Launch of newly updated Safelincs Fire Safety Forum

Today sees the launch of our newly updated Fire Safety forum. The forum, which customers and the general public use to discuss their fire safety issues and to get answers to their fire safety questions, is now accessible from the main page of our website.

The forum features fire safety categories to make searching for answers and previous discussions easier. The categories range from fire safety advice, fire safety products, shipping products to product returns. The new forum makes joining much easier than our previous forum and posting comments and questions is now straight forward and easy to do.

There are already some very useful posts in the fire safety products section concerning smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire safes. Members have posted queries about updating their interlinking smoke alarm systems and how to add different compatible alarms to their existing interlinked smoke alarm system.

It is hoped that the new location will encourage more active discussions between users and will be a valuable source of information.

£1million fine for Shell UK

Shell Uk Limited was fined £1 million and ordered to pay £242,000 costs after pleading guilty to severe breaches of legislation relating to health and safety and the environment.

The prosecution is the result of a fire and explosion at their Bacton gas terminal that occurred on 28 February 2008. The incident happened at about 6pm and it was only due to luck that no personnel suffered any injuries.

The blast, caused by a corroded metal separator vessel allowing hydrocarbon liquid to enter a water treatment section of the plant, caused a concrete roof to blow off a buffering tank. The water that was being treated was heated in a tank as part of this process and had exposed heating elements. The highly flammable leaked hydrocarbon liquid then came into contact with the heating elements and the resulting explosion was caused.

Other offences were caused as Shell UK did not inform the Environment Agency  of the incident and allowed approximately 850 tonnes of water and foam used to control the fire to leak into the sea.

The breaches of legislation that Shell made a guilty plea to were under the the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000. There were a total of seven breaches.

The full story can be read by following this link:

Safelincs International meeting, a great sucess

Safelincs’ international representatives arrived on June 19th from Italy, France and Ireland. The biannual meeting is a platform for training and exchange of ideas and developments within the industry.

Guest speakers from some of our main fire safety suppliers Ei Electronics, Kidde Fire Safety Europe, Fireco and Phoenix gave presentations and updates on new product developments. The country representatives also gave presentations on the developments in their fire safety markets.

Safelincs’ in-house web developers demonstrated the features of the new website interface that will be rolled out to all our international partners. There was also some time for discussions on SEO, forums, marketing and special features of the new website.

During Monday evening we enjoyed a private tour at Gunby Hall, a National Trust house located 7 miles from Alford. It was built by Sir William Massingberd back in 1700 and features beautiful gardens and rare artworks. The evening was rounded off with a very enjoyable meal at the local Gunby Inn.

Man dies in food factory blaze

A fire at the Wicken Fen food factory, Duns, Scotland, has resulted in a fatality.

The fire, which started on Sunday 19th June, blazed through the single storey building at the Duns Industrial Park. At one point the fire was attended by 60 firefighters and the fire was under control by 5am on 2oth of June.

The man found dead at the scene has been identified as 37 year old Brian Newton. An investigation is now under way and anyone with any information about the fire is urged to contact Lothian and Borders Police as soon as possible.

To read the full story follow this link:

HSE investigation to follow four day blaze at chipboard factory

On 9 June, at approximately 8pm, firefighters were called to a fire at Sonae, Knowsley Industrial Estate, Kirby, Liverpool. Sonae are  manufacturers of particleboard for use in the furniture and construction based industries, using up to 98%  recycled wood in their products.

60 firefighters tackled the blaze which involved around 2,000 tonnes of wood chip contained in concrete bunkers. The fire brigade were present at the site for four days to ensure that the fire would not spread. Due to the type of fire and the construction of the concrete hoppers it was very difficult to fight the fire safely.

There is still some smouldering product in the bunkers and this is under surveillance by the fire brigade.

Sonae are already in the spot light due to various incidents that have occurred since it opened in  January 2000 . During the first twelve months of the plant being opened several fires were reported. In December 2010 two men aged 27 and 25 years old died at the plant after they fell into machinery.

Once the fire at Sonae is completely extinguished HSE will commence an investigation into the incident.

full story

New student accommodation at Portsmouth University will not have sprinkler system fitted

As the construction of a 33 storey high new  student accommodation tower block  begins, so has a row over the installation of a sprinkler system within the building.

Once completed, the structure, know as the ‘Blade Tower’, will be one of the tallest constructions in Portsmouth.  As the tower block will be 90 metres high and accommodate students who are classed as high risk occupants, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services senior firefighters are requesting that developers, Wilkin-Jones, consider the inclusion of installing a sprinkler system into the building.

The University pro-vice chancellor, John turner said “The building will not be fitted with a sprinkler system.  Stringent evacuation procedures will be in place in the new building.  In the event of a fire an automatic alarm is triggered and on detection of a confirmed fire, there is immediate evacuation of the building to a place of safety.”

High-Rise flats higher than 30 metres do, under current legislation, require to have sprinkler systems fitted. As this tower block is classed as managed accommodation and will be used as halls of residence the tower block falls into a different category and therefore sprinklers are not mandatory.

To read the full story follow this link:



False Fire Alarms Waking You Up?

This post was written in 2011. Please read our new guide to troubleshooting beeping smoke alarms.

A common complaint we hear about are smoke alarms that go off in the middle of the night. There are a number of reasons and steps you can take to minimise the possibility of nuisance alarms waking you up.

Smoke alarms with low batteries will emit a beeping sound to indicate that the batteries require replacement. Batteries are at their weakest at night when it is cooler and you can therefore get low battery warnings which can wake you up. If it is a low battery warning sound (every few minutes or so), change your batteries. Make sure you use good quality batteries, as cheap batteries may not be strong enough to power the alarm and again cause the alarm to bleep during the night .

The issue of low batteries may  also apply if you have mains powered smoke alarms, as most mains powered alarms contain a backup battery to power the alarm in case of power failure.

If a mains powered smoke alarm gives an irregular warning sound, it might also indicate that the mains power supply is interrupted. Some smoke alarms have a green LED light on the outer case to show that the smoke alarm is connected to the mains power. If the green LED is not lit it can be an indication that there has been an interruption in the mains power supply and that the alarm will be using the back up battery as the power source.

Should the alarm emit a continuous sound, check first of all that there are no signs of a fire. False alarms can be caused by condensation or insects finding their way into the alarm. To eradicate this type of false alarm try to vacuum out the inside of the smoke alarm as thoroughly as possible and ventilate the room to reduce the condensation present.

When a smoke alarm has reached the end of its life it might also start to sound an intermittent beep as and when the alarm starts to become faulty. Check the manufacturing date of the smoke alarm. Smoke alarms need replacing after ten years.

In all cases of nuisance beeping or false alarms do not disconnect your alarm or leave the alarm without batteries fitted. This would leave you unprotected in the event of a fire and you would not receive any warning to evacuate the building.

To ensure that you have done everything possible to minimise the chances of false alarms and nuisance beeping take advantage of our free reminder service to alert you to replace batteries or replace the smoke alarm unit.

20th – 26th June 2011, Child Safety Week

This Year’s Child Safety Week is looking at preventing accidents, with its ‘Take a second look for safety’ campaign. The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are encouraging everyone with children or looking after children to take a second look at their environment to ensure that the children are safe.

Accidents can, to a great extent, be prevented but despite this, accidents remain one of the biggest causes of death in children in the UK.

It does not take long to take a second look around the house to see if there are any measures that can be put into place to prevent a child having an accident. This can range from ensuring that stair gates are closed to securing the garden and can also include checking that all smoke alarms are in good working order.

Many people lead busy lives and without being reminded of these small things we would forget. If you need help with remembering to check that your smoke alarm is working or when you should change the battery in the alarm, you can register with our free smoke alarm reminder service. We will then send you a text or e-mail to alert you that the check is due. You control what check you would like to be reminded about and how often we should remind you. There is no  charge for this service, but it could save your life.

‘Take a second look’ and check that you know how you would get out of the building in case of a fire. Is there a second escape route should the main exit be blocked by fire. Check if you are able to exit through an upstairs window should the stairs be involved in the fire, do you need a fire escape ladder to aid your exit? Ensure that your children know what they should do if they wake to smell smoke or see flames. Go through these points with them and even practice the escape routine.

‘Take a second look’ to see if there are any hazards that you could reduce to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. Check your plug sockets and ensure that they are not overloaded. Are all cables to electrical equipment in good working order. Make sure that tea-towels do not hang too close to the cooker or that pans are never left to boil dry.

Make all your ‘Take a second look for safety’ activities fun and include the children. We have developed a fire safety information and activity sheet for you to down load.

Have fun with your children looking for dangers and then talking about how to prevent accidents from happening. Get your children to tell you if they see something that they think is dangerous. Children are looking at the world from a different height perspective and they may see something that an adult would miss.

We want to help you keep your children safe. If you purchase any fire safety goods or a carbon monoxide alarm from us we will give you 10% off your order during Child Safety Week.

To claim your discount, visit our website and quote CSWB at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

FIA Best Practice Guide for Responsible Persons in commercial buildings

A new best practice guide has been released by the Fire Industry Association (FIA). This best practice guide has been developed as an aid to understanding legislation and the responsibilities of the appointed responsible person for fire safety in commercial premises.

The guide was developed as it was evident that many in the role of responsible person were confused by the legislation and therefore did not have a full understanding of their role or responsibilities.

This comprehensive 28 page document explains not only where and when the fire safety legislation applies but also offers a step by step guide on how to carry out fire risk assessments.  The guide has been developed to be used alongside Fire Safety legislation and the government’s Fire Risk Assessment guides.

View the best practice guide

Alpha Fire Resistant Safes

Alpha’s range of secure fire safes has been specifically developed to provide protection from burglary and fire damage. These safes are equally suitable for both domestic and business use and their two tone finish blends in with any office environment.

The safes offer a cash cover of £2,000, which rises to £20,000 for anything stored inside that is not cash. Coupled with testing to MTS (Grade B), which provides 60 minutes protection from fire for paper documents and up to 60 minutes fire resistance for digital media such as CDs, DVDs, USB sticks and flash drives, and you will find that these safes offer very good value for money.

The Alpha Fire Safes are prepared for base fixing to solid floors and feature a specially designed hinge-door system that allows the door to remain secure, even if the hinges are completely removed from the door during an attack.

The A160FK fire proof safe comes with a high security key-lock, featuring dimple cut keys, which are very resistant to manipulation. The remaining 2 models, the A200FED and the A250FE come with an extremely reliable EDL20 digital lock. With an opening code of between 4 and 16 digits (which is very easy to change if needed), external batteries (which mean you will never be locked out due to battery failure) and individual over-ride codes (for use if the safe is locked out due to an attack), the Alpha Fire Safe range offers you security and therefore peace of mind.

The storage options on the three models are varying which enables the user to choose a size that would best suit their requirements. The A160FK is capable of holding A4 documents lying flat, the A200FED comes with 5 internal removable A4 sized drawers and the A250FE has 1 removable drawer and a removable/adjustable shelf. These features offer flexible storage solutions which will resolve any unusual needs you may have.

The product is so good that we offer not one, but two guarantees. Firstly, a 2-year comprehensive on-site warranty covering parts and labour (in the highly-unlikely event of a lock failure). Like all our fire safety products, these fire safes are also covered by Safelincs’ free lifetime “after-the-fire” replacement warranty. This means if your Alpha Fire Resistant Safe is involved in a fire, we will replace it free of charge.