Fire Protection at Scott Base, Antarctica
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Introduction Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth. Fire is a major hazard in Antarctica because of the extremely dry conditions'. The low humidity makes the air easy to heat and also makes objects easier to ignite and burn. The high level of static electricity also poses a threat as a Source of potential ignition. This review will cover the fire protection systems installed at Scott Base and discuss and compare the fire safety strategies that are used in Antarctica compared to those used in urban New Zealand. Fire protection is primarily focussed on life safety secondly about protecting property. Scott Base is unique in that it is an extreme environment and the entire community is housed within one connecting building, within New Zealand a similar environment would be building on the top of Mt Cook. The Building Code of New Zealand was not been applied in the design of the fire protection systems of Scott Base with the design being specific to the hazards and unique situation of Antarctica. There is no support network such as the Fire Service in New Zealand and there is minimal external support, though McMurdo can be called in the event of a serious fire. Therefore all fire safety and fire fighting is carried out from within Scott Base, by Scott Base Staff.
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