In this blog entry Dave Atkinson BSc. Chem. Eng. and inventor of Blueproof talks about how Blueproof can protect against arson and letterbox fires.
Before Blueproof there was only very expensive active fire suppression systems and simple tin box’s to protect your hallway and stairwell against arson attack, now its simplicity in itself.
What does the Blueproof do?
Blueproof is a revolutionary fire suppressant device that fits to the hallway heating panel (radiator). It self-targets the heat source, reduces killer smoke, and lowers temperatures throughout the home. Once activated it allows extra time to effect escape and for the emergency services to be called. Blueproof has no moving parts and does not require a power supply.
Blueproof in action during flame impingement experiments at the Building Research Establishment (BRE)
How does it operate?
Once the hallway catches fire Blueproof is engulfed in flames and the device opens and releases water directly into the fire. It only needs to be in a line of sight to activate.
The water sprays into the flames and onto the burning surfaces vaporising to steam whilst absorbing the heat energy from the fire and suppressing combustion. Even if accelerant is poured into a tin letterbox and lit the resulting fire and possible explosion will be intense and Blueproof will combat it.
What happens when accelerant is poured through your letterbox and lit.
The temperature in the hallway can exceed 400C within the first 100 seconds with a mid flame temperature rising to between 700 and 800C.
This is the main reason why people are beaten back when they try to enter the area.
Why should I fit Blueproof ?
Apart from its cost when the hallway catches fire thick black smoke can descend to the floor and rise up the stairs within seconds, It’s the smoke that kills.
Once activated Blueproof reduces the quantity of smoke released. The temperatures fall throughout the building and smoke is reduced on the upper floors which may be the difference between life and death.
Even if a high intensity stairway fire occurs and the fire spreads rapidly along the surface of the wall, ceiling or floor. Once Blueproof activates the resulting water vapor covers all surfaces and creates a micro climate that stops it in its tracks.
Why is Blueproof the best solution?
Blueproof provides your first line of defence to a letterbox attack.
But how often do they occur? All premises are potential targets for arson and 20% of fires in the home are started this way. If you only get one Blueproof fitted then place it on the hallway heating panel.
The hallway commands the main escape way from your home.
The hallway is for many of us is the base of the stairwell and we need to keep it safe to make our escape. It is the central highway for access and egress from connecting rooms.
If your trapped then retreating to the bedroom maybe your only option.
But with temperatures and smoke decreasing your survival time is extended.
During full scale fire experiments at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) the temperature at a height of 1 m fell way below 100C when Blueproof activated.
Dealing with a fire in the Hallway
We are led to believe that by opening an upstairs window it increases our chance of survival. Nothing can be further from the truth. What we are doing is creating a chimney for the fire. The temperatures start to increase on the upper floors where we go to take refuge.
Heating panel (radiator) and water remained intact
What we now know is that the hot gas follows the line of least restriction to any available air. Ventilating at the top of the stairs greatly increases the risk to our lives. Its good for rescuers as it increases visibility but the temperature rise can easily kill anyone trapped.
Now we can do something to protect our escape and enhance our safety because water is readily available near the door and around our homes from our central heating system.
How dangerous are hallway fires really?
Unfortunately what we see on TV is basically Hollywood and it gives us a false sense of security. In many films and tv shows fire is show as a back drop and characters can easily survive been near or inside a burning building. In reality most people are beaten back by the heat of the flames if they even try to get near a burning building.
“It was horrendous, everybody shouting, trying to break the windows. Everybody was out there to do something”. Said a neighbour during a letterbox attack in Leicester UK.
With the primary means of escape unavailable Fire-fighters later found three bodies together in one of the back bedrooms.
A double glazed window can easily withstand the impact from a 110 lb. wrecking ball. Ref. Everest
There is a lot of guidance for shared premises and communal homes but very little work was done until 2012 at ‘Governors Island’ to understand the consequences of ventilating a fire and the massive effects a little water can have. We have to thank UL, NIST and the NYFD for that. As can be seen in the following YouTube video Fire Behaviour and Tactical Considerations at the 12 minute mark.
But there had never been a product like Blueproof available to protect your hallway and stairwell until now.
That is why it is so important to installBlueproof into hallways and give yourself, your family and pets a chance to get out. This article is dedicated to Thea.
If you only fit oneBlueproof then place it in the hallway!
Dave Atkinson BSc. Chem. Eng. an expert on active fire protection and risk management is also an, inventor, speaker and a contributor to LinkedIn groups where this entry was originally featured in March 2017.
If you have any questions about this topic let us know in the comments below. If you think others will benefit from reading this and you enjoyed it please share this post. Or if you are a fellow blogger and are interested in trying Blueproof please drop us an email.