Fire death and serious injury investigation

UK domestic fire death numbers appear to have plateaued in recent years after more than three decades of decreasing fatalities. In this project a group of fire experts is analysing data gathered by Fire and Rescue Services and reviewing the causes of fire deaths and the circumstances of serious fire related injuries. The outputs will be used to produce guidance on the effect that using new technologies or services can have on reducing deaths and injury from fire in homes.

Project update

Factors influencing a typical fire fatality and serious injury are emerging from the first phase of this review. So far 14 recommendations have been proposed to potentially reduce fatalities and injuries, including the more effective use of existing technology, greater use of combined detection/suppression systems and identifying further areas to research such as fires from electrical appliances.

As older and vulnerable people populations increase, interventions need to be in place to ensure fire deaths and serious injuries no not follow this trend

The Trutest detector sensitivity tester being used on-site to get an alarm response from a commercial smoke detector

How long before replacing smoke detectors?

UK codes and regulations have no recommendations for when smoke detectors should be replaced. Detector performance and sensitivity changes with time and as components become dusty and electrical components degrade. This project is testing smoke detectors in domestic and commercial environments to identify the mean and spread of their sensitivities with age, and analysing this data to propose replacement periods. This will enable UK codes and guidance to be updated and will influence other countries to adopt more appropriate replacement periods based on research.