Oxford’s ‘dreaming spires’ are a little safer now following work carried out by experts from Mersey Maritime member Firetrace.
The company, which has a base in Bootle, specialises in fire suppression systems which can detect and extinguish fires before they get out of control.
They were contacted by the University of Oxford after a blaze caused by a scientific experiment.
Dr Jamie Hicks from the university said: “The fire was initially caused by a small piece of potassium that reacted with moisture during an experiment of study. This caused a small spark that set a beaker of hexane on fire.
“As there were a few other beakers of solvent in the fume hood, as well as other flammable items, the fire spread quickly.
“By the time we had got a fire extinguisher, the fire was too large to handle safely. We shut the fume hood sash and within 10 seconds the CO2 dump had been set off and the fire was immediately extinguished.”
Firetrace attended two days after the blaze to install a replacement fire suppression system to ensure the fume cupboard was protected for future use.
Fortunately, there was no need for the emergency services to be contacted and the downtime of the laboratory was minimal as the CO2 extinguishant is efficient and caused no damage to the components.
Consultant at YBNews
Mobile: 07931 964948