8/30/2012 10:00:00 AM

LifeNet represents a step forward in fire-resistant bednets.

Kerosene lamps or candles are common sources of lighting for users of mosquito nets in malaria endemic areas and fire is one of the leading causes of loss or damage to such nets.
Contact with a flame can result in the formation of small holes in the net, creating a weak point and making it easier to tear. Larger holes can also be formed by longer contact with flames, allowing mosquitoes to pass through the net to bite the user and potentially transmit malaria. Depending on the material used to manufacture them, some nets can also catch alight and may drip molten plastic, causing burns to the person sleeping under the net. Flames may also persist if not detected, with the risk of fire spreading to other parts of the home.
All WHOPES Recommended nets pass the required flammability test 16CFR Part 1610; however differences between net materials clearly exist which are not evident within this test; this is well illustrated in this video which represents a standardised flammability test used for clothing textiles. LifeNet can be seen to perform significantly differently than other nets; LifeNet did not ignite, unlike the two examples of polyester and polyethylene nets.

Two reports* discussed at a Vector Control Working Group Meeting of Roll Back Malaria drew clear conclusions on the importance of fire as a cause of hole formation in nets. The differences in fire-resistant properties between nets can therefore have a potentially big impact on their effective lifespan.

* Determination of Strength of Mosquito nets. Influence of knitting pattern, square meter weight and denier. Model test for making stronger nets., by Ole Skovmand, Intelligent Insect Control

Surveillance, M & E. Innovative approaches to SME: Monitoring the durability of LLINs under operational conditions. Technical session 4: Program Management Aug. 11th 2011, by Majhalia Torno, RITM, Wilfredo E. Aure, RITM, Mario Baquilod, DOH, Ray Angluben, PSFI, Jeffrey Hii, WR CO WHO