Boat Fire Safety Week 2011

Monday 30th May to Sunday 5th June marks Boat Fire Safety Week, where owners of boats are being encouraged to think about the fire safety of their vessel. Because of the nature of boats, the risks involved can be even greater than, for instance, fire safety in the home or workplace, due to things like small, contained living areas and being positioned in locations that the fire rescue services find it difficult to reach.

Avon Fire & Rescue have come up with an excellent page outlining some of the best ways to keep your boat safe from fire. Some of these include the installation of smoke and CO alarms and siting fire extinguishers in key places.

During Boat Fire Safety, we are knocking 10% off everything, to make it even easier to make your boat safe. We even have products designed specifically to work on boats. All you need to do is enter the following promo code at the checkout: boatsafety

We’d love to hear from you once you get your smoke and CO alarms, fire extinguishers and anything else installed. Why not send us a picture on Twitter? Better yet, tell your friends that they can get 10% off too.

Emergency lighting guide

Planning your emergency lighting can be quite daunting and appear very complicated. We have developed an emergency lighting guide to help with all the issues of planning where to install your emergency lights.

The guide has been developed through answering customer questions on emergency lighting installation, ensuring that we are answering the questions you want to ask.  The guide covers topics such as planning, location, types of lights, signs and testing your emergency lights.

The emergency lighting planning section goes through six steps to ensure that you comply to the most update legislation, including the Health & Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The guide is designed to help proprietors or people responsible for emergency lighting provisions to think about the many aspects of evacuation and escape.

The section on where to locate your emergency lighting covers every day areas such as corridors and junctions, where there may be a change in direction to stairways, steps and ramps as well as exits and fire and first aid points. There is also a section for areas that are not so common, covering large open areas, generators or heavy machinery, escalators and lifts. Each of the sections gives a comprehensive guide to which compliant emergency light is available, giving you the overview and possibility to choose the correct lighting not only for location but also in accordance with your budget.

Emergency lighting is only one section of this guide. The guide also covers the installation of safety signs, again giving advice in accordance with the Health & Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  It covers the requirement of externally illuminated signs or  internally illuminated fire exit signs.

Once the type of emergency lighting has been selected and the correct emergency exit or fire exit signs have been purchased it is critical to have some knowledge of the testing requirements as set down in the British Standard BS 5266-1:1999.

The emergency lighting guide looks at monthly testing, half yearly testing and testing of appliances that are three years old. It is the role of the designated responsible person to ensure that the emergency lighting, once it is installed, is working according to the legislation. When purchasing emergency lighting from Safelincs you can choose to register for a reminder at the end of the checkout process and we will automatically send you reminders to test your emergency lighting when the lighting is coming up for testing.

For recording your emergency lighting tests you can also download our free fire safety logbook.

To make your assessment and planning of your emergency lighting as problem free as possible view the comprehensive guide

Why photoluminescent fire escape route signs?

Photoluminescent or ‘glow-in-the-dark’ signs are a low-cost method of providing strong guidance and direction in the event of a power failure at night. They work in addition to the statutory emergency lighting required. Good photoluminescent signs really glow and stand out after the lighting power supply has failed which helps to reduce confusion and lack of orientation in an emergency situation. You can use photoluminescent signs for escape route marking, to mark assembly points, fire points, fire extinguishers signs and many more fire safety applications.

Knowing the importance of quality photoluminescent fire safety signs, we have worked with Jalite for many years. Jalite is the undisputed leader in the manufacture of photoluminescent signs and Safelincs only supplies Jalite’s most superior ‘AAA’ grade. Since Jalite’s foundation in 1983 the technical properties of photoluminescent materials have changed drastically from providing a novelty value through to life saving high performance materials.

Jalite have engineered a product that contains rare earth aluminate compounds within a coating that is energised in a very short time by the ultra violet and blue light wavelength energy that is present in nearly all forms of light source.  Jalite materials require only seconds to energise even at very low light levels!

 

Is pre-servicing of fire extinguishers allowed?

Occasionally, you may come across the practice of online fire extinguisher retailers offering pre-serviced fire extinguishers. What they offer is the inspection of the extinguisher in their warehouse and the addition of a maintenance label on the extinguisher. Sometimes they even claim that this service is in accordance to BS5306.

However, this practice is NOT in accordance to BS5306 for very good reasons. Damage to extinguishers like loss of pressure, loss of extinguishing medium, bent handles and hoses which make the extinguisher inoperable do not occur whilst the extinguisher is in the warehouse but all of these issues can occur in transit to the customer after the supplier has already declared the extinguisher ‘fit for operation’. This puts lives at risk, especially if suppliers do not protect extinguishers adequately for shipment. BSI has therefore changed the standard BS5306 to require an ON SITE commissioning for all extinguishers installed under BS5306. This entails a full check of the extinguishers as they arrive on site and the correct weighing, preparation and certification of the extinguishers. Only then can you use the certification document as proof that you have taken your responsibility in accordance to your fire risk assessment seriously.

Pre-servicing or pre-labelling is therefore not permitted any longer. If you require your extinguishers to be installed in accordance to BS5306 you must have the extinguishers commissioned on site or alternatively you can have them installed and commissioned on site by a servicing company. BS5306 comformity is always required if you are a business or landlord or if you have to carry out a fire risk assessment.

Safelincs gives customers options. You can

– buy the extinguisher and visually check the extinguishers yourself when it arrives (suitable for domestic use, only). Our extinguishers are protected in transit by head protectors or special handle and box design.

– order the extinguishers from us with ON SITE commissioning (suitable if the extinguishers replace existing extinguishers in a business environment). This service is carried out by BAFE registered Safelincs engineers and you will received a certificate for the commissioning.

– order the extinguishers from us with Installation and Commissioning, in which case our engineer will also hang the extinguishers in the most appropriate location (suitable for a first install in a new business or if you are uncertain about the current location of the extinguishers). This service is carried out by BAFE registered Safelincs engineers and you will received a certificate for the installation/commissioning.

 

Securefast fire door hardware

One of Safelincs’ suppliers with top quality marks is Securefast, a supplier of exit door related hardware such as panic bars (touch bars) and panic bolts.

Securefast launched recently a new Touch Bar and Electrical Touch Bar range which we would like to present.

The 600 Series Touch Bar Range is quick and easy to assemble to any type of door, has a grip cross bar for ease of closing the door and concealed connecting rods which achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The range has been tested for 1,500,000 cycles (7.5 times the requirement of EN1125:2008). It also successfully exceeded 240 hours in a salt spray test after which it was  still able to meet the requirements of EN1125:2008. This makes the range suitable for areas with a high humidity.

The single and two point Pullman catches have an anti-thrust device incorporated to prevent them from being forced back.

A number of Outside Access Devices are available to complement the touch bar:

– a lever-operated unit incorporating Key Retention which uses a Euro Profile 40mm Single Cylinder

– A fixed-knob outside access device and

– a mechanical digital lock for key-less operation

The 600 Series Touch Bar range also offers a number of ‘keep’ options for uPVC and Steel Doors:

– an Electrical Release tested to EN1125:2008 for use with the Touch Bar Latch

– Hold Back device and Micro Switching for integrating with an Access Control or Alarm Systems.

The company are continuing to offer new developments to their ranges and will soon have the Touch Bar in a Satin Chrome finish to service level 2 available.

Securefast 900 Series traditional style Panic and Emergency Exit Hardware, launched almost 2 years ago is now complete as a range including a push bar and push pad Mortice Actuator and is available with or without an Anti-thrust. Sets of Packing Pieces for offsetting the hardware on steel doors ensures perfect alignment of the Panic Bolt and Latch. The Packers and a surface mounted keep are included with Bolts and Latch units.

The Securefast 900 series offers many advantages over its competitors, such as a Universal Keep supplied with all Latch Units, that can be surface mounted (ideal for Steel frames) or morticed into the frame and is universal for both single and double rebated door applications. The range also offers a hold back option (Dogging Device), which is concealed under the operating arm and is available on the combinations of push bar, push pad, Latch and Bolt units.

The 900 series like the 600 series has been Corrosion Resistant tested for 240 Salt Spray Hours and is therefore classified as Very High Resistance.

Securefast plc are well known in the market for their Colson brands of Access Control and Electrical Locking devices and are now moving more towards offering mechanical hardware products with links to Access Control. The AEM800 unit offers a Touch Bar used in conjunction with electro magnets. The product will be tested to the new European Standard for Electrical Panic Hardware, when available later in the year. Securefast will then be able to supply the complete package of locking device, with Power Supply Unit, Break-glass and Power Transfer.

Which fire safety products are dangerous goods in transit?

A few fire safety products such as fire extinguishers and ionisation smoke alarms are classified as dangerous goods and require special handling in transit to our customers. Safelincs has three staff members formally trained as specialists for dangerous goods, being able to assess, prepare, package and declare shipments correctly to avoid the risk of interception of goods at airports, harbours and indeed the carriers’ handling centers. Having for example shipments of fire extinguishers and other pressurised items intercepted without the correct declaration and packaging could otherwise lead to fines and definitely delays.

Here at Safelincs we consider all aspects of storage, packaging, declaration and transportation of dangerous goods.  We have clearly identified all fire safety products in our UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) approved warehouses and have separated products classed as hazardous according to transport regulations.  These products include fire extinguishers, lithium batteries, lead acid batteries, aerosols and ionisation smoke alarms.

To adhere to the strict regulations outlined through ADR (road service) and IMDG (sea freight) Safelincs has produced a thorough dangerous goods procedure for each of the goods classed as hazardous, making sure that all the requirements for dangerous goods regulations are conformed to.  Each product type is described on an individual basis and our trained office and warehouse staff are aware of all the classifications, which mode of transport can be used, and if Dangerous Goods Notes are required for the movement of goods.

By working closely with our shipping companies and keeping up to date with dangerous goods regulations through yearly re-training we ensure the protection of our customers and all carriers/freight companies used.

New FAQ compilation for Dorgard fire door retainer

The Dorgard is one of our most popular products. It helps our customers to stay legally compliant and at the same time keeps fire doors open when there are periods of high footfall or when the temperature gets stifling during the summer. The Dorgard comes with a very handy and thorough manual. Nevertheless, we do get asked a few questions and to help our customers, we now have compiled an overview of all the questions asked and the answers to them.

1.) Can the Dorgard operate at only one decibel level?

Our Dorgard reacts to a sound level adjustable between 65 dB and 85 dB, so all sounds in excess of 65 dB will activate the Dorgard.  This complies with BS5839 which gives 65 dB as the minimum sound level for fire alarms.

In situations where the ambient noise level is above 80 dB, Dorgard has a safety feature that allows it to release automatically to all sounds above 65 dB as you would probably not hear a 65 dB fire alarm over the noise level in this situation.

The Dorgard is also capable of being adjusted to operate to the sound of an individual fire alarm making it adaptable to any particular environment.

2.) When a fire alarm sounds why does Dorgard not close the door immediately?

Dorgard only listens for a sound every 4 seconds and the sound has to be continuous for 10 seconds for it to operate. This helps to preserve the battery life of the unit and means the operation should not be delayed by any more than 14 seconds.

This compares with other similar retainers that are wired into the fire alarm system and have a built-in delay.

3.) Is the Dorgard a fail-safe product?

In the event that the batteries reach a low voltage or the battery compartment is tampered with or opened, Dorgard will automatically release its plunger, closing the door, thus making the design fail-safe. The plunger can not be used to keep the door open if there are no batteries in the unit or the batteries have no voltage left.

When the batteries are running low an audible warning will be sounded every 17 minutes in the form of a series of beeps and a red LED will flash to warn of the depleting batteries until they are fully exhausted, removed or replaced.

As part of your yearly regular fire alarm checks the Dorgard batteries should be renewed as required.

The Dorgard will perform its’ built in self-test by releasing the open door every 7 days.

4.) Is there a formal standard that the Dorgard complies with?

Dorgard complies with the new standard for low voltage hold open devices, BS EN 1155.

5.) Will the closing of a fire door by a Dorgard affect other units by restricting the sound through the closed door?

The operation of the Dorgard, or the ability to hear the fire alarm, should not be affected provided the sound level stated in BS5839 is adhered to throughout the building.

Dorgards can be adjusted if the sound level does drop slightly within performance limits.

6.) Where to fit Dorgard?

Where there is a need to hold open a fire door to enable the movement and circulation of people around a building, Dorgard can be fitted to self-closing fire doors. The building must have a fire alarm and a risk assessment carried out by the employer to check the suitability of using a Dorgard as some high risk areas e.g. kitchens, boiler rooms and doors protecting a single staircase building may not be appropriate.

7.) If the fire alarm system fails how can Dorgard fail-safe?

Within the risk assessment for the building there should be an instruction that in the event of a failure in the fire alarm system all door hold-open devices should be deactivated, though this should be a rare event as the majority of systems have to have emergency backup power supplies which means they should continue to work in the event of a fault. A yellow Do Not Use warning label is supplied with each unit and should be placed over the unit when deactivated and can be removed once the fire alarm system is restored.

8.) Where a door is fitted with a Dorgard does there need to be a smoke detector sited on each side?

For the earliest detection of fire and sounding the alarm, it is better to have smoke detectors in adjacent rooms, as the Dorgard is triggered by the sound of the alarm.

9.) Is the Dorgard suitable in sleeping risk premises?

Yes. The Dorgard can hold a fire door open to maintain the functionality of the building by allowing an uninterrupted flow of people through the building during the day and releasing the fire door to close in the evening. You can also adjust the Dorgard to automatically close at night.

10.) Can door warping be prevented by using Dorgard?

To prevent warping Dorgard self-tests every seven days which helps to ensure reliability and alleviate stress to the door which on doors that are wedged open for long periods of time, would cause warping. This self-testing also helps to prevent seizure of the overhead door closer by allowing it to cycle itself.

11.)  Can the Dorgard test itself?

A self-test routine is run every seven days by the Dorgard. The plunger is released, closing the door and the unit will emit a warning alarm if a fault is detected.

12.) Does a fire alarm audibility test need to be carried out before fitting Dorgard?

As Dorgard is an audio sensing device that can be adjusted within certain limits, it is not necessary to carry out a test before the installation. If the Dorgard cannot “hear” the alarm to respond to it the likelihood is that the alarm is not sounding at the minimum level required by BS 5839 which should alert the user to a problem with the alarm system that will require remedial action. The Dorgard should be removed until the alarm has been rectified to meet the minimum sound level required by the Standard.

13.) When Dorgards have been fitted should employees be made aware of them?

Employees should be informed about Dorgard and instructed on its use and operation and include it in the workplace fire routine.

14.) Will the Dorgard release automatically at night?

Yes, if set to do so. There are three timed setting options for night time release which the installer can select prior to installation. The unit’s internal clock must be powered up at midday 12:00hrs to inform the unit what time it is. The installer then selects the setting required by activating a switch on the unit and Dorgard will then release each night at the pre-determined time. The unit will not be operational as a door retainer until it automatically resets itself the following morning.

Export of Fire Safety Products

We provide an export service for any customers requiring fire safety products overseas. Do you want to purchase fire escape hoods, fire extinguishers, fire escape ladders, smoke alarms or emergency lighting to be shipped to you anywhere in the world?  Safelincs is here to help.

As well as being able to cater for fire safety customers in the UK, Safelincs is able to quote international customers for their fire safety needs.  Recent enquiries include delivery of anti-tamper seals to Vanuatu, fireproof safes to Dubai, fire escape hoods to UAE, fire extinguishers to Bangladesh, fire door retainers to Sri Lanka and fire extinguishers to Ascension Ilands. There is almost no country that we have not supplied yet.

Each international enquiry is unique to us and Safelincs will always strive to conform precisely to customer requirements.  On request, we will supply necessary documentation including Packing List, Certificate of Origin and Certificate of Conformity.  Dedicated staff at Safelincs are trained in the transportation of dangerous goods.  Of course some dangerous goods restrictions may apply, we shall research the best transport method available for your destination to ensure you receive the products.

If you would like to receive a quotation for delivery outside of the UK, please complete our “international delivery enquiry form”.  We look forward to hearing from you!

How to provide a fire escape from a roof top window

Our customers regularly buy fire escape ladders from us for their loft extensions. We can offer them a broad selection of fire escape ladders suited for the task.

When escaping from a gable end you can choose the same fire escape ladders as for ordinary fire escape windows.

However, when escaping over an angled roof not every fire escape ladder is suitable. One of our fire escape ladders for angled roofs is the Rollo Roll-out ladder. The ladder is hooked over the window sill of a Velux style roof window. As the ladder is stored rolled up ready for deployment there is no risk of tangling.  Once hooked over the sill, a toggle is pulled and the ladder rolls over the roof without the possibility of getting stock somewhere on the roof or snagging on the guttering. The backsheet of the ladder ensures a smooth deployment. You can adjust the hooks to the thickness of the chosen window sill on receipt of the ladder. The ladder can be deployed and rolled up again and again to practise your escape procedure with your family, although we do not recommend that you climb down the ladder during the fire drill. You can always climb up a few steps after deployment to test the strength and to get used to the ‘feel’ of the ladder.

Another option is the EasyScape fire escape ladder. The chain ladder has no hook but clips into two permanently fitted eyebolts in an emergency. As it has no hooks it is easier to lift than the Rollo ladder. The EasyScape ladders are rolled up with a backing sheet just as the Rollo to avoid snagging on the roof. To prepare the ladder for your roof window you will need to fit the eyebolts (included with the ladder) to a wall of solid construction i.e. masonry, under the window you have elected as an escape window.

Safelincs is happy to answer any queries with regards to your fire escape window. You can also send us some photos of your application and we will find the best solution for you.

Dorgard with five times the standard warranty – only from Safelincs

Now that the weather is getting warm many offices will be feeling hot and stuffy. The natural reaction to this is to open doors and windows to increase the air circulation.

However, holding self-closing fire doors open with extinguishers and other ‘handy’ objects stops fire doors closing when the fire alarm sounds. This is not only illegal, it is also very dangerous. Fire will spread rapidly should the fire doors remain open. This is where a Dorgard fire door retainer (fire door holder) comes in.

The Dorgard is designed to hold fire doors open and to automatically release on the fire alarm sounding. Dorgard is battery operated so there is no need for costly electrician bills to install the units. Safelincs offers the Dorgard with an unprecedented 5 year warranty, which is exclusive to our customers. No other distributor offers the 5 year warranty. We also ship the Dorgard free of charge and if you purchase more than 5 units, the price reduces to £94 + VAT.

Dorgard is suitable for offices, nursing homes, GP surgeries and any other site where fire doors must be held open legally. For more information about our Dorgards with 5 years warranty visit Safelincs Dorgards