Operation Florian supports ground-breaking research at UCLAN

Operation Florian has been delighted to support some research being undertaken at the University of Central Lancashire.

The research project was split into two parts:

  1. Contamination of fire scenes by firefighters’ boots, after treading in spilled petrol and
  2. Persistence of petrol residues on firefighters’ boots between 1 and 2 days after exposure.

The first part of the project involved the person walking into a petrol stain on concrete and then walking 5 paces with the right foot landing on a floor surface – carpet, laminate floor and bare wood. The analysis is to see how far into a simulated scene petrol can be detected. The second part involved walking on the petrol stain, then walking 1 km. The boots were then collected 6 hours, 12 hours, and 14 hours afterwards.


The project led by Stephen Andrews, a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Fire Investigation, is part of a wider series of projects he is supervising on cross-contamination at fire scenes, and how to minimise the risk. There is a big push to do research into these problems as fire investigators in the Fire and Rescue Services move towards having to comply with ISO EIC 17020 standards.

Operation Florian provided the fire boots used in this research and previously supported undergraduate students at UCLAN during their final year research projects. One of our Directors, Dr Shephard Ndlovu, has and continues to facilitate this collaboration between Operation Florian and the University.