P50s find their way into a country retreat

An eighteenth century listed building, with an interesting history and visitors that have included Jacqueline Kennedy and Noel Coward, is the latest in a long line of establishments to take advantage of the cost savings that accrue from the installation of P50 fire extinguishers.

Turville Grange, near Henley in Oxfordshire, is the country retreat of an influential American family. The estate covers several sites including a large regency style house and is used by the family as a residence for around six months of the year. It is looked after by seven full time staff.

Buildings of this nature have high running costs and every effort is made to reduce expenses. One of the costs is fire safety; fire extinguishers are spread across the property and, over and above the initial outlay, the cost of having them serviced annually was a drain on the maintenance budget. Through a chance acquaintance, Safelincs was recommended as a company that might be able to offer a more economical solution.

Safelincs introduced the management at Turville Grange to the P50 extinguisher. Manufactured entirely from materials that will not rust or corrode, these appliances do not require an external annual service; a simple yearly check easily undertaken by one of the building’s own employees is all that is required. They also do not require a refill after five years like traditional extinguishers. Instead, after ten years, they are factory-refurbished and can then be used for a further decade.

“Installing P50 appliances will save us hundreds of pounds in maintenance costs,” said Adam Brimley, who manages the estate. “In addition, Safelincs gave us invaluable advice on the placement of the extinguishers that enabled us to significantly reduce the numbers that are required.

“Safelincs were clearly more interested in giving us good service than selling us more extinguishers than we needed.”

If you want to benefit from the cost savings the P50 extinguishers offer, contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 or email support@safelincs.co.uk, our professional advisers are happy to help.

Bournemouth University cuts extinguisher maintenance costs

bournemouth-universitySafelincs has installed several hundred P50 service-free extinguishers at Bournemouth University’s campus in Poole. The new appliances replace units that required annual servicing by an external maintenance company. P50s are corrosion-proof and do not require maintenance by an extinguisher engineer or a discharge test over their entire 10 year lifespan. Instead, they only require an annual visual inspection which can be carried out by the university’s staff.

After 10 years the extinguishers can be factory-refurbished for another decade of service-free life. (At the end of their life they are recyclable). Manufactured in the UK, the extinguishers are Kitemarked by BSI to EN3.

Included in the purchase price of the extinguishers is a site survey, the installation and certification of the P50s and a concise training session for the staff members that will be carrying out the annual visual inspection. Brackets and signage are, of course, also included.

“Whilst the P50s are more expensive than standard extinguishers, significant savings will be made due to us not having to bring in external engineers,” explained Rick White, Maintenance Services Manager at Bournemouth University.

“The annual check is very straightforward and can be undertaken by our own people. All the administrative hassles of booking external maintenance are a thing of the past.”

If your organisation would like to benefit from this cost saving solution, please contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 or email support@safelincs.co.uk and we will advise you about the best solution for your organisation.

Keeping property guardians safe

home-safety-kitRising rents are forcing many people in the UK to consider other options – such as becoming property guardians. They move into abandoned homes, maybe for a month, maybe for years. From the owner’s point of view, an occupied building is less likely to be burgled or destroyed; the guardians obtain low-cost accommodation.

Safelincs works with a property management company that specialises in bringing together owners and potential guardians. There are thousands of empty properties in the UK, including flats, houses, churches, libraries and offices. They may be empty for many reasons – waiting to be sold, waiting for planning permission, or needing to be looked after while the owners are overseas. The property management company puts these buildings back into use, helping both the property owner and people looking for short term, low-cost accommodation.

For some time, Safelincs has been providing bespoke fire safety equipment kits which the company issued to its live-in guardians. These consisted of a fire blanket, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, smoke alarms, a CO alarm, a wind-up torch and a bespoke fire action sign. The company recently decided to take its fire safety provisions to an even higher level and approached Safelincs to work out a solution.

Risk assessments are now carried out on all properties where guardians are being installed. This assessment identifies the fire safety equipment required for each individual property. Safelincs then supplies the appropriate fire safety services and equipment including fire extinguishers, appropriate signage, smoke and CO alarms (usually radio-interlinked), door closers, fire door accessories and other fire safety equipment. By working with Safelincs, the company is able to create a more bespoke fire safety plan for each property.

Safelincs provide sensible and practical advice for the safety equipment required at each location. Its role has become more that of a strategic partner than simply a supplier.

Extinguisher run over by van – still pressurised!

We were always convinced that our P50 service free extinguishers made from a Kevlar-type aramid were almost in-destructable. Nevertheless, when one of our engineers was visiting one of our customers, a refinery on the east coast, he was surprised when he was handed a fire extinguisher that had been run over by a van and that it was still fully pressurised!

crushed-p50-1crushed-p50-2crushed-p50-3

This is not that surprising when you know that 1 in 500 of these extinguishers are tested by pressurising them 12,000 times from zero bar to 25 bar. And after they have undergone this harsh test, they are crushed flat by a steel blade before being re-inflated without being allowed to leak at 55 bar!

The P50 service free extinguisher is suitable for the harshest of environments, including outdoors.

Fire Extinguishers in Churches

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!

 

Cuts Put Lives at Risk Warn Fire Chiefs

Fire brigade leaders from cities including Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool are warning that more people will die in house fires if government ministers push ahead with cuts to fire services.

An article in the Independent (22/9/12) reported that the warning was contained in a submission to a review of spending by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and seen by Exaro, the investigative website.

In the past financial year fire authorities cut 2,172 jobs, including 1457 firefighters, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Unions and managers both believe if cuts continue response to incidents will be slower and attendance levels will shrink as capacity is stretched – increasing risk to the community and firefighters.

However, a DCLG spokeswoman said it not accept cuts could not be made without affecting the front line. “Savings can include more flexible staffing arrangements, better sickness management, sharing back-office services, improved procurement and sharing chief fire officers and other senior staff.”

Taking precautions

Whichever side of the argument one takes, the debate should encourage people to ensure all the necessary precautions have been taken to safeguard their homes. At a time of year when fires are ignited, electric blankets switched on and candles lit, it is especially important to ensure that all the necessary safety measures have been taken.

One of the most obvious steps to take is to ensure that smoke alarms are fitted on every level of a property.  There are many different types available to suit all budgets and requirements.

A battery operated device with a five year guarantee can be purchased for under £5. Radio interlinked devices, whereby a device being activated in one room triggers the alarms in other areas, are more expensive. Heat alarms are recommended for kitchens as they won’t be set of by cooking fumes. Smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing feature high-intensity strobe lights and vibration pads.

Whilst the majority of homes now have smoke alarms fitted it is important that they are maintained properly. The batteries should be tested regularly and replaced according to manufacturer’s recommendations. And the unit should be replaced after ten years as the sensors cannot be relied upon beyond this time. A free reminder service on the Safelincs website reminds people by text or email when each of these activities need to take place.

Mains alarms

There is a misconception that mains smoke alarms last forever. This is not the case. Just like battery systems the sensor cannot be guaranteed to be effective beyond ten years. However, anybody with an Ei /Aico 140, 150 or 160 Series alarm system can purchase the Easichange product. This allows the main part of the alarm, containing the sensor, to be replaced leaving the base unit in place. The procedure can be simply carried out by the householder without the expense of calling in an electrician.

Fire extinguishers

Many people like the peace of mind of having a fire extinguisher in the home and there are many domestic versions now available. One of the most interesting new products on the market is the Jewel Water Mist extinguisher. This can be used on just about every type of domestic fire, including deep fat fires, and can be safely operated around electrical appliances.

The extinguisher works by dispersing microscopic ‘dry’ water mist particles to suppress fires and extinguish burning materials very rapidly. There are no chemicals involved, so it is 100% environmentally friendly. Should the extinguisher need to be discharged in a cooking area there is no danger of contaminated food. And there is no risk to children.

When purchasing any type of extinguisher you should familiarise yourself with the operating instructions. Fire extinguishers will work well on small fires but if they spread there is no alternative but to get out and call the fire service.

Protecting your kitchen from fire

Whether at work or in the home, it is easy to equip your kitchen with adequate fire safety measures and it does not have to be expensive.

Blankets
A fire blanket is an excellent extinguisher for small fires that break out on hobs and in pans and should be present in every kitchen. A fire blanket excludes air from the fire, thereby starving it of fuel and extinguishing it. If a pan catches fire in your kitchen, turn off the heat (where possible without risk to you) and cover it entirely with the fire blanket. Always leave the fire blanket on the source of fire until everything has cooled down to room temperature! Do not be tempted to remove the fire blanket before cooling down fully, as hot fat might re-ignite.

Extinguishers
Another good fire extinguisher option for a small kitchen is an ABF rated foam fire extinguisher as it is ideal for tackling fires where fats are present. Larger kitchens will most likely require the specialist wet chemical fire extinguishers designed to deal with larger pan fires and industrial deep fat fryer fires. Another alternative are dry water mist fire extinguishers. These are excellent on fat fires but can also be used on almost all other fire risks found in a building and are entirely non-toxic, which is important in industrial kitchens. If you have expensive electrical items in your kitchen you might also like to consider buying a CO2 fire extinguisher as well as it will reduce any potential damage to your electrical appliances. CO2 extinguishers only contain an inert gas and do not leave any residues. Please note that CO2 fire extinguishers might still damage sensitive electronic equipment through thermal or electrostatic shock.

Alarms
If you enjoy cooking, you will know just how quickly a normal smoke alarm goes off when your kitchen fills up with steam and smoke or smoke billows into adjoining rooms. It is for this reason that kitchens should only be fitted with heat alarms. A heat alarm only triggers an alarm when the temperature rises above 50 to 60°Celsius or if the temperature rises rapidly, so you can rest assured that it will only sound when there is an actual fire. Rooms and hallways close to kitchens should be fitted with optical smoke alarms rather than ionisation alarms, as they are less prone to false alarms.

If you are unsure about the best fire safety for your property, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

 

CO2 fire extinguisher horns

Unlike other types of fire extinguishers, CO2 extinguishers feature a discharge horn as opposed to a hose.  When a standard CO2 extinguisher horn is installed, it is fitted semi-tight, so that it can be swivelled  but still holds itself in the chosen position.  This is because during operation, the CO2 extinguishing agent causes a standard CO2 horn to frost over.  If the horn is held during this time, it can potentially injure the user through freeze burn. An even better solution to this problem is to buy CO2 extinguishers with frost-free horns. These can safely be touched when fighting the fire, giving the user a lot more control when  deploying the extinguisher. All Safelincs 2kg CO2 extinguishers have frost-free horns as standard.

Although the standard swivel horn is a popular choice and an economical solution, it does not have the necessary characteristics to protect the user from freeze burn injuries.  The frost free horn is double lined and therefore has the insulation to eliminate these risks should the user accidentally hold on to the fire extinguisher horn during discharge.
5kg CO2 fire extinguishers are much larger in size and the discharge component for this is a hose and horn assembly.  This does not have a frost free-horn, however, the horn features an integrated handle for safe use during operation.
Should you wish to upgrade the horns on any 2kg CO2 extinguisher to the frost free double lined horns these can be found in the tools and spares section of the website.

Ultrafire ECO Refurb CO2 Fire Extinguishers Save More Than Just Money

The new ECO Range of refurbished co2 fire extinguishers from Ultrafire are the perfect solution for customers looking to protect themselves from class B fires and potential electrical fires without spending a fortune.

Produced in accordance with BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment) the Ultrafire ECO CO2 fire extinguishers are of the highest refurb quality. The principles of refurbished CO2 fire extinguishers provide environmentally friendly results, CO2 being a ‘clean gas’ and recycling the bodies of CO2 cylinders for a second, third and fourth use reduces the manufacturing of new aluminium bodies.

The low cost of the Ultrafire ECO Refurb CO2 Fire Extinguishers is also another very attractive angle on these units, at just £21.00 ex VAT for the 2kg model and £45.00 ex VAT for the 5kg extinguisher.

View our full range of CO2 fire extinguishers to see what extinguisher best suits your requirements!

New 10 Year Extinguishers without any Maintenance Costs!

We can now offer our customers a new type of fire extinguisher that will help them save hundreds of pounds!!! Safelincs have become the exclusive online retail partner for britannia Fire, distributing their new Fireworld extinguisher, a 10 year guaranteed fire extinguisher that does not require servicing, hence saving substantial amounts of money year on year.

britannia Fire, based in Norwich, is a long standing manufacturer of fire extinguishers in the UK and has been supplying the MOD, the public sector and the fire safety industry since the 1970s.

The extinguisher is durable and light, using Kevlar (usually associated with bullet-proof vests) to manufacture the extinguishers inner core. The steel cylinder of traditional fire extinguisher’s has been replaced with a composite polyethylene plastic shell, providing UV protection, preventing corrosion and providing substantially better durability in comparison. This plastic shell is then used to protect the Kevlar core from the elements and allows the Fireworld extinguisher to be confidently installed in external locations.

The extinguisher has taken 5 years to develop and has gone through the most rigorous testing to ensure that it meets and even exceeds all standards for a fire extinguisher.  The extinguishers are certified to the EN3 standard and have a ten year manufacturer’s guarantee as well as a ten year service-free life. The extinguishers durability is tested by pressurising the canisters with 25 bar pressure over 12,000 times! They then have to withstand being crushed flat by a blade before being filled again with over 55 bar without being allowed to burst. britannia’s Fireworld extinguishers are made to last!

This Fireworld extinguisher range does not require an annual service call-out from an extinguisher engineer and refilling or replacing after five years. All that is required for these extinguishers is for the business owner or the chosen competent person to carry out the manufacturer’s simple 3 step self-maintenance check. The checks are then recorded in the fire log book and on each extinguisher.

The britannia Fireworld extinguishers are also covered by a ‘free after fire replacement’ should the extinguisher ever be used to tackle a fire or get damaged in a fire Safelincs will replace the unit within 7 days free of charge.

Safelincs offers free delivery, a free site survey and free installation with the extinguishers to ensure that our customers install the extinguishers in the correct quantities and in the best locations.

This revolutionary service-free fire extinguisher is only available online from Safelincs Ltd.