Healthcare premises

Room layout 4.1 metres


so that the fire is shielded from the water spray. For the two fire tests, the unit is set up in a similar way to actual deployment in the home of a vulnerable person, including the dedicated detection arrangements (see Figure 3 opposite). The fire test room is 4.1m by 8.1m, 3.6m high and set up as shown in Figure 4 (right). The performance of the PPS is verified by both these fire tests and a range of function tests, including minimum discharge duration, flow rate, operation of manual shutdown, battery endurance and generation of a remote alarm signal.

Looking forward

One of the main challenges in introducing innovative suppression systems into people’s homes is the fine balance between ensuring that the unit will suppress a fire at an early stage and not activate unnecessarily. From a functional perspective, there are two mitigating factors in this equation. The first is that the unit contains a relatively

limited amount of water compared with conventional fire sprinklers, and therefore any unwanted actuation will have a more limited effect. The second is the transmission of a remote alarm signal, so that rapid action can be taken to attend the scene and provide whatever supportive action is required to restore the home to a safe condition. In a recently reported case study, an LPS 1655

approved Ultraguard PPS supplied by a UK fire and rescue service in partnership with a local authority mental health charity prevented a potentially life threatening fire. The system had been installed in the home of a vulnerable resident, and activated when a discarded cigarette started a fire in a waste bin. Not only did the PPS suppress the fire, but the fire and rescue service was automatically alerted, allowing fire appliances to be immediately despatched. When the firefighters arrived, they found that the fire had been extinguished by the PPS. National and European standards are

also important in developing and establishing consistent conformity assessment of innovative products. A British standard for the design, installation and maintenance of PPS is currently under consideration. In summary, there is evidence that PPS units can and do make a real difference to the level of fire risk, specifically in relation to vulnerable people who have mobility difficulties. LPS 1655 is a


Fuel package position B

TC PPS unit (indicative position) Backboard

Figure 4: Fire test room arrangement for shielded fire test.

significant step forward in providing a third party certification standard to give confidence about the design, performance and reliability of these systems in practice. This, and the development of guidance that helps to ensure correct deployment of these potentially lifesaving systems, helps to establish them as an option when selecting risk reduction tools for particular risk profiles

Nigel Firkins is a chartered fire engineer at BRE Global. For more information, view page 5

References 1. Common Induction Standards (2010 refreshed edition) - Guidance for New Workers (web edition), Skills for Care,

2. Guidance on the use, deployment and limitations of Personal Protection Watermist Systems in the homes of vulnerable people, BRE Global and London Fire Brigade, Fire%20and%20Security/PPS-guidance- document-16112015.pdf FEBRUARY 2019 35

8.1 metres 0.9 metres 1.6 metres

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