Swindon Borough Council increases fire protection for vulnerable residents

Swindon Borough Council increases fire protection for vulnerable residents

Swindon Borough Council has increased fire protection for residents with limited mobility by installing innovative fire suppression system Automist.

As part of its ‘pathway homes’ programme, which involves adapting homes to meet the needs of those whose housing needs have changed due to age or declining health, the Council has renovated two of its existing homes to support the individuals occupying them to live as independently as possible.

Whilst the residents living in both properties will be frequently visited by support staff, mitigating any safety risks, including fire, was a high priority.

John Black, Senior Projects Surveyor at Swindon Borough Council, said: “As part of our scoping exercise to identify the best fire safety systems to protect residents living in our pathway homes, we arranged for Plumis’ team to visit our office with its demo van and show us its watermist fire suppression system in action.

“We selected Automist because we were confident with what the system offered in terms of increased protection for our residents — particularly those with more complex needs.”

Automist is a sprinkler-alternative that is connected to multi sensor detectors and is electronically triggered, helping to reduce detection and activation times. The sprayheads feature infrared sensors which when triggered scan the room to identify and locate a fire, before targeting it with a dense fog of watermist helping to maintain survivable conditions (tenability) in the room of fire origin, giving occupants valuable extra time to escape or be rescued.

The Automist system was installed in both properties by approved installer MCFP. Liam Hughes, Project Manager at MCFP, said: “This project is a great example of how Automist has been designed so that it is easy to retrofit in existing homes.

“Automist connects to the existing domestic water supply enabling us to avoid any communal works, the need for a large tank or a water supply upgrade. This meant that the system could be installed more easily than many other existing automatic fire suppression systems and whilst other alteration works were being carried out.”

Both installations took a day each to complete and Swindon Borough Council has since commissioned MCFP to deliver an additional installation.

Will Goodwin, Head of Business Development at Plumis, commented: “In the event of a fire in their own home, a person’s chance of survival can depend significantly on how quickly and safely they are able to escape. For those with mobility difficulties, having the right fire safety measures and plan in place can be the difference between preventing a fire-related fatality or injury.

“We’re really pleased that following the first two successful installations, Swindon Council is now exploring other schemes that would benefit from having our watermist technology installed too.”

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