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Achieving safety Stan Lawrence, well remembered by many who worked in London in the ‘heady’ days when District Surveyors were technically independent from local authorities - and surely never thought of as being ‘out of touch and a bore - writes from Brighton, in response to Mr Whapple’s contribution (Verulam, 16 December 1994): Seen by some members as undiplomatic and abrasive and others as out of touch and a bore, even at 76 years I cannot sit back as an ex District Surveyor and remain quiet when public safety standards continue to deteriorate in the same relentless way as in the past half a century. I have spoken my mind often, including a published Viewpoint on 5 May 1986; others such as CIRIA have tried over the years; now SCOSS is putting in a tremendous effort with its work and reports, but the erosion of safety factors continues. Verulam
A general overview of the current state of the art of fire safety engineering design is presented. The design process is examined by identifying the particular effects of a fire on a structure with special regard to themal onslaught and noting the special considerations that must pertain with regard to maintaining building integrity. Then, within this context, the exceptional forms of structural interaction and response in an elevated temperature environment are examined. Finally, available design methodologies and analysis techniques are discussed. In conclusion, structural engineers are encouraged to develop an understanding of the wider issues involved in fire safety engineering. D.J. O'Connor
This month's letters to Verulam include a submission from former president David Blockley and what the UK hitting record temperatures could mean for structural engineers.