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Colin Todd, Fire Engineering Expert Witness
  • Mar 9, 2022
  • Latest News

I am ever so pleased to have been informed that a project, on which I have been working in my own time for over two years has been shortlisted by Fire Safety Matters for Fire Innovation of the Year.

This is a project to trial a system that I have come up with to provide information to the fire and rescue service, at the time of a fire in a block of flats, regarding the presence of disabled people who would need to be rescued if their flat needs to be evacuated. Disabled people would be given a small pendant (but it could be a bracelet) to wear.

If a disabled person wishes to participate in the scheme, the housing provider would create a "tile" for them, which would appear on a screen that would only be accessible by the FRS at the time of a fire. The tile would be one colour (e.g. red). If the disabled person leaves the block, a sensor would turn the tile green, so that the FRS would not devote resources to rescuing disabled people who were not present.

Basically, it turns the traditional piece of paper in a PIB into an electronic screen, which would be accurate as to the presence of the disabled people real time. Contrary to the occasional critic, it would not be capable of "tracking" disabled people, because there is no memory or log - the system would be binary, simply indicating that the disabled person was present in the block or had left the block.

Funding for purchase of hardware for trials in real blocks of flats, and development of the software to my specification, has come from:

- Scottish Government
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
- Fire Industry Association
- British Approvals for Fire Equipment
- Fire Research and Training Trust
- Aico Ltd

I am grateful to all of these bodies for their trust in the concept that I have developed.'

I am off for major surgery on Saturday, so this is a really nice recognition with which to go on sick leave for a few weeks.