There is a great deal of pressure on space in European cities. The roads are full, the cities are getting more and more congested, and yet there is increasing demand for infrastructure, new buildings, transport and facilities. Functions such as living, working, shopping and recreation – and the infrastructure for them – are therefore being created more and more often entirely or completely underground.
It is clear that building underground structures offers numerous possibilities and it is therefore sharply on the increase. At the same time, the use of underground structures also presents a number of new problems relating to safety and incident response.
Technical, organisational and architectural facilities such as fire prevention, safe escape routes, emergency exits, fire-resistant and smoke-proof facilities, ventilation, automatic fire-fighting systems and the like help ensure a better level of safety and are crucial for reducing the consequences of an incident. However, emergency situations can always occur.
Accidents, explosions, fire, gas leaks, floods and collapses in underground structures have major consequences. Because these structures consist largely of (generally) enclosed spaces at depths ranging from a few metres down to tens of metres below ground level, new risks are present in addition to those for structures above ground.
Vigiles Underground Safety
At Vigiles Underground Safety, we work on research projects that aim to improve physical safety in underground spaces such as tunnels and car parks. These projects cover both the preventive side and the actions taken in the event of an incident. As well as research, we are actively involved in education and training courses, always applying the very latest insights.