The joint winners of FIRE magazine's Research Excellence Award have both decided to honour the spirit in which their research was conducted by choosing to donate their prize money to two deserving charities.

Both pieces of research, "Human Behaviour in Dwelling Fires" by David Wales and Owain Thompson of Kent FRS and "A Journey in Fire Investigation" by Mark Hobss were designed to reduce the number of injuries and deaths in fires and the two charities they have given too also seek to improve fire safety and recovery from fire-related injuries.

David and Owain donated their prize fund to the Queen Victoria Hospital at East Grinstead and the Children's Burns Trust while Mark combined his money  with a donation from the family of a lady that died following a fire in an electrical intake (£1000) and a matched donation from the Electrical Safety Council, to further promote electrical fire safety.

The winners of the award are particularly pleased to have achieved this recognition as they both work in the field of fire investigation and through the South East Fire Investigation Group (SEFIG) already work together to promote the benefits and wider outcomes of fire investigation to their local communities and the general fire sector.

It is anticipated that both Kent and East Sussex will continue to work closely together with East Sussex's 'Black Museum' website being used to help facilitate Kent FRS in gathering further information for research into human behaviour before the findings from this research are published on the site.

'Black Museum' contains case histories from real fires that provide details of the causes and circumstances of the fire and will often include a powerful impact statement from those that were affected.

It's so fast becoming a reference site for professionals involved in fire investigation, fire safety and risk awareness and has been endorsed and accepted as notable practice by Chief Fire Officers Association and the Electrical Safety Council, who awarded a grant to promote the site.

Dave Curry, CFOA Prevention & Protection Director said: "I would like to personally congratulate David, Owain and Mark on their fantastic achievements. Their work is to be applauded and we will ensure that it is shared with services across the UK. This is a great example of the personal commitment and innovation that drives the sector forward."


For further information on Black Museum contact Fire Investigation Support on 01323 462416 or email 

Click here for more CFOA feedback on the award winner.

Posted 25/11/2011 at 1215 by