More and more people die in fires in Sweden. Last year killed 113 people, compared to 81 the year before. Almost all fires occur in the home, usually associated with smoking or cooking. A large majority of those killed are 80 years or older. A few years ago Karlstad municipality decided to do something about this sad reality.
Could not withstand fire
– Together with the emergency services, we made an inventory of four senior homes, says Lars-Erik Billström manager of technology and property management in the municipality of Karlstad. Then it had shortly before been a fire death.
– We thought we’d come home to healthy pensioners. Instead it proved to be health care facilities with people who needed help several times a day and even was constantly bedridden.
It was just nobody that would have been able to handle a fire. 95 percent of the people we met would not have been able to get out on their own. The results of the inventory led to discussions between the technology and property management, nursing and care administration and KBAB, who owns properties with senior lodgings. They agreed that there must be individual risk assessments made for each of the residents.
- How mobile is the person?
- Is it a smoker?
- Is there a risk that they forgets the stove?
A smoke detector would not be enough, it would take too long for help to arrive. Same thing with a timer on the stove, a fire can occur before the power is turned off.
It was concluded that a mobile water mist system was needed, easy to install and easy to manage. These are manufactured by a company in a neighboring county.
– I was thinking that we will never get the money, says Lars-Erik Billström. But it went well and now we have installed 220 mobile sprinkler systems in the municipality’s four large housing for senior citizens.
But what do you do with all those who have decisions about home care but who remain in their homes? They’re far more than those in senior homes, maybe 500-600.
Even here an inventory is in progress and so far 35 installations has been done.
Posting based on an swedish article in www.nwt.se 2016-01-13 (http://nwt.se/karlstad/2016/01/13/flyttbar-sprinkler-pa-aldreboenden)
Additional info: Thanks to fundings from the insurance company Länsförsäkringar, the housing company KBAB and the Municipality of Karlstad this project became reality.