cambridgeshire fire serviceAn UltraGuard personal protection system installed by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with mental health charity Suffolk Mind prevented a significant fire in a South Cambridgeshire home.

The UltraGuard was fitted for a vulnerable resident in Sawston and activated when a fire started in a bin from a discarded cigarette. Not only did the UltraGuard activate to suppress the detected fire, but Cambridgeshire Combined Fire Control was alerted allowing crews to be sent immediately. When the crews from Cambridge attended, they found that the fire had been fully extinguished by the UltraGuard System.

Group Commander Kevin Napier, in charge of community fire safety at CFRS, said “This incident highlights the effectiveness of personal protection systems and how they can help save lives. This fire was stopped after the system quickly activated and the occupant of the property was safely evacuated by the crews. The damage to the property was minimal and the occupant was able to return home within 24 hours.

“We have been working with local authorities and housing providers to identify those most vulnerable residents in our communities and to assess their homes to ensure they are as safe from a fire as they can be. Some residents will present a higher risk, for example those in need of in-home oxygen therapy or are confined to a bed. Working with our partner agencies we hope to install personal protection systems to properties where the most vulnerable people are living. These systems not only help ensure vulnerable residents are protected if a fire starts in their property, but they also help ensure crews are not faced with a fully developed fire, which could spread to other properties, potentially putting more lives at risk”.

Andrew Moore, Team Leader at Suffolk Mind, added “As a mental health charity, Suffolk Mind supports people to make a life that works. To do this, we work in close partnership with various organisations, such as CFRS and housing association BPHA. This collaboration led to the installation of a personal protection system in one of our supported houses in Sawston. The fire activated the personal protection system which put the fire out and saved the resident’s property and potentially their life. Using the latest technology, and a person centre approach, Suffolk Mind is able to support people to live safely in their own homes, whilst promoting independence where possible.”

CFRS has already installed four other UltraGuard Systems in vulnerable resident’s properties around the county, with the view to adding more in the coming months.

Group Commander Napier concluded: “We are committed to doing what we can to ensure those residents most vulnerable from fire in the home across the county are protected from fire. Installing these systems is part of the wide-ranging activity our staff are completing every day to ensure there are no preventable fire deaths in Cambridgeshire.”