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Background

Following the fire of November 1992 at Windsor Castle, the Government commissioned a report to look into fire protection measures at the Royal Palaces. Sir Alan Bailey's Report 'Fire Protection Measures for the Royal Palaces' was published in May 1993 [Dept of National Heritage. HMSO. London, May 1993].

As well as recommendations specific to individual buildings, the Report recommended "that there should be arrangements for co-ordination, and common funding, of research between the [government] agencies, the National Trust and other bodies concerned with fire safety in heritage buildings".

Warehouse fire

Warehouse fire

Historic Buildings Fire Research Co-ordinating Committee (HBFRCC)

After the publication of the Bailey Report, a committee was set up, now called the Historic Buildings Fire Research Co-ordinating Committee (HBFRCC), to communicate regularly on the subject of fire safety in historic buildings and to co-ordinate research activities in the best interests of technical and scientific developments and value for money.

Representative Bodies

  • CADW
  • Department for Culture Media and Sport
  • English Heritage
  • Fire Protection Association
  • Heritage and Environment Service(Northern Ireland)
  • Historic Scotland
  • Historic Royal Palaces
  • Houses of Parliament
  • The National Trust
  • The Royal Household
  • Home Office and PACE Central Advice Unit attendance is now replaced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Fire Research Database

The representative bodies have met regularly over the period to exchange their own research information, and to prioritise and co-ordinate research requirements. It was agreed that a database was required if information was to be made available to the greatest possible audience.

After consultation to agree the brief, the Fire Research Database (FReD) was set up by English Heritage on behalf of HBFRCC. We hope that it will allow a wider access to existing information to all those interested in fire safety in historic buildings, and encourage co-ordination of research programmes where appropriate.While wishing to encourage fire safety strategies in historic buildings that ensure the protection of the historic fabric and its users from fire, we also strive to avoid unnecessary damage to historic fabric in achieving this aim. Fire safety research that informs a considered approach is therefore to be encouraged, and results should be made available to the widest possible audience.