How to stay safe from fire in your home

A domestic fire is perhaps the most terrifying event that you could imagine happening to you in your home. Sadly, such occurrences do happen; therefore, you need to make sure that your home and family are suitably prepared to deal with any fire that may develop.

Here are some basic, yet essential safety suggestions that can help to ensure your household is as prepared as possible for any fire-based incident.

Install smoke detectors
Without doubt, smoke detectors are the very best form of defence when it comes to fire safety. Indeed, suitably placed smoke detectors will alert you to a fire in your home before you are able to see, hear or smell it. Ideally, smoke detectors should be placed on every floor of your home and in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms or even in bedrooms. Ideally smoke alarms want to be interlinked with wire or radio-frequency to ensure an alarm is heard in the entire house. To ensure they remain in good working order, smoke detectors need to be tested when the clocks are changed (every half year) and have the batteries replaced at once a year.

Develop an escape strategy
Regardless of how big or small your home may be, it is vital that you and your family draw up an escape strategy that you all understand. This means planning at least two escape routes from each occupied bedroom and buying fire ladders for upstairs bedrooms. It also means that every member of your household knows basic safety procedures like checking doors for heat before opening them and crawling on the floor to stay out of the smoke. Obviously, it is important to practice your strategy every now and then so that everybody remembers exactly what they need to do.

Buy fire extinguishers
Having a fire extinguisher or two at hand can be essential as they can help to ensure small fires don’t turn into big blazes. Always keep one suitable extinguisher in the kitchen as this is the room where most domestic fires start. Get into the habit of checking your extinguishers on a regular basis – this will give you peace of mind that they are in good working order.

Use your common sense
Far too many domestic fires happen as a direct result of residents doing things which they simply shouldn’t do. For example, aspects like smoking in bed and positioning portable heaters next to flammable objects really is asking for trouble. Do not plug too many plugs and extensions in sockets.

Explore our pages further to find out more about the importance of being suitably prepared for domestic fires and view our great range of safety products in greater detail.

New Evacuator Site Alarms

Recently Safelincs added several new site alarms to their range. These included the Evacuator Site Guard call point and push button alarms, the Evacuator Tough Guard and the newly released Evacuator Tough Guard Wireless.

All four of these alarms are designed for use in building and construction sites, temporary marquees, camp sites, markets etc. where installing a permanent fire alarm system would be impractical and unnecessarily costly.

The Evacuator Site Guard is ideal for less harsh environments, such as camp sites and markets, while the Evacuator Tough Guard is perfect for busy building and construction sites where it may encounter water, dirt, dust and debris. The Tough Guard features an IP56 rated weatherproof enclosure that copes with harsh weather conditions and the occasional knocks and bumps it may have to endure.

These battery powered alarms can be used as standalone units or linked using 2 core wire. Running interlink cables all over a busy construction site may not be safe or practical, and this is where the new Tough Guard Wireless comes in. The Tough Guard Wireless has all the strength, durability and weatherproof protection of the standard Tough Guard with the added benefit of completely wireless interconnection to other Tough Guard Wireless units. The amazing 18,000m wireless range, long life battery and extremely loud 118dB sounder make these alarms an essential piece of safety equipment for any situation.

Take a look at the new models in our site alarm product range.

Fireproof storage to keep your Items Secure

Protecting valuables and important documents from fire is an important part of disaster recover for most businesses and even households. At Safelincs, we provide a wide range of fireproof safes, boxes, filing cabinets and fireproof cupboards to suit various industrial, domestic and commercial applications.

To meet the requirements of the business or consumer in question, we offer bespoke solutions for your fireproof storage. Typical documents requiring fire protection include insurance policies, wills, cash, contracts and certificates. However, backup tapes, backup drives and CDs also need protecting to allow a quick business start after a fire has hit.

Our fireproof boxes and safes are available in various sizes and can offer fire and water protection from thirty to ninety minutes.

Fireproof boxes:

Fireproof boxes have a top opening lid, can usually be carried and offer little protection against theft. However, they offer a cost-efficient solution when you are trying to protect a small number of documents against water and fire.

Fireproof safes:

We offer front opening fire safes which offer not only fire protection but also a degree of theft protection. Fireproof safes are front-opening and come in various versions:

–  Fireproof safes for paper and valuable protection. These fire safes protect paper from charring

– Fireproof safes for digital media, which keep the temperature low enough to protect electronic data carriers , such as CDs, hard drives and USB sticks

– Fireproof safes for data tapes, which keep the temperature of the safe in a fire low enough to even protect fine data tape or photographic film, which is very temperature sensitive.

Fireproof filing cabinets:

Fireproof filing cabinets are installed where large amounts of documents must be protected against fire while keeping the files accessible.

Our ‘refine your search’ tool will help you identify the right fire safe for you out of the huge and sometimes confusing selection of fire safes.

If you have still questions, please ring us and our friendly customer care team will help you choose the right safe.

 

Servicing and fire risk assessments from Safelincs

At Safelincs, we are dedicated to fire safety. We provide over 3500 different fire safety products and services, such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets, smoke alarms, evacuation equipment and various other products to ensure that businesses and households around the UK are prepared and protected in the event of a fire.

Ensuring that any fire safety equipment in your premises is fully serviced is essential. Regularly having your fire extinguishers, fire blankets and other equipment serviced guarantees that, in the event of a fire, you can count on your equipment to protect your employees, colleagues or family.
We can provide fire extinguisher and fire blanket servicing to our clients, carried out by certified and approved BAFE engineers. Our service is transparently and competitively priced, so it is simple and convenient for you to request that we service your fire extinguishers or blankets on your premises, thoroughly and professionally.

Safelincs also offer a fire risk assessment service, whereby a member of our nationwide team of qualified risk assessors will visit your premises and carry out a meticulous assessment of the area. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 changed fire safety legislation for business premises, meaning that fire certificates are no longer required; so it is now your responsibility to ensure that your place of work is regularly assessed for fire risks.
If you would like to find out more about our equipment servicing or fire risk assessment services, please contact us.

How many fire extinguishers do you need to install?

We created a short and simple calculation guide to allow you to work out how many fire extinguishers you need. If you know the floor space of your premises you can easily work out your class A requirement for fire extinguishers. We also added simple pointers helping you to identify further risks, such as Class B requirements, electrical risks and specialist risks such as Class F in kitchens. At the end you can work out what type of extinguisher you need and how many extinguishers you require.

 

Lead the way with fire safety signs

It is essential to ensure that any employees and visitors on your premises can clearly see where the fire exits are located in the event of a fire. By installing fire escape route signs, you can assist with the safe evacuation of everyone on your premises, no matter where in the building they may be.

At Safelincs, we provide a wide range of fire safety signs, including fire exit signs, fire extinguisher signs and no smoking signs. These signs are essential in every commercial and industrial building.
– Fire exit signs can inform everyone on your premises exactly where the designated fire exits are located. We can supply your business with photo-luminescent escape route marking and fire door signs which highlight the precise route for exiting the building.
– Fire extinguisher signs are various types of fire extinguisher, which are suitable for tackling different kinds of fires. Fire extinguisher signs can be mounted alongside a fire extinguisher to indicate which type it is, and help you to tackle a fire more safely and efficiently.
– No smoking signs and designated smoking area signs can contribute to your fire safety strategy. Whilst they cannot assist with escape route planning, these signs can remind people of the law and prevent the likelihood of a fire starting due to a lit cigarette.
For more information on our selection of fire safety signs or to place an order, please visit the fire safety signs section of our website.

Another tragic death due to carbon monoxide

This weekend the tragic death of a teenager occurred whilst she was camping with her family in Shropshire. The cause is thought to have been carbon monoxide poisoning. The other family members were found unconscious in the tent and taken to hospital.

The carbon monoxide poisoning is believed to have originated from the smouldering embers of a disposable BBQ, which was seen in the porch of their tent. Carbon monoxide can not be seen or smelt. It is paramount that in order to prevent tragic deaths like this, campers are made aware of the dangers of taking cooking equipment into tents for either cooking food or for warmth.

Camping in the UK is slowly changing, as the temperatures are remaining low longer and dropping at night. Anyone planning a camping holiday at this time of year should ensure that they have adequate bedding to keep warm at night and hat they have some form of outside cover to enable them to use BBQs and cookers a safe distance away from the tent, even when it is raining.

Taking a BBQ or cooker into a tent can cause the carbon monoxide to accumulate and linger even once the appliance has been removed. This can then render the occupants unconscious or even cause their death once they go to bed.

Our safety tips are simple: NEVER take a cooker or BBQ into your tent to cook food or as a source of warmth. ALWAYS cook a safe distance away from your tent to prevent any CO from being blown into your tent space.

Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and irregular heart rate. If you or any person in your tent has these symptoms, seek medical advice.

For more information about carbon monoxide visit www.carbonmonoxideinfo.co.uk

Which type of smoke alarm should I use?

Smoke alarms are the most essential components in any fire safety strategy, whether in commercial or domestic properties.

There is a wide range of smoke alarm models available designed to suit various circumstances. It is therefore important to ensure that you purchase the correct model for your requirements, in order to ensure your smoke alarms operate as efficiently as possible.

Below is a summary of the various smoke alarm models featured on our website:

Optical smoke alarms are suitable for general use and are especially suitable for detecting smouldering fires caused for example by smouldering soft furnishings. They are also not too sensitive to false alarms from burnt toast, making them ideal in hallways (near kitchens), living rooms and bedrooms.

Ionisation smoke alarms are able to detect the change in the behaviour of the air in case of a fire. Fast flaming fires, such as burning waste paper baskets, are easily detected by ionisation smoke alarms and we recommend ionisation smoke alarms for use in offices or on landings. Please note that ionisation smoke alarms contain a small amount of radio-activity. If you wish to avoid this, choose optical smoke alarms instead.

Heat alarms are designed to detect the increase of temperature caused by a fire and do not cause false alarms. They are especially useful in dusty or smoky areas, such as kitchen and garages. They do, however, not cover very large areas, so cannot really be used for larger parts of a building.

Multi-sensor alarms combine the features of optical and heat alarms, resulting in rapid fire detection and a reduced risk of false alarms. They are suitable for living rooms, bedrooms, hallways and landings but should not be used in kitchens.

If you require further advice on which smoke alarm design is suitable for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We also publish a guide on the different smoke alarm technologies.

For warehouse areas and industrial properties we offer more fire detection technologies and central alarm panle systems.

Do you have a home fire escape strategy?

If you and your family get caught up in a fire in your home, you must get out immediately. The best way to do this is to implement a pre-arranged escape strategy.

The plan
Draw up a plan of your home and mark out escape routes from everywhere in the house. Make sure you determine at least two escape routes from each bedroom (usually window and door). Be clear about where everyone is to meet once they’re out of the house (i.e. a neighbour’s house, a road sign, a tree etc). Ensure you and your family practice your escape plan and carry out a fire safety risk assessment regularly.

Children
You must impress on your children the importance of not hiding away in a wardrobe or under their bed if a fire breaks out. If they are hiding, it will be much harder for you or a fire fighter to find them when searching the house. You must also explain to them that even though a fire fighter may look a little bit scary in his breathing apparatus, they should run towards him rather than stay away from him. Reassure children that it is quite okay to break a window if there is a fire.

Escaping
If there is a fire in your home, stay calm and respond in the following manner:

If you are asleep and get woken by a smoke or heat alarm, get out of bed and crawl to your bedroom door along the floor. It is cooler and easier to breathe at floor level. Gently touch your bedroom door. If it feels warm to the touch, don’t open it. If the door feels normal, open it, but do so very slowly as there may still be intense heat on the other side. If the landing is full of smoke or if you can see fire, close the door and use your secondary escape route to get out.

When leaving your property, stay low and close doors behind you. Closed doors will help slow the spread of the fire. Once you are out of the building, go to the designated meeting spot and make sure everybody is accounted for. Phone your local fire and rescue service from a neighbour’s house. No one should go back inside the property until the fire service says it is safe to do so.

If you can’t get out of the house because of heat or smoke and you’re stuck in an upstairs bedroom, cover any cracks under the door to prevent smoke from entering and then open a window to call for help. Do not try and exit the window unless you have a valid means of escape or unless you have no other choice.

Having an effective, simple to follow fire escape strategy can not only save the lives of you and your family, it can also provide you with great peace of mind.

Explore our pages further to find out more about domestic fire safety.

Know where you’re going

Emergency lighting comes into play when the normal mains-powered lighting fails and is essential for providing adequate light to allow people to evacuate the building safely in the case of a fire. As a minimum requirement, buildings must have emergency lighting installed across all the escape routes and exits from every area of the building, with the lighting being of adequate intensity for people to see where they are going, and a minimum backup duration of 1 to 3 hours. As an employer, it is your legal responsibility to ensure that this is in place as part of your fire safety procedures.

When deciding where to install emergency lighting, take into account any hazards that there may be along the evacuation route, such as corners, stairways or uneven flooring. You must also ensure that exit signs, fire alarm call points and equipment used for fire fighting, such as extinguishers or fire blankets, are adequately illuminated to be easily seen or located. Fire exit signs and emergency lighting from Ringtail are one of the best ways of ensuring that the fire exit is as visible as possible.

As with all fire safety equipment, regular testing of your emergency lighting must be carried out to ensure that it is working correctly. You should test that the lights are triggered when the mains supply is cut, and also that all the lights are illuminated as they should be. You will need to test your lighting once a month and do a full discharge test once a year. Log the results as any other fire safety equipment tests.

More information can be found in our emergency lighting guide.