from the tunnel users, the operators and the emergency services. The Technical report Part 3 'Fire response management' presents the best practices which should be adopted by these different categories to ensure a high level of safety.
Thematic Network FIT 'Fire in Tunnels' is supported by the European Community under the fifth Framework Programme 'Competitive and Sustainable Growth'
Contract n° G1RT-CT-2001-05017