House fires – which is best: proactive or reactive safety?

You may well be wondering, what is proactive or reactive safety? Well, look no further, we have the answers to all your questions! It may not help win the pub quiz, but it will certainly help you better understand your home and how it is protecting you from those life-threatening risks.

We only have one question for you – would you rather know about a fire after it has started and taken hold, putting you and others in very serious danger and causing panic, or would you rather the fire never started in the first place? We know it’s the latter of the two, and we’re here to help you protect your home or those in your care so you have one less thing to worry about.

Hand turns dice and changes the word reactive to proactive.

What is reactive safety?

Today, technology alerts us to risk in all walks of life. The car horn when you’ve pulled out of a junction too soon and cut someone off, and the airbag that showers you in talcum powder if it really goes wrong. The incident has happened already and the airbag deployed to mitigate injury when the impact couldn’t be avoided.

In the context of fire safety this would be a smoke detector sounding and the subsequent sprinkler system trying to put the fire out. These are what we call reactive safety features; they react to a certain trigger such as flames or smoke and alert you after the fact.

Most devices on the market fall into this category – smoke and heat detectors, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and foam suppression systems. Not to mention the ones that require human action such as portable extinguishers and fire blankets, which put you directly in harm’s way. Some insurers don’t like you using them for that reason. That said, they are important devices to have in the event of a fire. How many can you identify in your home? Did we miss any off?

A picture of reactive fire safety devices and apparatus

What is proactive safety?

Now, say you were driving a vehicle with automatic safety features at that junction instead of a standard car and you tried to pull out when it wasn’t safe. The intricate and mind-bogglingly clever algorithms in the car’s safety system would kick in before you could even take your foot off the brake. It would see the imminent danger in the unfolding events long before they happen and decide the best course of action is to avoid pulling out, full stop, protecting you and your family from a nasty t-bone or side swipe. Then you resume control once it’s safe to move off again. Thank you technology.

In fire safety terms this could be a product that senses the conditions in which a fire will start and intervenes before the first wisp of smoke leaves the pan. This is proactive safety. It’s intelligent, intuitive, forward thinking, and it really does save lives. We welcome smartphones, smart watches, and smart TVs into our lives because they make them that much easier, it’s simple. But why haven’t we embraced smart fire safety yet?

Photo adapted from Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels - woman pointing at chalkboard with fire safety
Photo adapted from Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The truth is, like the car with advanced safety features, devices that sense and react to such rapidly dynamic conditions with a degree of accuracy and confidence that are actually useful and not frustratingly inconvenient are far more difficult to develop at a price point that is attractive to the discerning consumer. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if those older safety products shifted toward proactive, smart design and avoided all the danger, drama, and disruption in the first place?

In the case of something as lethal as a fire, the more proactive you can be, the better, right? It lowers the risk to life and to property, including those painful financial repercussions. Well, you might be excited to find out that this shift has been happening for over a decade, and at a price point that does not even come close to breaking the bank. Want to know more?

Embracing proactive fire safety

Airis Multisensor Proactive Fire Safety
Airis proctively avoids fires by disconnecting the power to the hob if a dangerous situation is unfolding.

Airis is one of the few existing proactive approaches to fire safety, and it is extremely effective at preventing fires. Here’s how it works: using smart technology, Airis first recognises the hob type and whether or not someone is cooking at the hob, it keeps monitoring the heat from the pan, if it recognises the heat is too high and approaching the oil’s smoke point (you can learn more about smoke points here) it then alerts you so the heat can be reduced, if you’re not there because you’re incapacitated or your attention has strayed from the hob and don’t respond, it will cut the power before the oil starts smoking.

Thanks to its incredible sensors and programming, all this happened well before a fire could ignite, completely removing the risk of hob fires, especially for vulnerable people. It’s even smart enough to know when a pan has been removed or knocked off the stove so it can spring into life and prevent a fire. It’s completely proactive, affordable, and undeniably essential in modern times, especially when you think of the other costs associated with fire damage. But there’s more.

If you opt for Airis Sense WiFi you can see all the data wherever you are, meaning you can check in on loved ones to see if there have been any triggers or issues that need addressing (check out our next blog post to learn more on how Airis Sense WiFi can make things easier for you). It then leaves all the reactive products to collect dust (please don’t actually let them collect dust, they work more effectively when clean and tested regularly). No fires, no false alarms, no raised pulses, no sirens, and no loss to life or belongings.

Do you think you, a loved one, or those in your care could benefit from that peace of mind? Don’t believe me? Well, see for yourself, here are a few case examples to show you why it’s so important…

Who would you prefer to be? David, where his safety relies entirely on him being present and his capacity to respond, or Angie, who installed Airis and is completely safe, whether she is able to respond or not? She has protected herself, her property, and the other residents from mishaps in her kitchen, and the property managers or her loved ones have been alerted that there was a potential fire so they can ensure she is OK. We know which one we would choose.

Further implications of proactive fire safety

We’ve looked at the differences between proactive and reactive fire safety, so you should have a clear idea now of what they are and why proactive safety is leagues ahead in avoiding hob fires and saving lives. David and Angie’s cases show you the potential outcomes in two different scenarios. But what are the implications for all involved beyond those cases? What will happen afterwards? Does proactive safety really make life that much easier? We have the answers here…

Questions about installing or retrofitting Airis?

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