PPS are local application fire suppression systems that respond to a fire in a specific area of a home, typically a bed or chair. Aimed at residential and domestic sectors, they are designed to protect vulnerable people identified at greater risk of fire in the home. Such risks may be related to mobility problems, dementia, mental health conditions, drug or alcohol problems and may impact on an individual’s ability to safely escape a fire unaided. Additionally, their accommodation may reveal additional risk factors, including unsafe use of candles or heaters, or evidence of previous fire accidents, such as burns to bedding or furniture.
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As an emerging area of fire safety technology, demand for PPS so far has been largely driven by the fire and rescue services. However, there has been no standard or methodology for assessing their performance and effectiveness until now. LPS 1655 offers a robust third party approval standard to give confidence and establish a performance level for PPS in the absence of a dedicated BS or EN standard.
Nigel Firkins of BRE Global said: “Many of these vulnerable people are on the radar of social workers, care professionals or family carers providing support in the community. We want to ensure they are aware of PPS as a risk reduction option, as well as fire safety and fire service professionals, building maintenance and FM specifiers, and managers of housing association and social housing accommodation.
“We are promoting LPS 1655 in hand with London Fire Brigade’s guidance to provide all stakeholders with a clear understanding of the risks and an effective benchmark for the specification and provision of PPS. This will help building, FM and care professionals to better identify and safeguard individuals whose health and home circumstances are indicators for exposure to greater fire risks.”
A recent study shows that people classed as vulnerable may account for around 39% of fire fatalities in domestic and residential accommodation. However, BRE Global cautions that PPS are intended to act as supplementary protection for ‘at risk’ individuals in conjunction with other fire safety measures such as smoke alarms and not as a substitute for fire suppression/sprinkler systems.