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September 27, 2021

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Fire prevention

Those most at risk from fire highlighted in new initiative

Fire suppression specialist Plumis has launched a new initiative aiming to raise awareness around the most common types of fires and those at greatest risk from fire-related injury or fatality.

The sector-wide initiative, Fire Risk: It’s Not Just About the Building, highlights what housing providers can do to tackle changing fire safety challenges, whilst also future-proofing their homes to ensure residents are adequately protected. The initiative serves as a reminder that, although recent failures in building and fire safety practices have rightly taken centre stage, fire safety is not just about the construction and fabric of a building.

Using research published by the BRE and its own experience in the fire safety sector, Plumis has created seven risk profiles to demonstrate the personas of vulnerable individuals who may need further preventative solutions in place.

Yusuf Muhammad, Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer at Plumis, said: “Research shows that some people are at greater risk of fire-related death or injury than the general population. So, to be truly fit for purpose, fire safety measures must consider the risk profile of occupants as well as the fabric of the building.

“The seven risk profiles we’ve created highlight some of the most common causes of fires, such as electrical goods and smoking materials, as well as some of the individual needs that may prevent someone escaping easily in the event of a fire. This is particularly important as the most common cause of death for fire-related fatalities, where the cause of death is known, is ‘being overcome by gas or smoke.”

The seven risk profiles Plumis has highlighted are:

  • Electra – buys electrical goods from online marketplaces, not realising that the selling of these products is unregulated – faulty electrical goods account for a significant number of electrical fires.
  • Sous – enjoys cooking but doesn’t always keep their eyes on the stove. Cooking appliances are the ignition source for almost half of all accidental fires and casualties.
  • Bones – has a medical condition, illness, temporary or lack of physical mobility that prevents them from responding appropriately or being able to escape easily from a fire.
  • Indie – lives alone with noone observing behaviour changes such as waking up in the middle of the night to cook, which could signify the onset of dementia.
  • Snooze – is likely to not hear a smoke alarm when they are in a deep sleep because of their lifestyle habits. In the event of a fire, this means they could inhale damaging or lethal amounts of toxic smoke and gases whilst asleep.
  • Vapor uses smoking materials in the home in rooms like the bedroom or living room, where careless disposal of the smoking materials can result in upholstered furniture, bedding or rubbish catching fire.
  • Moli – is bedbound, lives alone and is visited three times a day by carers. To reduce the likelihood of bed sores, emollient creams are applied to Moli’s skin. The residue – from both paraffin and paraffin-free emollients – have been found to soak into clothing, dressings and bedding, leaving a flammable residue.

To truly mitigate fire safety risks and save lives, Plumis’ initiative argues that housing providers must consider the needs of individuals and recognise that one resident may need a completely different approach to another.

This was the case for Swindon Borough Council which recently worked with Plumis to increase protection at two of its pathway homes, where the residents living in both homes had mobility difficulties.

Yusuf added: “Today, housing providers can overcome fire safety challenges and ensure residents are well protected. The aim of It’s Not Just About the Building is to make sure this is more widely known and understood throughout the housing sector. The more informed fire safety decisions are made, the greater the chance lives will be saved – it’s as simple as that.”

For more information about Plumis’ initiative, Fire Risk; It’s Not Just About the Building, click here.

 

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