Raising Awareness of Heart Rhythm Week

Arrhythmia AssociationHeart Rhythm Week is a yearly event designed to raise awareness of how to detect, protect and correct heart rhythm disorders. Taking place this year from the 1st until the 7th of June, we support this vital awareness week, helping to increase public awareness and increase the number of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) available in communities.

Would you know what to do if you witnessed someone having a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)? A survey carried out by the Arrhythmia Alliance in 2013 showed that over half of the UK’s population underestimate the importance of swift first aid for people suffering cardiac arrest. The significance of defibrillators as first aid equipment is also highlighted by some stark statistics comparing survival rates relative to the available treatment.

The chances of survival for people suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest can range from an average of just 9% for those attended to by CPR alone, to 74% for people treated by a defibrillator within 5 minutes. This statistic is a powerful indicator of the difference a readily available defibrillator can make.

Safelincs underpinned its commitment to raising awareness of this issue by running a competition for schools to win a defibrillator. We invited schools across the country to submit a short video demonstrating the benefits of having a defibrillator in their school. The winning entrant was Ravensdale Junior School, and we took great pride in presenting them with a defibrillator earlier this year. Watch their winning entry here.

For further information about defibrillators, please visit the defibrillator section on our website.

Carbon Monoxide Danger on Holiday

Family vacationA recent ruling against a well-known holiday operator has again highlighted the very real dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning for holidaymakers. The heartbreaking death of two young children on vacation with their family in Corfu occurred in October 2006. The return to prominence of this terrible and avoidable tragedy serves as a potent reminder of the risks of carbon monoxide whether at home or abroad.
Whilst general awareness of the threat posed by CO is rising, sadly most people simply fail to consider the issue when travelling. At home you are personally able to ensure that fuel burning appliances have been installed correctly and that they have been adequately maintained, however on holiday we rely on those managing the holiday accommodation to do this for us. Carbon monoxide is often cited as the most common cause of accidental poisoning. Children, babies and pregnant women are especially vulnerable, but everyone should take steps to protect themselves against the dangers of this invisible, odourless and lethal gas.
At high levels of exposure, carbon monoxide can kill within minutes. Just a single night’s sleep in proximity to a faulty boiler can prove fatal. The faulty appliance need not even be in the same room, as, frighteningly, CO is capable of reaching life threatening levels even when seeping through walls from adjacent areas.
The only way to ensure you are protected against this danger is to carry a portable CO alarm when travelling, and ensure it is active when you sleep. You may find advice elsewhere stating that colour changing dot type indicators are suitable to take on holiday, but this is simply not the case. People are by far at their most vulnerable when asleep, and these types of indicators cannot wake you in the event of carbon monoxide reaching dangerous levels whilst you sleep.
For as little as £13.67, you can ensure your family is safe from carbon monoxide poisoning throughout your holiday. Please make sure you add a carbon monoxide detector to your holiday checklist. It may be the most important thing you take with you.
For further information about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the symptoms you should look out for, please visit our CO information website.

Fire risk assessments for churches

Safelincs has produced a series of videos about fire risk assessment in churches and general fire safety specifically for those with a responsibility for churches. Starting with a three minute video examining the risk assessment process for a church, it is followed by further videos of similar length concisely covering each aspect of church fire safety. These are:

• Sources of ignition
• Flammable materials
• People at risk
• Escape plans and evacuation
• Fire Exits
• Unsupervised visitors
• Arson risks
• Emergency lighting
• Fire safety procedures
• Fire doors
• Fire-fighting equipment
• Fire detection
• Testing of fire equipment

Churches and church halls all have a legal requirement to carry out fire risk assessments. Areas that need special attention are electrical wiring and the careful management of extension leads (frequently used since churches tend not to have many power sockets). Heating systems and any additional heaters need to be regularly maintained and of course candles, in regular use in churches, need to be adequately controlled.
Churches may be at increased risk of fire is when repair or restoration work is being undertaken.

Another consideration is that more churches that are incorporating cafes and hence cooking areas.

church-fire-risk-assessments

Whatever the size or age of church, these “bite-sized” videos will be invaluable for anyone responsible for the general management of a church.

Dorgard retainers hold open fire doors safely in educational premises

University of London College HallWithin schools, colleges and other education buildings there are always a lot of people moving around, especially at the start of lectures or break times. Often they are laden down with books and files and opening fire doors along the route, from one part of the building to another, can be a big problem. The issue of opening heavy fire doors also impacts on the independent mobility of disabled students.

In situations like this, some people will find a ‘solution’, like wedging a fire door open or using an extinguisher to hold the door open. They may not be aware that this action puts them and everyone else in the building in danger and that it is in fact illegal. Buildings like schools and colleges are compartmentalised to prevent the spread of fire through the building, gaining valuable time to escape. Fire doors are part of this compartmentalisation system and by wedging them open they are rendered inactive and will not be able to offer the protection they were designed for. Wedging fire doors open is therefore a serious a breach of fire safety legislation and could lead to the head of the college, school or university being prosecuted, fined or even imprisoned.

The Dorgard fire door retainer offers here a safe and legal solution. It is a fire door holder that once fitted to the door, will hold it open in any position chosen. It then ‘listens’ for the fire alarm and on hearing it will release the door and allows it to close automatically. It offers free access without compromising fire safety. The installation of a Dorgard takes less than 10 minutes and can be carried out by any DIY person.

Dorgard can offer you a cost effective solution to legally hold your fire doors open too. University of London’s College Hall have already made the switch and are enjoying greater access throughout their building with the peace of mind that safety is still paramount and that their fire doors will close in the event of a fire.

“The Dorgard offers a low energy automatic door solution that proved to be the most cost effective way of improving access and independence for wheelchair users.” University of London’s College Hall

Keeping holidaymakers safe for ten years

villa-plusIt’s nearly ten years since Safelincs first started working with Villa Plus, a company providing over 1,250 holiday villas across 14 European destinations. Safelincs is depended upon to ensure that all Villa Plus’ accommodations are equipped with the necessary safety equipment.

Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and domestic first aid kits are sent by Safelincs to a shipping company in the UK for distribution to Villa Plus properties around Europe. The goods are packaged separately in line with each region’s requirement and labelled accordingly.

“Safelincs extensive range of safety products and their ability to meet our specific shipping requirements to different regions makes them an ideal partner to work with. As we grow and launch villas in new and existing destinations Safelincs will be a valuable provider,” says Nick Cooper, Villa Plus director and founder.

Harry Dewick- Eisele, managing director, Safelincs commented: “We pride ourselves on putting customers’ first. Building long-term relationships with organisations such as Villa Plus is a clear indication that our priorities are correct.”

New fire safety legislation for landlords

landlord-offerIn a move to increase the safety of tenants in rented accommodation, a new law will require landlords to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

The legislation, which is due to come into force in October 2015, is estimated to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. It will require landlords to ensure that a smoke alarm is installed on each storey of a premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.

In addition carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in any room which is used as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel-burning appliance. Prior to any new tenancy beginning the landlord will be required to ensure that each alarm is in proper working order.
Testing regularly will remain the tenant’s responsibility.

Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will face sanctions and could face a civic penalty of up to £5,000.

To ensure that smoke alarms are in a good working order and do not have their batteries removed by tenants it is best to install sealed longlife smoke alarms. Safelincs also offers sealed longlife CO alarms, again assuring landlords the safe longterm protection of their tenants.