What’s it for?
Fitting exit hardware devices provide the users of a building with a safe means of escape without compromising the security of the building by persons without authorisation. Along with emergency and panic hardware installed internally, access locks and digi-locks can be installed on the outside to allow authorised access.
What is emergency exit equipment?
As a rule of thumb emergency latches and bolts are used in non-public areas where escape routes are well known by the building’s occupants and the exit hardware is familiar. Emergency exit devices are usually push pads fitted with either rim latches or shoot bolts.
What is panic hardware?
Panic hardware, including panic bars (also called panic latches and panic bolts) are suitable for public areas. Panic hardware is designed to cover the full face of an escape door so that in an evacuation with the ensuing panic the doors will always open open, even if people are pushed hard against the door. All products suitable for ‘panic’ situations should be certified to EN1125:2008.
What is a latch or bolt in terms of exit hardware?
Latches and bolts are two terms that are often banded around when discussing exit hardware for fire exit doors. The terms can be misconstrued but in actual fact are quite simple and we have all seen examples of them in buildings. A latch product has a rim latch that retracts when the push bar (panic hardware) or the push pad (emergency hardware) is pressed. A bolt device has vertical shoot bolts that are normally in the locked position and retract from the frame at the top and the bottom of the door when the push bar or the push pad is de-pressed. Emergency hardware suitable for installation should be certified to EN179:2008.
For more information on a range of panic bar and emergency pad devices take a look at a fire exit equipment range.
Please note: The Redlam Panic Bolt, while called a ‘Panic’ bolt by everybody in the industry, is actually only an ‘Emergency’ bolt and should therefore not be used in public spaces.
Fire extinguishers in churches and cathedrals are important to protect the often invaluable historic artefacts and mostly wooden internal structures. However, the extinguishers must be chosen with care. A well publicised case, where the extinguishers became the problem rather than preventing one, was the vandalism caused by two teenagers in a church in Spalding in 2006. In this case a powder and a water extinguisher installed in the kitchenette were set off. The powder and the water reacted to form a slightly acidic mixture which formed a hard crust. Valuable church fixtures, including the organ had to be restored at a cost of £240,000.
Powder extinguishers, while being excellent on forecourts, engine rooms and car parks, where they are valued for their rapid knock-down of flames from a variety of sources, are not really suited for indoor locations. The fine powder can obstruct vision and lead to inhalation of the powder. The powder will also attack electronics, soft furnishings and causes damage to wood and metal, especially when moist.
What alternatives are there?
In principle, water based extinguishers (water, water spray, ‘dry’ water mist) and foams are suitable, although foams contain
chemicals that might be harmful to metal and wood. Please note that water extinguishers with additives can also cause damage. CO2 extinguishers, while leaving no deposit, are not really suitable for the type of fire risks in churches and can unfortunately be misused to intimidate people with their roaring discharge and the massive temperature drop the discharge causes.
Where traditional extinguishers requiring annual servicing are required , the E-series ‘dry’ water mist extinguishers from Jewel are perfect, as they create a very fine mist with much smaller water mist particles than those generated by normal water spray extinguishers. These extinguishers are also suitable for all common fire risks found in a church, including electrical risks (even up to 1000V, as long as a safety distance of 1m is adhered to). The mist is so fine that the damage to paintings and structures is limited and no puddles are formed. The extinguisher can also be used on clothing, wall-hangings and carpets.
Where in-house servicing of the extinguishers is required, often to help reduce costs , the Britannia P50 maintenance free foam extinguisher can be installed instead. It is suitable for the majority of the fire risks found in churches, however, its deposits are harder to clean up and potentially corrosive. After the initial install and certification carried out by Safelincs, the extinguisher only requires yearly visual inspection by the Church Warden. No refill after five years is required and the extinguisher does not require a service engineer for ten years!
Today is Pancake Day or otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday. If you are going to be cooking delicious pancakes today make sure that you follow some simple fire safety tips to make sure the day does not go up in smoke.
- Never leave the stove unattended, not even for a minute.
- Make sure that the fat in the pan does not smoke. If it does, remove it from the heat and wait for it to cool before adding your pancake mixture.
- Make sure that all tea towels and oven gloves are well away from the stove.
- Supervise children at all times.
- Ensure that your smoke alarms and heat alarm are in good working order. If you do not have smoke alarms fitted, fit one today. Early warning of a fire could save your life.
- If the pan catches fire DO NOT move it. If safe to do so, turn off the cooker and use a fire blanket or ‘dry’ water mist extinguisher if you have one.
- If it is not safe to extinguish the fire, evacuate the building and call the fire brigade.
Knowing how you would evacuate your home in the event of a fire will help increase your chances of escaping a fire. If you have children, talk them through the escape plan and practice what you want them to do.
Safelincs have exported 500 Keyguard key boxes to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for countrywide use in schools.
The key boxes allow storage of emergency door keys for restricted exit doors in all of the UAE’s educational establishments. If the keys are needed in an emergency, a snatch-off plastic window cover allows quick access. Unlike some types of key boxes, Keyguards do not require a hammer to break the cover. There is also no risk of cuts from broken glass, as the entire unit is made of plastic. Replacement windows are, of course, available from Safelincs.
UK manufactured Keyguards are available in red and green and can also be purchased with an integral electronic alarm to deter unauthorised use. They are also available with a switch allowing connection to existing alarm equipment.
The Saffold fold-out ladder, normally used as a fire escape ladder fitted to the side of a building, has long been used as an access ladder for flat roofs and platforms. The ladder can also be used for access to refrigerators mounted at the top of refrigeration trailers. The fold-out ladder is easily bolted to the body of the trailer and is locked while not in use. If the driver needs to access the fridge, the lock is undone and the ladder is opened up. This allows easy and safe access to the cooling unit. To increase protection even further, the top of the ladder can be extended for additional support. Any questions, please ring 0800 612 6537
According to statistics published by the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 2012, around 80 people die each year in in the UK after their clothing catches fire.
If your own clothing catches fire you should take the following course of action:
- STAY where you are—moving or running feeds air to the flames and worsens the fire.
- DROP to the floor—if you stand up, the fire can burn your face. Fold your arms high on your chest to protect your face.
- ROLL slowly on the floor or ground, in a rug or blanket if you can.
- COOL off as soon as possible with water for first and second degree burns. *
If you are in the position of helping somebody else whose clothing has caught fire you should apply the steps above. In addition there is one type of fire extinguisher that can be recommended for such a situation. See the video.
The Jewel E-Series Water Mist Fire Extinguisher is a new type of extinguisher, which works by dispersing microscopic ‘dry’ water mist particles to suppress fires and extinguish burning materials, The speed at which it takes effect, combined with the rapid cooling it induces, make it the perfect extinguisher to have to hand should a fire of this nature break out.
Jewel E-Series Water Mist Fire Extinguishers are the first broad-spectrum fire extinguishers. They can be used on almost every common fire including deep fat fryer fires. They are perfect for kitchens, as they contain no harmful substances and leave no residues. The extinguisher’s supersonic nozzle disperses microscopic ‘dry’ water mist particles to suppress fires and extinguish burning materials. The 35kV dielectrical test ensures that the extinguishers can be safely used near electrical equipment.
*In a serious fire room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. This heat can melt clothes to a victim’s skin. Never peel the clothing off – leave the treatment to medical professionals.
When buying a fire safe it can be quite confusing and difficult to work out which safe offers the best value in terms of storage volume available for the sort of money you want to spend. To help you select the most economic fire safe we have created a comparison chart that allows you to immediately select the best fireproof safe for the amount of money you have available or, alternatively, to select the cheapest safe that achieves the necessary space requirement to fit in all your paperwork and (hopefully) valuables.
Each safe is represented on the chart and you can click straight from the chart dot to the relevant product to have a closer look. Should you still struggle to make up your mind, our filter function on every fireproof safe page will help you to narrow down your choices.
The British Standard requires stored pressure powder, foam and water extinguishers to be discharged and re-filled after 5 years (this is called the ‘extended service’). At this point, the extinguishers get discharged tested, inspected, filled with fresh extinguishing medium and re-pressurised. However, some of the larger extinguisher servicing companies choose to spread out this extended extinguisher service evenly over the five years. That means that 20% of the extinguishers are refilled every year, starting after year 1 (even though the extinguisher is nearly new). Over a period of ten years, a common life span for many extinguishers these days, this results in 80% more extended services, 80% more chemicals than really needed and a massive increase in costs to the customer! And all to make life easier for service engineers and extinguisher maintenance companies.
Safelincs has long denounced this practice and is only carrying out an extended extinguisher service when the full five years for the extended service are up. We never try to increase our income by adding unnecessary refills. Buy fire extinguishers and all related services from Safelincs, knowing that we will offer you substantial cost savings for all your fire fighting needs and that we will always act ethically.
Safelincs is very happy to be leading the way by supplying two innovative types of fire extinguisher – the Jewel Water Mist Extinguisher and the Fireworld P50. Both are attracting attention from those with an interest in fire safety. But what are the considerations when deciding which type to buy?
Here we examine the benefits of each type of extinguisher and consider where they might best be utilised.
Water mist extinguishers (also called E-series or ‘dry’ water mist extinguishers) have a supersonic nozzle that disperses microscopic ‘dry’ water mist particles to suppress fires and extinguish burning materials quickly and easily. The nature of these particles means that they can be used on just about every type of fire, including fat fires. The ‘dry’ mist is 100% environmentally friendly as it is just de-ionised water. There are no nasty fumes or residue to deal with – it is a clean way of tackling a fire – and the water mist also protects the user from heat.
The speed at which the water mist smothers the fire, as demonstrated in this video, is very impressive. The fine mist also suppresses and minimises the acrid smoke generated by the fire.
The water mist extinguisher is proving popular in hotel and restaurant kitchens where even a deep fat fryer fire can be quickly dealt with. But what makes it so appealing is that there are no fumes or residue to clear up. Using a powder or foam extinguisher, even on a minor fire would leave a lot of mess.
This would mean throwing away any food in the vicinity and maybe even having to temporarily close the kitchen, causing inconvenience and loss of revenue.
In a recent hotel fire, a croissant placed in a toaster designed for bread caused a fire to break out. The water mist extinguisher quickly put out the fire and, after it had been inspected and PAT tested, the toaster was put back into service.
The lack of residue also makes these extinguishers popular in museums and heritage buildings. Very often, when fires occur, the process of extinguishing them can cause more damage than the fire itself. In an environment where valuable paintings or artefacts are present the opportunity to install an extinguisher that will minimise residual damage is attractive.
The one litre version is fast becoming a favourite for use in the home. The water mist extinguisher will cope with any likely domestic fire and there are no residual fumes that would harm children.
Where fire extinguishers are installed there is a requirement to have them serviced annually by a qualified engineer – an expensive business.
But this is where the Britannia Fireworld P50 comes into its own. It has been designed so that it requires only an annual inspection which can easily be carried out by a member of staff. (There’s even a demonstration video on the Safelincs website). Unlike most extinguishers it does not need refilling after five years. And the P50 is guaranteed for ten years, after which time it can be refilled and used for a further ten years.
So, after the initial outlay, there are no costs for the next ten years
The Fireworld P50 comes in foam and powder versions so any organisation currently using these types of extinguisher has the opportunity to switch and drastically reduce their bills.
Safelincs is the Church of England’s chosen fire safety provider and recently installed eight P50s at St Margaret’s Church in Warnham. Previously St Margaret’s was paying between £500 and £749 per year for its extinguisher maintenance but will now not have to pay a penny for ten years.
The other significant advantage of the P50 lies in its construction. The main body is a strong composite plastic which is reinforced with the material from which bullet proof vests are made. The metal fittings are brass which means that there is nothing in the extinguisher’s make-up that will rust or corrode.
Hence the extinguisher is ideal for outdoor use or anywhere that might be subject to moisture such as farms, swimming pools, oil rigs, wind farms, garage forecourts, railway stations and building sites. And it is very tough and won’t dent in the way that metal extinguishers would.
P50 also finds favour with environmentalists, both for it being 100% recyclable when it reaches the end of its life and for the reduction in miles travelled by engineers.
Help is at hand
At Safelincs we believe that both these types of extinguisher offer significant advantages. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss further the merits of each extinguisher to help you decide which is best for you.
We occasionally get asked by our customers, if we could pre-service, or pre-commission our fire extinguishers for them prior to shipping. This practice, explicitly forbidden for all registered fire safety companies, involves a visual inspection and then labeling of an extinguisher with a signed off service label at the RETAILER’S warehouse. While this sounds like a clever practice, it is a service we would never offer to our customers. Apart from the fact that the British Standard BS5306-3:2009 specifically requests on-site commissioning to be completed AFTER all transport involved, the practice of pre-commissioning puts the customer both at the risk of injury and exposes them to substantial legal liabilities.
The main risk to the functioning of a fire extinguisher, and the reason for the requirement for extinguishers to be commissioned on site is damage during transport.
Handles can get bent with the biggest risk being the safety pin being bent to a degree where it cannot be removed in an emergency. The latter event happens when cheap fire extinguishers rest on their heads in transit. Be careful when purchasing extinguishers online from less professional suppliers, as they often use mild steel pins that bend easily. Safelincs’ fire extinguishers, on the other hand, are 100% protected in transit by special head protectors or the use of stainless steel pins with extended diameters so that the pins can never bend in transit.
Another transport risk is leakage of CO2 fire extinguishers in transit. CO2 fire extinguishers do not have pressure valves and only a careful weight test during commissioning (removing the horn and measuring with precision scales) will reveal any loss in pressure and weight.
The other strong rationale for proper on-site commissioning is that customers require a certificate by an engineer to state that their premises are covered in accordance to the British Standard. A sticker on the extinguisher does not certify that the extinguisher is installed in the correct position or that it is in fact the right extinguisher for the risks present at the location.
All of this means that by taking a shortcut buying pre-commissioned extinguishers you are putting yourself at risk of liability if a faulty extinguisher is the cause of a failed attempt to put out a fire, resulting in loss of property and possibly injury or death. An insurance company might not pay out for damages, if the extinguishers on site were not correctly commissioned.
Safelincs has long been addressing this issue and offers all its extinguishers with an optional ON-SITE commissioning or installation/commissioning service. Our BAFE certified engineers will visit you and commission or install and commission the extinguishers at your premises. If the commissioning and installation option is chosen, our engineer will survey your site to make sure you have the correct extinguisher provision, fit the extinguishers brackets in the correct location, certify the extinguishers and label and sign each extinguisher. You are then fully covered for all eventualities.