Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI / 4213 / 2020 - Emollients

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

I am researching the number of fires relating to emollient products.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like the following information if held:
1) Since 2015, how many fires were responded to by your FRS in which investigators established or believe that an emollient product was either a primary or contributory factor in the fire? Please break this down year by year.
An emollient is a moisturising treatment applied to the skin, typically used to manage eczema or psoriasis. 
Such products include - but are not limited to - Diprobase, Zerobase, Cetraben, and E45 creams.
2) What is the total number of fatalities recorded by your FRS in the incidents referred to in question 1 since 2015? Please break this down year by year.

I note in asking this question that statistics on the number of fatalities in emollient-related fires may not be held by your FRS in each or all the years since 2015. However, please provide the fullest data you hold.

Emollient or moisturising cream is not a recordable field on our Incident Recording System (IRS). We did a search in the narrative log of IRS using the terms Diprobase, Zerobase, Cetraben, E45, emollient and moisturising cream. There were no results matching these criteria.3) Since 2015, how many controlled fire tests on emollient products, or the interaction of emollient products with other products, has your FRS carried out? 

By “controlled fire test”, I mean any exercise in which your FRS undertook to understand the flammability of emollient products or their interaction with other products.

ECFRS have not carried out any controlled tests. We have carried out ad-hoc tests with Dr Sarah Hall (formerly Head of Forensic and Investigative Sciences Research Group, Anglia Ruskin University). The test involved emollient on cotton bedding applied for 7 days, 24 hours and 1 hour before tests. Ignition was then attempted by manufactured and counterfeit cigarettes. This was videoed by Dr Hall and formed part of her research into emollient flammability. 

4) For all the controlled fire tests referred to in 3), please provide a copy of the report that ensued from each of those tests. 

No reports were produced.