Merseyside Fire & Rescue use  Tigerᴸᵀ in fight against arson

The Background

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the county of Merseyside in north-west England and is the statutory Fire and Rescue Authority responsible for all 999 fire brigade calls in Sefton, Knowsley, St. Helens, Liverpool and Wirral.

Over a five-year period, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service attended more than 1,500 incidents where fires were deliberately set using ignitable liquids. This is an average of six incidents every week.

Merseyside has a long and very proud fire heritage having been at the forefront of innovation and the introduction of new technology to fire fighting for more than 180 years. It was Liverpool which put into service the world’s first steam fire engine, decades before other cities. The Service has one of the largest photographic archives held by any UK Fire Service including more than 80,000 digitised files and pictures.


In the on-going fight against arson-related incidents, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is using the ION Science Tigerᴸᵀ photoionisation detectors (PIDs) to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from ignitable liquids that have been used in the development of a fire.

Exclusively available in the UK through distributor Shawcity, the handheld, portable Tigerᴸᵀ PID instruments have helped reduce costs and increase reporting quality by preventing non-contaminated samples being sent for lab analysis.

A long-standing customer for over 10 years, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service originally used the original PID FirstCheck 1000+. When these became obsolete, they purchased two Tiger PIDs and have recently added two Tigerᴸᵀ units to their growing portfolio.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s team of four fire investigators are each issued with a personal ION Science Tiger or Tigerᴸᵀ for fire investigation purposes.

The Shawcity Solution 

The Tigerᴸᵀ, which  offers worldwide Intrinsic Safety (IS) certification for use inpotentially explosive atmospheres, is a streamlined, low cost version of the well proven Tiger PID model.

Like all ION Science PID instruments, the Tigerᴸᵀ incorporates market-leading PID technology with advanced patented fence electrode system. This three-electrode format ensures increased resistance to humidity and contamination for ultimate reliability and accuracy in the field.

With a detection range of 0 - 5,000 ppm, with a 0.1 ppm minimum sensitivity, the Tigerᴸᵀ also offers an unrivalled industry response time of just two seconds and equally quick clear down.

Both simple to operate and service, the Tigerᴸᵀ offers easy access to the lamp and sensor with batteries that can be safely replaced in hazardous environments. The intrinsically safe instrument also meets ATEX, IECEx, UL and CSA standards.

It features long life rechargeable Li-ion batteries which give up to 24 hours usage. Fast battery charging allows the instrument to be fully charged in 6.5 hours, while eight hours of use can be achieved from 1.5 hours of charging time.

Tigerᴸᵀ features a protective, removable boot for harsh environments while a large, clear back-lit display allows for easy viewing in any light condition. It is IP 65 rated against water ingress. An integrated torch is designed for directing the instrument’s probe into dimly lit areas. Other features include a loud 95 dB audible alarm and multiple language support.

The Outcome

Ian Mullen, Station Manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Incident Investigation:

“The instruments are a tool to assist in the detection of the presence of ignitable liquids. This also allows the Police CSI to take a sample from a ‘confirmed’ area of post-fire ignitable liquids which can be sent for lab analysis.”

“This prevents non-contaminated samples being processed which reduces costs and increases the quality of positive hits for ignitable liquids.”

“The Tiger PIDs perform well. Our fire investigators take an instrument to each and every one of the 300 plus incidents they attend each year.”

“The unit will be deployed if ignitable liquids are suspected to have been a factor in the incident.”

“The service from Shawcity has always been very good. We can’t fault the Tiger PIDs which offer a number of practical features for fire investigation, a short power up time, rubber boot, bright colour for ease of visibility and robust design.”

The Benefits of Shawcity

Long-established and well-experienced within the industry, Shawcity provides a complete remediation toolkit with elements available to hire or buy. All customers receive free consultations, ongoing technical support and product training as well as fleet management support through our manufacturer-authorised in-house service centre for servicing, calibration, spares and repairs.

Contact us for more information or to arrange a free consultation, demonstration or site visit:

Tel: 01367 899553

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