Pancake Day Safety Tips

What is pancake day?

Pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, is a Christian traditional feast that takes place just before Lent. Across the world every Shrove Tuesday, thousands of people cook and eat pancakes. Pancakes are easy to make, and many children will get involved in cooking them.

Cooking pancakes is fun for the whole family, but there can be safety risks, especially if children are helping in the kitchen. If your frying pan caught fire, would you and your children know what to do?

Can pancakes catch fire?

Yes, pancakes, and more importantly the oil in which they are cooked, can catch fire. It is all too easy to get distracted lathering your pancake in your favourite topping. It doesn’t take much for a pan with oil to overheat and to burst into flames, so take care when cooking with oil.

Top Pancake Day Safety Tips

Before you get started

Ensure that you have an in-date fire blanket on hand, and that everyone in your home knows how to use it.

Fire blankets are suitable for use on Class F fires (cooking oils and fats), and should be a safety feature of every kitchen.

You will see the instructions clearly printed on the front of most fire blankets, and tutorial videos are available online. You can find more information in our fire blanket help guide.

Before pancake day, we recommend that you go through the evacuation plan for your house before cooking, to ensure that everyone knows to get out of danger quickly and safely.

You can also keep your family safe by ensuring that enough smoke and heat alarms are fitted and working in your property. Why not sign up for Safelincs’ Alarm Test Reminder Service to keep your family safe all year round?

How to extinguish a pancake on fire

Make sure everyone who will be cooking knows what to do if a pancake catches fire:

  • Stay calm and turn off any heat sources if you can
  • If the flames are still just in the pan, cover the fire with a metal lid or a fire blanket
  • If you cannot safely extinguish the fire yourself, evacuate the building and call the fire brigade immediately.

NEVER attempt to extinguish an oil fire with water, as this can cause explosions. This YouTube Video is a useful resource to share with your family.

While you are cooking

Ensure that a responsible person is supervising the cooking of the pancakes at all times.

Pancakes are simple to make and lots of little ones like to get involved on Shrove Tuesday, but parents and guardians should be mindful of the dangers in the kitchen. As with all cooking, open flames and hot pans pose burn risks. It’s a good idea to always have a fully stocked burns kit on hand in the kitchen in case accidents happen.

Turn off the heat in between ‘rounds’, when the pan is not being used.

Don’t leave the hob burning or pancakes cooking unattended

When excitement levels are high, it can be easy to forget normal safety habits. You would never leave the hob on while eating dinner – make sure it is off while you are eating your pancakes, even if you are planning to go back and make more.

Check your cooking area is clean and clear to prevent anything from catching fire.

Messy counters can be a fire risk

Keeping a clear workspace when cooking can be hard, especially with small children around. Even if you can’t keep on top of the floury counters and sticky fingers this pancake day, ensure that the area around the hob stays clear. If you put oven mitts and tea towels down next to the cooking area, this can pose a huge fire risk.

For more top home safety tips, try the home fire safety check. This free tool will help you to identify fire safety hazards in your home and offers clear tips and advice for how to improve safety for your household!

Easy Pancake Recipe

We recommend BBC Good Food’s Easy Pancake recipe for all aspiring chefs!

Enjoy pancake day and stay safe! 🥞

Who needs an evacuation chair?

It is a legal requirement for businesses to ensure that they can evacuate all occupants of their building, both employees and visitors, in an emergency. The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 states that safe and effective means of escape must be available to all building users. The Equality Act 2010 highlights the importance of recognising the individual needs of people with disabilities. Responsible persons therefore have a legal duty to install evacuation devices if they are, or could be, required.

For every evacuation device installed, at least one member of staff must be trained to use it.
Evacuation chair training is just as important as installation

If a property has stairs, an evacuation chair may be required to ensure that everyone can leave the building safely. For every evacuation chair installed, there must be at least one employee trained to use it. Visit our help guide for more information on training and maintenance.

Safe evacuation with an evacuation chair

Unless the lift is suitable for emergency use, anyone who would normally use it due to mobility issues will need an evacuation chair. Other individuals may also need support to reach safety. Not all disabilities are visible, and evacuation chairs can provide a lifeline for people in a variety of circumstances.

Employees with a long-term illness

Some people with long-term illnesses, such as MS, Parkinsons, and COPD, may need support to evacuate. Employees with long-term illnesses may not always need mobility support, but flare-ups could occur that mean support is required. Personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for these employees should reflect the needs of individuals on a case-by-case basis, and be updated as circumstances change.

People with injuries

Temporary injuries, such as fractures, may prevent someone who is usually fully mobile from being able to evacuate. Injuries which limit mobility should be addressed with temporary PEEPs. Actions to ensure the safety of the individual must be taken. It may be possible to provide the injured person with a ground floor office to enable independent evacuation. If this is not possible, an alternative option for evacuation such as an evacuation chair should be considered.

Anyone with temporary injuries may need support to evacuate

People recovering from illness

People recovering from illness or surgery may have limited mobility, and therefore need support to evacuate. Employers should conduct back-to-work interviews to determine whether an evacuation chair will be required to meet the needs of any employee returning to work following serious illness or surgery.

People with autism or other learning difficulties

Neurodivergence affects everyone differently. Some people with autism or another learning difficulty may never need support to evacuate a building. Some may sometimes need support, and others may always need support. PEEPs should be in place for employees who could or would need support due to anxiety, overwhelm, and distress caused by an emergency. PEEPs will also reveal whether an evacuation chair is suitable or could be required.

Pregnant people

Due to stress, exhaustion, or limited mobility, evacuation chairs may be required to meet the safety needs of pregnant people. This is particularly important for buildings with multiple flights of stairs. Ongoing risk assessments for pregnant employees should reflect whether mobility support might be required in an emergency.

Pregnancy can impact mobility

Partially sighted people

Some people with visual impairments may be able to use the stairs day-to-day, but would not feel comfortable doing so in an emergency due to crowds or smoke. Installing evacuation chairs to support partially sighted people to get to safety should be a consideration.

Bariatric people

Bariatric people may struggle to descend stairs safely in an emergency, even if they usually take the stairs. A PEEP should be in place for any employee identified as vulnerable during a fire drill, or through self-identification. This will reveal whether a specialist bariatric evacuation chair is required.

Geriatric people

Older people may have visual impairments, frailty, Alzheimer’s or complex health problems which limit their mobility, and ability to evacuate quickly. In public buildings such as shops, museums and community centres, as well as offices which take visitors, an evacuation chair could be required to assist with the evacuation of older people. It is reasonable to assume that visitors to public buildings would have enough mobility to use an evacuation chair. However, in a hospital or care setting, evacuation sheets should be installed for those who are bed bound, and would not be able to use a chair.

Safe Evacuation Plan

In conclusion, if it is possible that someone entered the building with a mobility aid which would not operate in the event of a fire, like a lift or escalators, you should be prepared to evacuate them with an evacuation device. PEEPs should identify requirements of employees or known building users with additional support needs, and individual needs must be met. In public buildings where the number of people needing support to evacuate is unknown, this needs to be factored into the GEEP (General Emergency Evacuation Plan). Ultimately, personal circumstances change, and anyone could need an evacuation device at short notice, so PEEPS & GEEPS should be regularly revised. Installing at least one evacuation chair in your building prepares your organisation for the safe evacuation of everyone inside.

For more information about installing emergency evacuation equipment, visit out help guide, or view our range of Evac+Chairs to find the best device for your organisation.

What is the difference between FD30 and FD60 fire doors?

FD30 Fire doos
FD30 Fire Door

Fire doors are essential for every building, preventing the spread of smoke and flames in the event of a fire. By holding back fire and smoke, fire doors provide time for building occupants to evacuate. This time also limits damage to other areas of the building. In the event of a fire, more time to escape reduces the risk of fatalities – Fire doors are given a rating (for example FD30 or FD60) which determines the length of time the fire door will hold back fire and smoke.

It is essential to install the right type of doors, based upon the findings of the fire risk assessment. It is a legal requirement to meet minimum standards of fire safety; doing so protects lives and property in the event of a fire.

What does an FD30 rating mean?

An FD30 rating means the fire door has been tested in controlled conditions, and is shown to effectively prevent the spread of smoke and flames for at least 30 minutes. Similarly, an FD60 fire door will effectively prevent the spread of smoke and flames for at least an hour. FD ratings of up to 240 are available for high-risk environments, providing four hours of protection.

Hourglass timer, showing the passing of time
Fire door ratings show how long the door will hold back fire and smoke

Is FD60 better than FD30?

FD60 fire doors can prevent the spread of smoke and flames for twice as long as FD30 fire doors. This allows them to protect life and property for more time. Whether this higher level of protection is required, however, will depend upon the findings of the building’s fire risk assessment (FRA). This considers a range of factors, including the configuration of the property, its use, and its occupants.

The fire door requirements for every building will depend upon the findings of it's fire risk assessment
The rating of required fire doors will depends on the building

If the risk level is found to be low, 30 minutes may be enough time for a full evacuation. Ultimately, whether FD60 or FD30 doors are ‘better’ will depend entirely upon the requirements identified by the FRA.

Where should an FD60 fire door be used?

In high-risk environments, or properties containing high-value goods, FD60 fire doors may be essential to provide enough time for a complete evacuation, or an investment to protect valuables.

The FRA will determine whether FD60 fire doors are required to manage the level of risk identified in a property. Appendix C: Fire Doors of Approved Document B: Fire Safety also sets out guidance for the minimum levels of protection required in different areas of a building. For example, a fire door in a compartment wall separating two buildings should provide sixty minutes (FD60) fire protection, while a fire door providing access to an escape route only has to provide thirty minutes (FD30) fire protection.

Are my fire doors suitable?

Ultimately, the suitability of a fire door can only be determined by your fire risk assessment.

Read our help guide on levels of fire door protection for more detailed information. Our friendly fire door team are also available on 0800 612 4837 to offer advice, or to provide quotes. You can also get an instant online quote for our made-to-measure or standard fire doors.

An inspection can confirm whether your fire door meets the required rating
An inspection can confirm whether your fire door meets the required rating

If you know that your doors need to be replaced with doors of a different rating, our qualified fire door surveyors can take accurate measurements for fire door frames and leaves. Click here for more information about this fire door measuring service.  If you are unsure of the suitability of your fire doors, book a fire door survey with our qualified team.

AFFF Foam Extinguishers Discontinued

AFFF Foam Extinguishers Discontinued
AFFF Foam Extinguishers Discontinued

Safelincs have discontinued fire extinguishers containing AFFF foam due to the harmful nature of fluorine compounds its fire fighting foam contains. Imminent legislation is likely to prohibit the manufacture and sale of AFFF foam extinguishers in the UK before 2026. This will shortly be followed by a total ban on their use.

What is the AFFF Foam Extinguisher?

Fluorosurfactants and perfluorinated compounds have long been used in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) extinguishing agents, a popular extinguisher media, due to its effectivity and range of applications. Suitable for use on solid combustibles and flammable liquids, AFFF firefighting foam has been the extinguisher of choice in many settings. In many cases, AFFF foam has been placed in environments where only a class A risk exists. In these locations, a water extinguisher would have sufficed.

Why are AFFF Foam Extinguishers being discontinued?

The fluorine compounds (PFAS) which equip AFFF foam extinguishers with their firefighting qualities have been suspected of being harmful to the environment and living organisms. PFAS have now been confirmed as toxic compounds, which enter our ecosystems, accumulating in water, food, and air. Evidence has arisen that the environmental presence of PFAS is detrimental to ecosystems, and to human health.

Safelincs have taken the decision to discontinue the sale of all AFFF foam and water additive fire extinguishers containing PFAS chemicals ahead of the announced legislation. The proven lasting harmful impact of these ‘forever chemicals’ is unnecessary when suitable alternatives exist that present no environmental hazards.

Eco-alternatives to the AFFF foam are more sustainable
Eco-alternatives to the AFFF foam are more sustainable

What are the risks associated with PFAS chemicals?

PFAS are slow to degrade and are often referred to as ‘forever chemicals’, meaning that they remain in the environment for a long time, negatively affecting ecosystems. For humans, the risks of PFAS include increased cholesterol, lowered immune systems, and damage to the liver, thyroid, and heart. PFAS are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and can cause irreparable damage to foetuses.

What will replace AFFF Foam Extinguishers?

NEW: PFAS Free Alternatives to Foam
NEW: PFAS Free Alternatives to Foam

AFFF foam extinguishers can be replaced with water mist in most settings where fires involving class A or electrical equipment are a risk. AFFF foam has often been placed into environments where a water extinguisher would have been sufficient to cover class A risks.  Eco-Foam Fire Extinguishers that are fluorine-free or powder extinguishers provide class B cover where a flammable liquid risk exists.

6 Ltr ExtinguisherClass AClass BOther RatingsEx VAT Cost
Water Mist
✅*electrical equipment <1000v,
C & 5F
P50 Water-Mistelectrical equipment <1000v£151.99
P50 A-Foam✅*electrical equipment <1000v£164.99
P50 B-Foam✅*electrical equipment <1000v & 25F£183.99

*Please note: although these extinguishers have been tested on Class B fires and found to be effective against them, British Standards do not currently allow the certification of B ratings for water-based extinguishers. The B symbol therefore cannot be displayed on the cylinder.

View our full PFAS-Free fire extinguisher range here.

What is the environmental impact of AFFF Foam’s alternatives?

Water Mist extinguishers contain only de-ionised water, making them completely non-toxic and environmentally safe. These units therefore remain the most eco-friendly option, and are suitable for most office environments. The fluorine-free foams are significantly more environmental than AFFF foam extinguishers but are subject to water hazard class and therefore must be disposed of professionally when discharged.

P50-Water Mists provide an environmentally friendly alternative to AFFF Foam in many settings
P50-Water Mists provide an environmentally friendly alternative to AFFF Foam in many settings

Will the phase out of AFFF Foam compromise fire safety?

No, water mist and other fluorine-free foam extinguishers are an effective alternative for tackling fires involving common fire risks. Fire safety will not be compromised by new legislation, while environmental safety and sustainability will be improved.

When will AFFF Foam extinguishers be discontinued?

Safelincs have taken the decision to discontinue all AFFF foam and water additive fire extinguishers containing harmful PFAS chemicals ahead of the announced legislation.

Following a pre-study on the dangers of PFAS and a consultation procedure, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has now submitted its regulatory proposals. A transition period is expected to begin early in 2024, with manufacture and usage restrictions being steadily introduced over the next 5 years. Some manufacturers, such as Britannia, have already stopped production of AFFF extinguishers. We expect that the use of AFFF Foams will be completely banned by 2028.

My organisation has AFFF foam extinguishers installed, what should I do?

If your organisation has AFFF foam extinguishers which will soon expire, these will need to be replaced. AFFF foam fire extinguishers and all other water additive extinguishers containing PFAS chemicals will soon be subject to further legislation restricting their sale and use. Choosing to upgrade to an environmentally friendly alternative now will save you money, and reduce the environmental impact of your business.

Contact our team  for specific advice to support your business to transition to environmental alternatives. The best replacement for your premises must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, as this depends upon the risks identified at your site. For more complex sites, an extinguisher survey may need to be carried out to ensure all risks are being covered. Alternatively, Safelincs offer a free P50 Fire Extinguisher survey for those thinking of transitioning from steel extinguishers to P50s.

CO and AFFF extinguishers will be replaced with multipurpose alternatives
CO and AFFF extinguishers can be replaced with multipurpose alternatives

For more information about our extinguishers or to book a site survey to find the best solution for AFFF foam replacements, contact our team on 0800 612 6537, or use our online chat system.

Safelincs Win ‘Fire Safety Project of the Year’ at the Fire & Security Matters Awards

Fire Safety Project of the Year: The Home Fire Safety Check tool developed by Safelincs in conjunction with the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) and Fire Kills, has been recognised for its innovation and importance at the national Fire & Security Matters awards. This free online resource has been created for fire services to assist the public with home fire safety. It also enables fire services to identify homes which may need more support.

For the ‘Fire Safety Project of the Year’ award, 14 finalist organisations were invited to the black-tie awards evening. Safelincs are incredibly proud to have received this award in recognition of our contribution to this important public resource.

What are the FSM awards?

Western Business Media and the Fire Industry Association organise The Fire & Security Matters Awards. These awards recognise excellence and innovation in the fire and security sectors.

What is the ‘Fire Safety Project of the Year’ Award?

This award category recognises a project which has delivered significant improvements to fire safety in relation to people and/or premises. Judgement is based on how the project has made a positive impact, including evidence of measurable improvement to fire safety.

This award recognises the time and expertise donated to this project by Safelincs. It reflects their commitment to the HFSC tool, which has already begun to impact the prevention of domestic fires. The free to use tool allows Fire Services to support the public to carry out fire safety audits in their homes. Individuals can identify whether they need support, while receiving personalised fire safety advice.

Upon receiving this prestigious award, Rik Stuart, Web Developer for the project has said “Safelincs are immensely proud and honoured to receive the Fire & Security Matters Fire Safety Project of the Year award for the Online Home Fire Safety Check. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Safelincs, the National Fire Chiefs Council and Fire Kills in providing an online system that continues to identify those at risk of fire and provides fire safety advice to homes in England.”

Safelincs win FSM Fire Safety Project of the Year Award

What is the HFSC?

The HFSC tool is an interactive assessment tool with which the general public can assess the risks of home fires. It offers personalised fire safety advice, while referring households at significant risk to their local fire service for additional support. The tool enables fire services to use their resources effectively, and to provide guidance to vulnerable households that it identifies.

“We are extremely proud of all the hard work, innovation and commitment shown by our team to deliver a bespoke cost-saving solution to our National Fire and Rescue Services. This award reflects that effort, and provides them with the recognition that they deserve. It has been our pleasure to work with the National Fire Chief’s Council over the last few years on this project, and to donate our development team’s time and resources in support of their hard work and effort. We are committed to providing the NFCC with support and expertise long into the future to support their ambitions, and improve fire safety support for the general public.”

Stuart Baxter, Managing Director

Home Fire Safety Check Tool
The Home Fire Safety Check Tool

The Role of the HFSC in Fire Prevention

The HFSC has become a valuable resource for fire services in England. Since the launch of this tool, more than 62% of fire services in the UK have already ‘onboarded’. A further 19% are in the process of ‘onboarding’; 96% of all UK fire services have shown an interest. Between September 2021 and March 2023, 38,128 individuals used the tool, enabling FRSs to reach a larger group of people and clearly identify vulnerable households. Other agencies, such as the ambulance service, carers and housing associations, are now using the tool to assess the level of fire risk within the households they have contact with.

Safelincs strives to provide essential public resources for the improvement of fire safety. This award reflects not only Safelincs’ ethos, but their rising impact across the fire safety industry.

A Carbon Monoxide Alarm – The Ultimate Travel Essential

Why is a carbon monoxide alarm an essential item for your travel packing list? Over 4000 people in the UK visit A&E each year with carbon monoxide poisoning. With gas safety regulations in place here, CO poisoning is still the cause of more than 100 deaths annually. In travel destinations with fewer regulations, the risk of poisoning could be even higher. Carbon monoxide has no colour or smell, making it impossible to identify without a CO detection device. The only way to protect yourself and your travelling companions is to carry a carbon monoxide alarm.

packing essentials CO alarm
Packing Essentials

Which Carbon Monoxide Detector Should I Take on Holiday?

At less than £20 a unit, we recommend the pocket sized Kidde 7CO Carbon Monoxide Detector as the perfect travel companion. Fitting neatly into even the smallest of carry-on luggage or weekend bags, this product is kitemarked to BS EN 50291-1:2018 (domestic use) and BS EN 50291-2 (camping, caravanning and boats). The device is easy to use, and runs on two AA batteries which are simple to replace. With its free standing design and 10 year lifespan, the Kidde alarm is a travel essential. These devices are an investment in safe travel for holiday makers, back packers, and business trippers alike. View more alarms in our travel carbon monoxide detector range.

The Kidde 7CO Alarm is ideal for travel

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which can cause fatal poisoning if inhaled. It can be released by faulty appliances such as gas boilers, gas cookers, gas or paraffin heaters, wood, gas and coal fires and portable generators. Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure can include headaches, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, confusion, shortness of breath, and even chest pain. These symptoms can be subtle and intermittent, so may go unnoticed until harm has been caused. As carbon monoxide is odourless and therefore undetectable to humans, a CO alarm is the only way to detect deadly CO gas, and so should be the number one holiday essential on your packing list.

Signs of Carbon Monoxide in Holiday Accommodation

There are warning signs of a carbon monoxide leak:

  • Black or sooty stains on or near the appliance
  • Excessive condensation or smoke in a room
  • Boiler pilot burning orange flames instead of blue

If your holiday accommodation shows any of these signs, you should contact the person responsible for the property immediately.

It is important to remember, however, that leaks can occur very suddenly. An awareness of the signs of carbon monoxide presence is not enough to keep you safe – an alarm like the Kidde 7CO Carbon Monoxide Detector is the only reliable way to identify this toxic gas.

What Should I Do if I am Exposed to Carbon Monoxide on holiday?

Carbon monoxide poisoning is always a risk when traveling, whether you are staying in a hotel, boat, tent or caravan. If your alarm goes off while you are on holiday, or if you identify warning signs and suspect that you have been exposed, do not panic, but act swiftly. Contact with this deadly gas can become serious very quickly. You should:

Open windows if you suspect CO is present
  • Extinguish all naked flames and not use    matches or lighters.
  • Don’t switch any electrical appliance on or off.
  • If possible isolate the gas supply.
  • Open all doors and windows to allow ventilation.
  • Go outside into the fresh air and seek medical attention if required.
  • Contact the people responsible for your accommodation urgently to report the problem.

A Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a Travel Essential!

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is a very real danger for all travelers, no matter their destination or accommodation choice. The toxic gas is undetectable by sight or smell, and can cause irreversible harm in a short space of time. An affordable detection device like the Kidde 7CO Carbon Monoxide Detector should therefore be considered as important as your passport for your next holiday checklist!

Safelincs: SME Employer of the Year

In 2022, Safelincs were delighted to receive the prestigious SME Employer of the Year award. We topped tough competition to win this important national accolade, and are proud of the team that made it possible.

Safelincs Win SME Employer of the Year

What are the SME National Business Awards?

The SME National Business Awards recognises outstanding achievement by small and medium-sized enterprises across the country. The EU defines SMEs as organisations with fewer than 250 employees, and a turnover of less than €50 million.

Employer of the year 2022

Safelincs topped 18 other finalists to win Employer of the Year. This award came at an exciting time for Safelincs, as our continued growth leads to further expansion of the workforce. As a major employer in the local area, Safelincs are pleased to be able to offer exciting opportunities to both Lincolnshire-based and national candidates looking to join their fantastic team.

SME National Business Awards

Introducing Safelincs

Based in Alford, Lincolnshire, Safelincs is a forward-thinking fire safety provider with a dedicated team of more than 80 staff. Offering over 6000 products and services nationwide, we are proud to support our staff to deliver excellent customer service and advice, and high-quality fire and safety products.

Safelincs’ Employment Ethos

We believe that having confident and supported staff is key to customer satisfaction, business development, and productivity. This ethos starts with our induction programme, through to building long-term working relationships with the wider team. As MD, Harry Dewick-Eisele has said, ‘our staff are at the heart of our organisation and are a true credit to the success that the business has been able to achieve. We have grown 30% year on year for the last 4 years’

Safelincs are proud to celebrate high levels of staff retention. This reduces recruitment costs and allows us to invest in our current staff through training. ‘We want to ensure that all of our staff are empowered to excel in what they do’, says HR Manager, Angie Dewick-Eisele, ‘this could mean supporting them to further develop their skills through training and offering career paths and progression opportunities. Or, offering pastoral support through our Wellbeing Team and social activities.’ Safelincs empower staff to highlight courses and training topics that they feel will underpin their roles throughout their employment, to ensure that every member of the Safelincs team can improve and progress.

Join the Safelincs Team

As a growing business, we are often recruiting for talent across a diverse range of roles: from admin and marketing, to servicing and warehouse operation. If you’re looking for your next challenge, and want to be a part of Safelincs’ mission, visit our Jobs Page.