Drones assist after extreme temperatures wreak havoc in small village

Drones assist after extreme temperatures wreak havoc in small village


With the fires having only been extinguished a few days earlier the environment was extremely dangerous still, with a number of buildings completely burnt out and barely standing. Access to the village and movement around it was restricted due to the conditions and the post-incident operation that was underway. Gaining access to the buildings to carry out traditional surveys for insurance loss purposes was not possible due to the obvious risks of collapse. In order to allow the people of Wennington to begin to rebuild their lives it was clear there was a need to provide information to allow for assessments of the damage to be made quickly using digital media only.


Using traditional methods would involve loss adjusters, insurers, and other stakeholders arriving on site with very little information and assessing the damage, speaking to affected parties and assessing damage, all this when, in such extreme cases, affected people are trying to seek alternative accommodation, and basically trying their best to carry on.

Assessing the damage to each property and attempting to triage needs such as alternative accommodation can be challenging on such a large scale.

There are also inherent problems and risks with access, often in such cases access is very limited due to emergency services on site.

Once emergency services have left there are still problems with access to site due to unsafe structures and other associated risks and challenges.


Deployment of drones is quick, cost effective and reduces the immediate health and safety risks on site.

Using drones to fly a pre-programmed semi-autonomous flight plan the drone is able to gather data from every angle, using specialist software the data is able to be transformed into an interactive model which can be analysed and investigated on site or from desktop.

Initial reports can be formulated and distributed, the data set can also be shared with multiple stakeholders such as, structural engineers, forensics, fire investigation, contractors to plan access and scope of works…and many more.

This data set is then a permanent record and can be investigated at later dates to assess progress of building works and re visiting for claims clarification.


Using a fleet of drones, including the new DJI M30T, Iprosurv were instructed to attend site only a week after the fires had been extinguished in order to survey and capture the devastation in Wennington for the purposes of loss adjustment.

Images were taken of the damaged buildings and mapping of the village was completed to allow for a holistic view of the environment and to show how widespread the devastation was. Only two hours were required on site to allow for the capture of enhanced visual data. This in turn provided insights which facilitated immediate claims progressions and decision making within days of the visit.


Once the inspection had been completed the media was uploaded to the Iprosurv’s proprietary system where the data was processed through advanced analytics to the clients requirements in this case the 3d interactive model.

Iprosurv Ltd

The client has the ability to inspect the 3d model and individual images that were produced to make up the model, the client also has the facility to make linear and volumetric measurements as well as apply risk ratings and annotations.

The data can be instantly shared through the Iprosurv portal with unique user access.


The savings in this case were all around time and the ability for one data set to be shared with multiple stakeholders, Insurer, Loss Adjuster, Structural Engineers, Forensics investigators, Contractors but to name a few. One data set with each stakeholder being able to investigate and intemperate the model for their own professional service outcome.

This data set wash shared with 73 people that were unable to attend site and gain access due to health and safety, saving time, cost, increasing safety whilst reducing Co2 emissions through reduced visits.

  • Cost effective: No need for scaffolding or cherry pickers which take time to procure and setup saving the client £1000’s
  • Quick to deploy: Once the flight plan is determined and risk assessments are completed the drone can be airborne in a matter of seconds and able to fly the route autonomously capturing detailed images and footage which can be used to accurately produce a 3D model output
  • Visualise the data: 3D models and accurate measurements possible with the digital output and easily shareable with people who are not able to visit the site or get the access that might be traditionally required
  • Reliable and safe: Highly skilled and accredited pilots using the latest drone platforms and supporting technology
  • Access: Able to access


As a serving police officer I’m usually one of the first on scene when an emergency situation is unfolding. This however was different. I was tasked with visiting Wennington to carry out aerial drone surveys of some of the homes that were sadly destroyed in the recent fires that tore through this small village on the east side of London. It was a real eye opener, as for once I wasn’t involved in the initial response, this time I was very much there in the aftermath and speaking to residents who were re-living that day and trying to come to terms with the devastating impact on their lives.

After seeing so many cameras and reporters and sadly ‘tourists’, they rightly asked questions about our mission, but understood when we explained, acknowledging that life has to move on so they can start to rebuild their own.

This was for most of us something we saw briefly on our television sets and something which naturally evoked sympathy and sorrow, if only for a fleeting moment, before we turned off and went about our lives. Let’s hope the people of Wennington are able to rebuild quickly and are able to put this behind them and go about their lives once again.

Steve is an Iprosurv franchisee working on some of Iprosurv’s more complex cases.


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