Sprinklers contained mobility scooter fire

Sprinklers contained mobility scooter fire

Lewisham Homes has partnered with the London Fire Brigade, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) to carry out experiments in fire safety of mobility scooters.

The tests examined how effective residential sprinkler systems are on mobility scooter fires.  The experiments saw the BRE build a life-size replica of a shared room, including a copy of the sprinkler arrangement, within a Lewisham Homes sheltered housing scheme.

A standard mobility scooter and another with a highly flammable lithium-ion battery were set on fire. The sprinklers started quickly and successfully contained the fires during both experiments.

Working with the London Fire Brigade, Lewisham Homes are using the results of the experiments to shape their fire safe safety plans for their new build homes, sheltered accommodation, flats and converted properties.

Lewisham Homes fire safety advisor Steve Kilden said: ‘A growing number of residents need to use mobility scooters.  Because of this we’ve had to look at where they can store and charge their scooters safely and how we can reduce the fire risk. 

‘We asked the BRE to help us identify whether sprinklers, combined with other safety measures, mean residents can safely store their mobility scooters within shared spaces.’

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Dan Daly said: ‘The action already taken by Lewisham Homes to protect older residents by installing sprinklers in their housing schemes should be applauded.  Its latest plans around the storage of mobility scooters recognise there is a need to help residents lead independent lives without compromising their safety.’

The experiments and their results are part of ongoing efforts by Lewisham Homes to improve fire safety for their residents. The housing provider has invested more than £13 million over the past 7 years to improve fire safety standards.

The full BRE report and a short film about the experiments is available to view at www.lewishamhomes.org.uk