Extinguishers from Safelincs save Church of England money

ParishBuying, the collaborative buying organisation of the Church of England recently carried out a survey throughout its parishes, identifying the annual amounts currently spent on fire extinguisher provision. The survey identified seriously over-inflated prices for extinguisher provision:

The vast majority of parishes would have saved significant amounts of money by switching servicing of their fire extinguishers to Safelincs who, as the Church of England’s chosen fire safety provider,  offers ParishBuying customers all-inclusive extinguisher servicing at £7.27+VAT per extinguisher (please note that there is a one-off call-out fee of £21.83+VAT).

These servicing prices are based on the traditional standard steel and aluminium extinguishers, which require yearly servicing and five-yearly refills.

An alternative offered by Safelincs and strongly promoted by the Church of England as a means of saving money and protecting the environment, are the P50 servicing free fire extinguishers. These extinguishers are manufactured in the UK and are made out of a Kevlar-style material and completely corrosion-free. They do not require servicing or refills (unless they are used, of course) for a period of ten years, saving a significant amount of money. Once these extinguishers are installed by Safelincs they only require a very simple visual check once a year by e.g. the Church Warden. The P50 extinguishers are approved by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and of course kitemarked. ParishBuying members are offered the P50 (including free site survey, installation, certification and training) for only £94.05+VAT each. Safelincs also offers free replacement of extinguishers damaged in or used on a fire.

One of the parishes participating in the above survey was chosen to receive the P50 extinguishers for free. St Margaret’s in Warnham had their eight traditional extinguishers replaced with P50s including, of course, installation, certification and training, which forms part of the standard package with these extinguishers. St Margaret’s used to pay between £500 and £749 per year for their extinguisher maintenance and will now not have to pay a penny for ten years.

In the graph below we have visualised the cost savings achieved by St Margaret’s changing from metal extinguishers to the servicing free P50 extinguishers, assuming they had not received the P50 extinguishers for free but would have had to pay for them:

St Margaret’s, when thanking for being chosen as the recipient of the free extinguishers, also commented on the professionalism and helpfulness of our engineer and service:

‘Everyone at St. Margaret’s Warnham is delighted that we are the recipient of the prize draw allowing complete replacement and installation of new extinguishers. We would wish to thank the Directors and, indeed, everyone at Safelincs for their generosity in providing such a splendid prize. As you can imagine the continuing viability of our small village church presents an ongoing struggle so the financial benefits provided through your firm is a great blessing. We would be delighted to assist in any publicity drive as a result of the competition under the Parish Buying banner or in any other way.

Please pass on our grateful thanks to all concerned, in particular to Antony who provided us with  excellent and knowledgeable service.’

More information about Safelincs fire extinguisher servicing can be found here and a description of the P50 extinguishers can be seen here. Please note: To receive the ParishBuying discounts from Safelincs, please register on www.parishbuying.org.uk

Don´t Forget to be CO Aware in the Festive Season

A lot of homes are now fitted with central heating and are so well insulated that open fires are only lit on special occasions to create a cosy ambience. For many, Christmas may be the only time they light their fire. Having open fires that are not regularly maintained could put your life at risk.

It is essential that before the festive season begins you ensure that your chimneys have been swept. This ensures that the coal and wood smoke will be expelled properly and will significantly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is also strongly recommended that you have a co alarm in every room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance; this can include kitchens with gas ovens, boiler rooms or living areas with gas or solid fuel fires.

The symptoms of co poisoning are very similar to that of flu and are therefore often overlooked. One major difference is that the symptoms, including headache, lethargy and nausea, improve when you go outside. Should you suffer from any symptoms related to carbon monoxide poisoning, do not hesitate to contact your doctor. For more information about the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or to find out more on how to protect yourself, the Carbon Monoxide Info website is full of relevant information.

Important facts presented at CO Awareness Launch

Safelincs was invited to the launch of the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week that was held at the House of Lords on the 19th of November. The week is organised by CO-Aware, a charity that supports the many victims of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, their families and friends.

A number of very important facts were highlighted during the presentations.

Impact of Long-term Exposure to Carbon Monoxide

The first of these was the long term effects for people who had suffered long-term exposure to carbon monoxide but had seemingly recovered.  There is a common perception that, if a person has been removed from the source of carbon monoxide, they will suffer no long-term problems. Brain specialist Dr Steve White gave a presentation entitled ‘Neurobehavioural problems following CO exposure’ which detailed how exposure to the gas can have a long term effects, such as deterioration of brain tissue following exposure to carbon monoxide.

He used the case study of 45 year old graduate in Boston, USA who was exposed to carbon monoxide whilst working in the kitchen of a restaurant. After a long time, it emerged that there was an appliance leaking the gas. Her initial symptoms were flu –like, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, not walking straight and bumping into things, speech and hearing problems, irritability and facial pain. Once the CO leak was removed her most obvious symptoms improved rapidly.  The lady was subsequently monitored over many months to determine any long-term impact form the poisoning.

Despite having a very high IQ, the lady, over the following months, experienced problems reading and speaking (missing words). There were incidences of memory loss, short attention span and lack of perseverance when set tasks. She also suffered bouts of depression not experienced before.

These problems were believed to be due to the damage caused by carbon monoxide to the basal ganglia of the brain.

The neurobehavioural effects of exposure will vary between individuals and will depend on length and degree of exposure.  One in three people who have been exposed to CO and seemingly recovered could experience illness symptoms about six weeks later.

Barbeques and open fires

There has been quite a lot of publicity this year around tragedies where campers have died from carbon monoxide poisoning after taking a barbeque into a tent for warmth. Mark Pratten from Cornwall Fire and Rescue is an evangelist for raising awareness of CO poisoning and has been taking the message across the county’s camp sites and caravan sites. Unfortunately, whilst people know not to take the barbeques into the tent they assume that this is due to the fire risk and that dying embers on the other hand are quite safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mark’s short talk at the launch provided previously unrecognised information. Tests carried out in Cornwall found that when a barbeque was no longer hot enough for cooking, and was in fact only very slightly warm to the touch, it was emitting MORE carbon monoxide than when it was hot, and at extremely dangerous levels.  If a tray with a warm, disposable barbeque was taken into a closed tent, the CO levels rose up to 900ppm, a level which is potentially deadly.

The same applies to embers from an open fire within a house. Their CO creation potential must not be underestimated and chimneys must not be blocked or air vents closed after a fire until all embers have completely died down. Also, buckets with hot ash must be taken out of the house immediately.

Making GPs aware

Dr Ombarish Banerjee talked about his ‘conversion’ to the awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning. Because symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic so many common health problems, most victims don’t even know they are actually being poisoned. And the same goes for doctors. It is certain that many cases go undiagnosed and are put down to a virus or something similar.

GPs perceive the problem to be rare and more likely to turn up in Accident and Emergency centres. While many doctors have CO readers these are mainly used to show people, who are giving up smoking, how their CO levels have dropped. However, these devices could also be used to assess potential CO victims; however, one must keep in mind that their readings will have dropped significantly since leaving their homes, so misreadings are possible.

Dr Banerjee has been involved in producing a video that is being sent out to GPs and other areas in the NHS aimed at raising awareness.

Other presentations at the launch included stories from victims and relatives. CO- Awareness is fighting to obtain better facilities for victims. Until the effects are more widely recognised this will be an uphill task.

Final note of caution

Positive news is that the government is looking at ways to link compulsory installation of CO alarms to the ‘Green Deal’. However, it is estimated that five million homes have poorly maintained, damaged or incorrectly installed fuel burning devices that could emit carbon monoxide. And as we live now in better insulated homes, the problem could become worse, as any carbon monoxide leakage will not be vented quickly.

The CO problem will be around for a long time yet.

Useful link: www.carbon-monoxide-survivor.com

Finally! A 10 Year CO Alarm!

The first CO alarms that we sold only had a 5 year sensor life, quiet short in comparison to smoke alarms, which have a 10 year lifespan. Then in 2008, when we started to supply Kirklees Council with well over 100,000 CO alarms, we worked with Kidde, the manufacturer, to achieve a 7 year life span for the CO alarms we supplied. This was a large step forward and achieved significant savings for our customers.

Despite the 7 year lifespan of the CO alarm there was still the issue that batteries in the units had to be changed every year or so, as CO alarms are quite energy hungry.

Now at long last there is a CO alarm that goes much further than this.

We are introducing the brand new Kidde CO alarm 8LLCO with a guaranteed 10 year sensor life and battery life! This is an extra 40% lifespan and a tremendous saving for customers, never having to replace batteries again. The alarm is perfect for landlords, housing associations, Councils and of course anybody who wants to protect their household without having to think about their CO alarms for 10 years. Please note, though, that CO alarms should still be tested regularly.

Safelincs are the first official retailer to introduce this product in the UK before the roll-out in 2013. If you wish to order or have any questions, please ring 0800 612 6537.

CO Awareness Week 2012 19th – 25th November

2012 has seen many deaths being reported in the media due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Some of the victims were campers, who were unaware of the dangers of taking a smouldering BBQ into their tents to keep warm, others were through faulty solid fuel appliances. All these tragic incidents are a sombre reminder that we should all be working hard to increase the awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO awareness week, November 19th to 25th, is about spreading information in the hope that lives can be saved. We all can take steps during this week to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. Ensure that, if you have not already done so, any solid fuel appliance are serviced or cleaned. This includes wood burning stoves, as well as open fires. Many people believe that carbon monoxide is restricted to gas appliances, but any appliance that burns gas, wood, oil or coal could give off carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide does not have any smell, taste or colour and as such is not detectable without a carbon monoxide alarm. The symptoms, which are very similar to flu, can go undiagnosed. Prolonged exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can have devastating long term effects on your health. If the levels of CO are higher the result can lead to unconsciousness in a very short period of time. This can result in death if the person is not discovered in time.

Be pro-active, if you do not own a carbon monoxide alarm, buy one during this awareness week. They cost as little as £12.99 ex VAT and are either battery operated or mains powered. You should have one alarm in each room where a solid fuel appliance is situated. If you have a tight budget, why not ask for one as a present for Christmas or buy someone an alarm as their present, they will probably appreciate it more than another pair of socks!

If you feel that you do not know enough about carbon monoxide poisoning and would like to know more, Carbon Monoxide Information is a website dedicated to providing people with  information and news about CO poisoning. Take a few minutes to have a look for yourself.

Lastly, we would like to ask you to help us spread the word about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. If we all talk to one friend or family member and ask them if they are aware about the effects of carbon monoxide, we could all be saving a life. Lets stamp out this silent killer together.

 

Safelincs help promote CO awareness with CAPT

Safelincs has entered into an agreement with the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to help it promote Carbon Monoxide awareness.
CAPT is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.

Two of the carbon monoxide alarms supplied by Safelincs will have £1 donated to CAPT for each sale.

Safelincs involvement with CAPT comes at a time when the charity is developing a DVD for parents, carers and other interested parties, focusing on the dangers of all types of poisoning. Safelincs is working with the charity to help ensure that CO poisoning is particularly highlighted and will help promote the DVD and other materials when they become available.
To help promote these important messages we have also created an information portal about carbon monoxide poisoning.