1. BUILDING WITH MATERIALS THAT HAVE        REDUCED COMBUSTIBILITY

The complete bamboo poles used for the RSK roof have reduced combustibility when compared to the canes or split bamboo used for traditional lattice roof shelters. This can potentially save vital time to help families evacuate their shelter in the event of a fire breaking out.

 

2.  ENABLING THE RAPID BUILDING OF    FIREBREAKS  IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE

RSK shelters can be disassembled and removed from the site of a fire extremely rapidly.  This unique rapid removal feature is not possible with lattice roof shelters as we have seen in recent fires. It can potentially be very beneficial in overcrowded camps such as Cox's Bazar where an acute shortage of space restricts the building of fire breaks. 

 

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3.   ACHIEVING THE SPHERE GUIDELINES FOR FIREBREAKS IN OVERCROWDED CAMPS 

The Sphere guidelines for firebreaks are

" the provision of a 30-metre firebreak between every 300 metres of built-up

area".  In camps where space is severely limited for shelters this is very difficult to achieve and consideration could potentially be given to using modular RSK units that, in the event of a fire, can be very rapidly removed to achieve this standard.

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a. In this example a 5 metre wide road runs through a camp. Single or double RSK modular shelter units are built on either side.

 

b.  In the event of fire breaking out the RSK shelters can be very rapidly removed within minutes to achieve the full Sphere 30 metre firebreak recommendation.

c. Cutting the lashings at just 4 corner points enables a single person to lift off the roof, as a single panel,  and walk away from the fire. This is not possible with traditional lattice shelters or tents.

 

d. With community endorsement it would be a practical option to set up meaningful fire drills for people to achieve these firebreaks.

e. In an overcrowded camp introducing this system would seem to be a fair way of setting up fire control measures with minimal relocation of families that wished to remain near to their community.

f.  If preferred the system could first be introduced for service shelters (  covered assembly units / food distribution units /  medical ancillary units / vaccination units / classroom units /  covered wash areas etc).

CONCLUSIONS

We have demonstrated how quickly the RSK shelters can be taken down and removed. With minimal instruction families can now be shown how to disassemble their shelter and rapidly move away from an approaching fire to create natural firebreaks within minutes.

 

With MSF we have also demonstrated how stretchers can be built from the roof frame poles and tarpaulin in the RSK kit. These stretchers could also be used to rapidly move debilitated individuals and possessions away from the source of the fire.

Where large scale overcrowding of displaced families is anticipated, consideration can now be given to using the RSK for its potential fire safety benefits.

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A double RSK unit  opened up     (MSF training Bangladesh 

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3 double RSK modular units