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High Wycombe Personal Protection System Activation

28 September 2021

  • Date of Incident; 28 September 2021
  • Fire Rescue Service; Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Location; High Wycombe District
  • Location of fire; Room
  • Type of property; flat
  • Ignition source; Smoking materials
  • Automatic Fire Suppression System; Personal Protection System (PPS)


The above-mentioned incident has been reported by Surefire. In July 2019, Redkite community housing installed a Ultrguard PPS Unit following previous fire incidents involving a resident reducing the level of fire risk faced by the resident.In the early hours of the 28 September 2021, the resident woke up to smoke a cigarette, accidentally the lit cigarette dropped onto the floor which caught their slippers to catch light.

Sufficient smoke was generated to activate the two double knock multi sensor alarms detectors and trigger the PPS unit to discharge, alerting the resident to the fire who was able the vacate the property before the arrival of the Fire & Rescue Service. Thankfully, no injuries were reported

To satisfy the Fire and Rescue Service, the UltraGuard PPS was chosen to protect this resident as it is certified to LPS 1655 (LPCB Third Party Approval Standard). The importance of a third-party approval standard should not be underestimated as it provides confidence about the design, performance, and reliability of these systems in practice.

Risk Profile/ Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

This incident clearly shows the importance of Identifying those residents that are most vulnerable by the completion of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).   This is likely to be completed in premises where the risk to persons in a fire situation is increased due to cognitive or mobility impairments.UltraGuard personal protection systems combine early warning of a fire through smoke detection and water mist for the delivery of suppression.

Early detection of a fire is important is important, as occupants can quickly become overwhelmed by smoke and toxic gases, the biggest killer in a fire.

Care needs to be taken to ensure that the risk profile of the vulnerable person is appropriate for PPS. For example, a vulnerable person who is mobile and living in a multi roomed flat has the potential to be affected by a fire anywhere in their home. As a result, they would possibly require a full Automatic Water Fire Suppression system (such as a sprinkler system that is designed, installed and maintained to BS9251 Fire sprinkler systems for domestic and residential occupancies providing full coverage within the flat.

What are Personal Protection Systems?

  • Unlike sprinkler systems, PPS are local application watermist fire suppression system combining smoke detection
  • Designed to specifically protect vulnerable individuals with mobility and disability impairments from the threat of fire risk in residential and domestic occupancies who are unlikely to easily escape without assistance in the event of a fire
  • Developed in response to analysis of fatal fires in dwellings where many victims had physical and/or mental health impairment
  • The publication, “Guidance on the use, deployment and limitations of Personal Protection Systems in the homes of vulnerable people” developed by BRE Global and the London Fire Brigade, to assist in understanding and reducing fire risk to vulnerable people
  • BRE Global introduced a loss prevention standard, LPS 1655 covering the requirements and test methods for the LPCB approval of Personal Protection Systems.

Key components

  • Portable self contained unit
  • 3 day battery back-up in case of mains failure
  • Delivers 10 minutes of water mist
  • Activation, double knock multi sensor detectors
  • Nozzle discharges a spray pattern
  • Capable of suppressing an area of16m2, and controlling an area of 32m²
  • Parameters of the system allow fast burning, slow smouldering fires to be detected
  • Facility for remote monitoring

This incident clearly identifies the benefits of installing a PPS certified to LPS1655. (LPCB third party approval standard, a business case has recently been accepted by BSI for a British Standard for PPS.




28 September 2021
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Location (Town/City)
High Wycombe
Type of Sprinkler Installation
Personal Protection System