Dís hoe vinnig brande versprei

09 October 2020 | Disasters

Twintig plakkershutte word binne vyf minute vernietig.
Dit is hoe vinnig brande in informele nedersettings kan versprei.
Hierdie is een van die belangrikste resultate van die wêreld se grootste brandproefneming in ’n informele nedersetting wat uit twintig huise bestaan het.
Die proefneming is deur die Universiteit Stellenbosch se Eenheid vir Brand-ingenieurswesenavorsing (FireSUN) onderneem in samewerking met die Wes-Kaapse Rampbestuur, Brand- en Reddingsdienste en die Breedevallei Munisipaliteit (BVM) se Brandweerafdeling, wat die proefneming aangebied en baie gehelp het met die algehele navorsingspogings.
Die werk maak deel uit van ’n projek wat in samewerking met die Universiteit van Edinburgh aangepak is om te sien hoe die uitwerking van sulke brande verminder kan word en is deur die UK-gebaseerde Global Challenges-navorsingsfonds befonds.
Die resultate van die proefneming het onlangs in Fire Technology, een van die voorste akademiese vaktydskrifte oor brandveiligheid, verskyn.

Brandweer-beskuldigings
“Die brandweer word dikwels daarvan beskuldig dat hulle nie gou genoeg optree nie, maar ons proefneming het getoon dat ’n brand regtig baie vinnig kan versprei. Brandbestryders het dit nog altyd geweet, maar nou het ons beter eksperimentele data om die probleem te verstaan en om intervensies te ontleed,” sê prof Richard Walls van FireSUN wat die projek oorhoofs bestuur het.
“Ons het in ons proefneming gesien dat sekere intervensies wat tans gebruik word, ondoeltreffend sou gewees het om die spoed van hierdie brand te verminder. Brandwerende verf sou byvoorbeeld bitter min gehelp het weens die intensiteit van die vlamme en die feit dat die brand huise laat vlamvat het deur enige klein openinkies in hierdie strukture, wat enige deklaag se beskerming sou teengewerk het. Deure en vensters sal dit ook altyd maklik maak vir ’n brand om huise in ’n digbevolkte nedersetting binne te dring.”
Die proefneming is deur Walls se kollega, dr Nico de Koker, ontwerp. Hy het ook die resultate ontleed.
Volgens Walls het dit sowat vyf minute geduur vandat die eerste huise aan die brandgesteek is totdat die laaste huise vlamgevat het.

‘Angswekkend min minute’
“Dit is angswekkend min minute wanneer ’n mens in ag neem dat dit dikwels ’n inwoner ’n hele paar minute kan neem om ’n brand te ontdek, om die plaaslike brandweer te skakel (die verkeerde nommer word dikwels gebel), ’n brandweerwa om uitgestuur te word en wat dan moontlik ver moet ry, vir brandbestryders om die brandende huise te vind (in die middel van ’n nedersetting sonder straatname), om hul toerusting op te stel en uiteindelik die brand te blus.
“Ná sowat 16 minute was daar in die proefneming omtrent geen huise meer oor nie – al wat oorgebly het, was ’n hoop skrootmetaal op die grond. Temperature van tot omtrent 1 200°C is gemeet en meters-hoë vlamme het by die huise uitgepeul.”
Walls voeg by dat hierdie proefneming onder meer ook gehelp het om lig te werp op die prestasie van produkte (byvoorbeeld brandverklikkers, brandwerende verwe, brandblussers en waarskuwingstelsels vir munisipaliteite) wat gebruik word om ’n brand in informele nedersettings te blus; hoe vinnig hierdie brande versprei; en hoe om hulle so doeltreffend as moontlik te onderdruk en hoe gemeenskappe kan help.

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