Case study: Scott Safety supplies gas detection equipment to Devon and Somerset FRS

Published:  22 July, 2014

In December 2011, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council was fined for endangering people's health after carbon monoxide leaked from a gas boiler at a community centre. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the local authority after firefighters found extremely high levels of carbon monoxide escaping from the flue in the loft and evacuated the building. Sections of the flue had come apart and the potentially lethal gas had built up and started to flow through an open trapdoor into a storeroom off the main hall.[1]

Unfortunately, incidents like this are not isolated events and are becoming an increasing safety concern for Fire and Rescue Services everywhere. As the example above demonstrates, when fire officers enter unknown buildings and homes to attend emergency or routine calls, they run the risk of exposure to potentially toxic fumes and gases. Fire personnel need to know immediately if harmful gases, such as the odourless and tasteless carbon monoxide, are present in order to ensure a safe working environment. The use of personal gas detection monitors not only eliminates the risk of employees being exposed to these gases, but also helps emergency personnel ascertain if immediate evacuation and medical assistance is necessary.

Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) is the largest non-metropolitan fire and rescue service in the UK with 85 fire stations and 2,300 dedicated staff.

DSFRS officers do much more than putting out fires. They regularly respond to floods, confined space rescue operations, road and rail traffic collisions, as well as dispatching co-responders (teams of two people) to support the primary emergency medical providers in the event of a medical emergency. DSFRS staff also play a vital role in the community by carrying out home safety checks, working with local businesses to ensure safety compliance and working with young people to educate and inform on fire safety. With such a diverse range of duties that place them in a wide variety of environments, fire officers and co-responders are increasingly requiring the use of personal gas detection equipment.

Scott Safety is a manufacturer of gas detection equipment and its Protégé gas monitor has generated international interest for its functionality, design reliability and cost. With employee safety a top priority, DSFRS turned to Scott Safety to provide them with a solution.

Meeting requirements
Steve Purchall, Research and Development Manager at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, including fire officers, operational personnel, co-responders, and community safety advocates, is our highest priority and we are continuously looking at ways to improve their safety. With our staff frequently entering unknown and potentially toxic environments, we needed to find a personal gas detection monitor that would be easy to use and 100% reliable.

‘We chose the Protégé ZM single gas detection monitor from Scott Safety because it met all of our required criteria. The product was very competitively priced and appeared to be the best all round option on the market. When tested, the monitor appeared to be compact, lightweight and comfortable to wear. Our initial evaluation also highlighted the ease of use when fastening the monitor to our fire tunics and the bright colour allowed for officers to clearly see when one was being worn. 

‘Now that we have purchased 42 of Protégé ZM gas detection monitors from Scott Safety and have had several months experience using the products, we have really been able to see the benefits first hand, and we have ordered an addittional 20 units.The monitor has proved to be practical to wear (even in confined spaces), easy to use and also incredibly reliable. The operational life is excellent and all of the monitors have functioned correctly every time. All of this means that when our community staff and firefighters attach a Protégé ZM to their uniforms, they can be confident that they have a quality, reliable product that will keep them safe every time.”

Justin Harper, Fire Business Development Manager at Scott Safety said: ‘Scott Safety has built its reputation through its collaborative approach to product development and design and prides itself on its customer led product evolution. We know that fire officers are tasked with entering dangerous environments and they need their personal protective equipment to be easy to use and reliable. With this in mind, the Protégé ZM Single Gas Monitor has been purpose designed to deliver high performance every time. The Protégé ZM is also easy to maintain, with no battery charging and no sensor calibration necessary to operate the monitor. It is great to see that these functions have proved advantageous to the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and that fire officers have gained confidence in our product.’



  • Operation Florian

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