What is Blueproof?
Blueproof is a device which attaches to your heating panels/radiators (or your mains pipes).
Made from high-tech materials, the surface of Blueproof responds to heat exposure and releases its water contents directly at the highest heat source.
The average activation time of Blueproof is 43.5 seconds.
Blueproof may reduce the deadly smoke concentration allowing you to breath and prevent fatal flash over conditions. Powerless and self-activating it requires no human intervention to work once fitted.
How does Blueproof work?
Blueproof heads are fitted onto your radiators where the radiator ‘bleed valves’ are normally located or attached to your water supply pipes.
They are made from a co-polymer material that melts on exposure to high temperature.
Then Blueproof’s specially designed, head bursts open and release a stream of water into the room, the water expands to approximately 1750 its volume and consumes the heat energy which dampens and suppresses the fire.
This may buy you valuable time to get safe and call the fire service.
An animated presentation on how the device works can be found here: Blueproof by Bluerad on our YouTube channel.
Won’t the water burn me?
No – as water leaves the radiator, it cools so although it won’t harm you it WILL still harm the fire. It is highly unlikely that a person will come in direct contact with the discharge stream from a Blueproof device when the temperatures within a fully developed room fire may exceed 900 °C in minutes.
During full-scale fire tests the temperature at a level of one meter throughout the burn chamber fell to around 50 °C (Centigrade). That temperature is lower than a thermal steam bath which runs at 56 °C .
Will my radiators run out of water?
Water expands to approximately 1760 times the water volume when it converts to steam and requires 2250 kJ-kg oC of energy and a constant input of energy to maintain its state as steam. As a consequence it absorbs the heat from the fire. It obeys the laws of physics.
This is where Blueproof is really clever. One fifth of a teaspoon of water swells to the size of a small plastic drinks bottle when it is heated and becomes steam, so the radiator in your room has more than enough water to douse a fire.
Radiators work on an open system so the water from the surrounding radiators will flow into the one that is releasing the water.
A fire suppressant device?
It has been shown to fight fires and suppresses them, proving a high level of protection. It may give people time to escape. Plus, it may suppress the smoke and fumes which, of course, kill more people than the actual fire. Literally allowing you more breathing room and visibility to escape.
What if I don’t have central heating?
You can fit Blueproof to ordinary water pipes too.
What happens if a fire breaks out?
A fully developed room fire may reach in excess of 750 °C in under two minutes. The heat given off from the fire raises the pressure in the radiator rapidly. This is termed ‘Blocked in Pressure’
Radiators are designed to transmit heat and in reverse absorb heat.
This high pressure drives the water from Blueproof directly into the highest heat source. The water vaporises in contact with the heat and absorbs the heat energy. Cooling the room.
Should I have a smoke alarm too?
Yes. The two things are completely separate – but the more protection you have, the safer you are!
How long will they last?
We recommend that you change them every five years.
How does it cool the whole house down?
Experiments undertaken by The Underwriters’ Laboratories partnered with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the New York City Fire Department demonstrated that getting water directly onto the fire compartment, as soon as possible, resulted in the most effective means of suppressing the fire and that very little water was required to achieve this effect. This resulted in temperature falls throughout the structure. In full scale fire testing of Blueproof in the UK the same dramatic falls in temperatures were recorded.
With Blueproof fitted you are protected 24/7/365.
The experiments presentation “Fire tactics and behaviour” can be seen by clicking this link to YouTube.
How does Blueproof stop smoke?
When Blueproof activates it swirls the released water jet in a cyclonic action and resulting collisions of the water droplets form a fine mist. The force of the jet stream breaks through the smoke boundary layer as the water changes phase to steam and expands.
The resulting fine mist from the process scrubs out the smoke by bonding to the smoke particles.
Stopping the smoke saved the life of pets in a live flat fire in Nottingham as can be seen in this article. Pets have smaller lungs that adults and children so if present Blueproof helps to protect life from deadly toxic smoke.
How does smoke effect us?
Children are more susceptible to smoke for several reasons: their respiratory systems are still developing; they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults. So, the smoke will affect your children before it affects you. (Source Airnow.gov) Pets and the elderly are also at risk for similar reasons.
In a live fire incident Blueproof protected pets from a fire. You can read about the incident in this article.
How does Blueproof stabilise the oxygen?
When Blueproof activates the fire is enveloped by the expanding water vapour that attacks the flame front. As the area becomes full of water vapour the fire becomes suppressed which slows the oxygen consumption.
Does Blueproof need power?
No. Blueproof requires no plugs, wires or mains power.
Will Blueproof work with other Systems?
Yes, Blueproof is compatible with all other system and will work alongside them.
Q&A GUIDANCE ON BLUEPROOF
Q. How is Blueproof categorised?
Answer: Blueproof is a stand alone item.
A typical water spray system comprises of a Deluge system control valve, a sprinkler or Multiple Control operated detection system and a dedicated water supply system (dedicated means separate to the mains supply). The size of the Deluge valve, its flow rate, the system water supply pressure and type of detection system are all determined by the size and type of fire risk involved.
Water spray systems are one of the most expensive fire protection systems on the market and extensively used throughout industry to protect a wide variety of plant equipment and hazardous materials involving hydrocarbons. Typical applications include boiler feed pumps, diesel engines, hydraulic oil systems, offshore oil and gas installations and steel mills.
Blueproof does not require these complex systems to enable it to work.
Blueproof now brings water spray technology to the home and more.
Within the home Blueproof brings an integrated control and activation device that supplies a flow rate and pressure determined by the type and size of the fire. It uses water already available within radiators hanging from the walls and backed up by the water supply and adjoining interconnected radiators.
During a typical house fire Blueproof may deliver pressure up to 7 bar (100 psi) this is in excess of an industrial high velocity nozzle at 80 psi. The pressure starts to fall when the temperature falls within the vicinity as Blueproof suppresses the fire.
Blueproof has a varying K-factor because the discharge co-efficient changes with the ferocity of the fire. The orifice size is not fixed as it is also dependant on the temperature of the fire. The hotter the fire the faster Blueproof discharges the water. In fire protection engineering the K-factor formula is used to calculate the discharge rate from a nozzle.
Q. Will I be hit by the water discharge from Blueproof?
Answer: No, Blueproof targets the highest heat source.
Q. Does a sofa or other furniture impede the operation of Blueproof?
Answer: In a fully developed house fire, a sofa/settee may be reduced to ashes in under 8 minutes. Hence a sofa and/or other furniture may only slow down the operation of Blueproof.
Operation of Blueproof is assured as Blueproof comes into contact with the convection currents formed by the fire.
Q. Will Blueproof operate under normal operating conditions when my central heating system is turned on?
Answer: No, Blueproof operates when the temperature is above the normal operating conditions of home systems and has been successfully trialled and tested in tower blocks at higher operating temperatures and pressure than normal. Blueproof has been installed on fully functioning home central heating systems for over five years with no reported leaks or failures.
Q. At what temperature does Blueproof activate?
Answer: Blueproof may activate at around 250 C in a house fire. The temperature in the room rises rapidly to upwards of 800 C in seconds. As the material of construction reaches its heat deflection temperature of 103 C in 75 seconds the rapid pressure rise and driving force within the system propels the water stream through the thin walled section of Blueproof’s facet.
If there is direct flame impingement Blueproof may operates even quicker, in seconds. That’s if the fire occurs close to the radiator and the flames impede on the surface.
Q. What is Fire?
Answer: Fire is the visible effect of the process of combustion – a special type of chemical reaction. What you may see is the yellow colour of the flame formed during the chain reaction at the boundary which is only one atom thick, and is the visible part you may see.
Alcohol fires can be invisible to the naked eye.
The fire occurs between oxygen in the air and some sort of fuel source.
Q. What is the fuel?
Answer: Any material with the potential energy to be released as heat energy. A conflagration is one term used for the great and destructive fire that threatens human life, animal life, health, and/or property. It may also be described as a blaze or simply a (large) fire.
Q&A FIRE SAFETY LAW
Q. What does legislation call for throughout the UK?
Answer: Legislation is largely identical in terms of what applies in each country and what has to be done to comply.
Q. Where does it apply?
Answer: All premises and almost all types of building, structure and open space.
Q. Where does it not apply?
Answer: Private homes, including individual flats in a block or house. In England and Wales it applies to the common parts of flats and HMOs. (Staircases and corridors.)
Q. What do I need to do if I am responsible?
Answer: Carry out a fire risk assessment and reduce risk to As Low As Reasonably Practical. (ALARP.)
Q. What is ALARP?
Answer: As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) is a term used under law to establish an acceptable level of risk. This involves weighing a risk against the trouble, time and money needed to control it.
It may include cost benefit analysis one of the fundamental principles of risk management. Risk does not need to be managed to the point where it is eliminated because to do so is simply not a good use of resources.
For further information on ALARP visit the UK HSE website.
Q. What is a fire-risk assessment?
Answer: There are many forms of fire risk assessment and advice can be obtained from your local Community Safety Manager. The Fire Industry Association produce an excellent Best Practice Guide to Fire Safety, but this does not identify the means to evaluate and assess the risk.
Q. What is the risk profile concept?
Answer: The tools for risk assessment and risk management to enable traceability are available in ISO 17776. A fire risk assessment is undertaken for the building based on its use, fabric and profile; however, no two buildings or rooms are the same.
Q. Can anyone construct a risk profile?
Answer: Yes, up to a point. However, the risk profiling also addresses other threats outside the common knowledge of most, such as escape and evacuation, explosion and dispersion.
Q. What is the impact of Blueproof on ALARP?
Answer: Blueproof is the most cost effective active fire suppression system. It cannot be argued in terms of cost benefit analysis or that Blueproof’s performance standards do not bring risk up to ALARP.
Q. Who enforces fire safety law?
Answer: The Fire Authorities are currently the main agency for enforcing the law.
Q&A REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO BUILDING WORK
Q, What do the Building Regulations require?
Answer: That a fire suppression system is fit for purpose.
Q. What is the Buildings Regulations Approved Document B?
Answer: Buildings Regulations Approved Document B is the guidance which is governed by Statutory Instrument (SI) 2010/2014. It provides design guidance for building works as prescribed by the SI.
Approved Document B:
· Is intended for the life cycle of the building applicable to both new and existing buildings
· Has an expectation relating to the fire safety management of the building
· Allows flexibility of design by taking into account the physical and human factors
· Takes into account a package of fire safety measures, one of the most important measures being management
· Sits between Approved Document B and Fire Engineering
· Is easy to use, logical prescriptive guidance.
· Introduces the risk profile concept.
Q. Does the inclusion of fire suppression systems in Document B now mean that all buildings should have a sprinkler system fitted?
Answer: No. Requirement B3(3) requires a suitable automatic fire suppression system where necessary.
Q. Does a fire suppression system mean a sprinkler system?
Answer: No. The Document states: “There are many alternative or innovative fire suppression systems available. Where these are used, it is necessary to ensure that such systems have been designed and tested for use in buildings and are fit for their intended purpose.” Blueproof is fit for purpose.
It is the only device that has been tested and proven on a multi floor building.
Q. What is considered reasonable?
Answer: In any particular case it will depend on the size and intended use of the building. ALARP is a gauge of the reasonable level of risk. For more information on ALARP see the above section question Q&A Fire Safety Law: Q. What is ALARP?
Q. Do I need LABC (Local Authority Building Control) to fit Blueproof?
Answer: No, not if it is fitted to existing properties not undergoing structural change. Blueproof is not part of the fabric of the building.
Q. Is Blueproof part of the building works?
Answer: No. Blueproof is not a construction product.
The regulations apply to any ‘building work’ and therefore you will need to make an application before proceeding. The definition of ‘building work’ is contained within the regulations.
Q. Is fire suppression a mandatory requirement under UK law?
Answer: No. Under Welsh legislation fire suppression in new builds is a mandatory requirement, similar legislation will be implimented in Scotland. In such legislation, no products such as sprinklers, deluge, dry powder or mist systems are named. It is not the Government’s or Fire Authorities position to promote, design or name a commercial product. However many Fire Authorities websites promote commercial sprinkler systems.
Q. Does Blueproof require certification?
Answer: No. Blueproof not being part of the fabric of the building, hence does not come under ISO or British Standards. Certification is applicable to systems regulated by Codes and Standards.
Q. Is Blueproof a sprinkler?
Answer: No, Blueproof is not a sprinkler.
Q. Is Blueproof a mist system?
Answer: No, Blueproof is not a fine mist system.
Q. Do dispersion layout patterns apply to Blueproof?
Answer: No. Dispersion layout patterns apply to a known deluge pattern in the downward plane from a sprinkler or deluge nozzle. Blueproof can propel the water in all directions even in the vertical plane to attack a fire. No other device can achieve this so it gives coverage throughout its available line of sight.