Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?

The installation of maintained or non-maintained emergency lighting should be decided based upon building type, its occupants and its usage.

What is the difference between maintained and non-maintained emergency lights?

Maintained Lights

Maintained emergency lighting is on at all times. These lights are mains powered and used as part of the normal room lighting system. However, should the mains power fail, it will stay lit for a specific duration powered by a back-up battery.

Maintained lighting could include lit fire exit signs, bulkhead lighting or recessed downlights.

This type of emergency lighting is generally used in non-residential places of public assembly such as leisure centres, cinemas, shopping centres etc. In public venues where the normal lighting is often dimmed e.g. cinemas, theatres or bars, maintained luminaries are always required.

Non-maintained Lights

Non-maintained lighting only comes on for a specific duration when the power supply to normal artificial lighting fails. These light fittings are powered by a battery that is charged from a constant trickle of mains power. This battery should have enough charge to remain lit for a duration of 3 hours if the mains power fails. Regular testing of emergency lighting is required to ensure that it is working and will be effective in an emergency. Read more about testing and maintenance.

Non-maintained emergency lights are normally suitable for buildings which are usually lit when occupied, for example, workplaces, offices, and schools.

Illuminated fire exit sign next to a door

Can an emergency light fitting be both maintained AND non-maintained?

Yes. Maintained emergency light fittings or signs used as part of a normal room lighting system can also be wired to perform as a non-maintained fitting if required. This especially useful if your property has multiple uses, where you have a mix of maintained and non-maintained lighting requirements, only one type of light needs to be purchased. Many maintained fittings are available as switchable units, meaning they can be switched between maintained and non-maintained modes using an ordinary light switch. However, non-maintained light fittings cannot be wired for use in maintained operation.

If you are unsure which emergency lighting is best for your environment, it is best practice to conduct a fire risk assessment. This must be conducted by a ‘competent person’. A specialist risk assessor will advise the most suitable option in line with the current regulations if your organisation cannot complete this in house.

Fire Risk Assessments
Fire Risk Assessments
  • On-site fire risk assessment (FRA)
  • Expert advice from our qualified fire risk assessors
  • Comprehensive report with clear indications of areas for improvement
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Watch our video to learn the difference between maintained and non-maintained emergency lighting

Which type of emergency lighting do I need?

British Standards guidelines 5266-1:2011 requires emergency lighting to be installed in all high occupancy residential, public or commercial buildings. It outlines the duties of the ‘Responsible Person‘ and focuses on emergency lighting fixtures ensuring escape routes are illuminated when the mains power fails. There are often more specific requirements given by local authorities in each area; check your local government website for more information.

Whether maintained or non-maintained emergency lighting is needed is largely a question for fire risk assessors based on each individual property. If non-maintained lighting is deemed sufficient, it is also worth considering the reduced environmental impact and lower energy cost of using non-maintained lighting over time.

Help guides

More information about all aspects of emergency lighting can be found in our emergency lighting guides.

British Standards

There are various British Standards that set out the regulations for emergency lighting where further guidance can be sought:

  • BS5266-1 Code of practice for emergency lighting of premises sets out general guidance on what emergency lighting should be provided in each environment
  • BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8 Emergency escape lighting systems details minimum emergency lighting provision and testing for each type of environment

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Reasonable Adjustments in Schools

According to the Equality Act 2010, schools and educational premises have a duty to make reasonable adjustments where necessary for anyone with a disability. So, what is a reasonable adjustment in schools? And, what can schools and universities do to improve access for all and meet fire safety requirements in education?

What is a reasonable adjustment?

The Equality Act 2010 tackles disability discrimination in schools and other organisations or businesses across society. It sets out a responsibility to remove barriers experienced by someone who has a disability. Anyone who has a disability should be able to receive the same service as far as possible as someone who is not disabled. What is considered a ‘reasonable’ adjustment will depend on things like the size of the organisation, and the money and resources available. It will also depend on the needs of the individuals who attend the setting.

Reasonable adjustments and fire safety in education

According to current fire safety regulations, it is the duty of the Responsible Person for the building to provide a fire safety risk assessment that considers the needs of all of its users. It should contain an emergency evacuation plan for all people likely to be on the educational premises. This includes anyone who is disabled or has additional needs. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) also supports these regulations.

Evacuation chairs are a reasonable adjustment
An EVAC+CHAIR can be used to safely evacuate anyone with a permanent or temporary mobility impairment in an emergency

The reasonable adjustments in schools need to meet legal requirements for disability and fire safety, and depends on what is set out in your fire risk assessment. It will also depend on the needs of the individuals who attend your school or university.

What examples are there of reasonable adjustments in schools or higher education establishments for fire safety?

A reasonable adjustment can be:

  • A change to the way things are done such as a change to a rule or policy. For example, this might involve a change to an escape route.
  • A change to a physical or architectural feature in a building or outside areas. This could include using a fire door retainer on internal fire doors to allow easier access for all or installing visual fire alarm beacons with louder audible sirens for anyone who has a hearing impairment.
  • Provision of extra services or aids. This could include providing an evacuation aid such as an evacuation chair.

The type of changes and extra aids or services will depend entirely on your circumstances and the needs of the individuals who attend your school or university. Fire safety requirements will be set out in detail in your fire risk assessment and should be implemented.

Fire door retainers and the Equality Act 2010

Fire door retainers such as Dorgard are a cost-effective and easy to install solution for improving access for all in schools and universities. Fire doors are a necessity in many buildings but can be a barrier to anyone with a mobility impairment as they are heavy to operate and difficult to manoeuvre in a wheelchair.

fire doors in education
Fire door retainers can improve access for anyone with a mobility impairment

Dorgard is certified and tested to British Standards EN1155:1997 and EN 1634. It is a legal solution for holding open fire doors. This allows easier access for everyone including any disabled users with a mobility impairment. When the fire alarm sounds in your building, Dorgard will release the fire door so that it closes and provides the usual protection. You should never wedge or prop open fire doors using an uncertified device or object. The fire doors will be unable to provide any protection if they are open when a fire starts.

Fire door retainers can be a reasonable adjustment
Dorgard Fire Door Retainers are widely used in education

The University of London’s College Hall has found Dorgard to be an effective solution to accessibility in their building.

“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

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Why is my smoke alarm beeping?

Is your smoke alarm beeping in the night and keeping you awake, or disturbing your day? Whether you have mains powered, interlinked smoke alarms, or battery powered smoke alarms, follow our guidance below to troubleshoot the beeping.

What sound is your smoke alarm making?

Smoke alarm sounding continuously

  • First check there is no smoke or fire in your property
  • Make sure the beeping is definitely coming from your smoke alarm. Other alarms in the property such as a carbon monoxide alarm or burglar alarm could be responsible for the noise.
  • Clean the alarm if it is dusty or dirty. Vacuum around the alarm or use a hairdryer to blow out dust on a cool setting.
Replace by date on the back of a smoke alarm | smoke alarm chirping in the night
Replace by date on back of smoke alarm
  • Check the replace by or manufacture date on your alarm. Smoke alarms usually last for a maximum of 10 years, so if the manufacturing date is approaching 10 years or more than 10 years, it’s time to get a new smoke alarm. Sensors inside the alarm deteriorate after this time causing the alarm to be less effective.
  • Check the position of your alarm. There are different types of smoke alarm suitable for specific locations in your home. Find out more below about positioning your alarm.
  • Your smoke alarm may be damaged or have developed a fault. Exposure to water, fire, grease and certain types of paint can cause a fault to develop. If there is a fault, replace your smoke alarm immediately to protect your home and family.

Smoke alarm chirping intermittently

  • Replace the battery* in your smoke alarm. Ensure you are using the correct battery type and are inserting it the correct way around. If the battery is low, it is more likely to sound at night as a drop in room temperature can impact the battery’s ability to power the alarm.
  • Check the manufacture date on your alarm. Smoke alarms usually last for a maximum of 10 years, so if the manufacturing date is approaching 10 years or more than 10 years, it’s time to get a new smoke alarm. Sensors inside the alarm deteriorate after this time causing the alarm to be less effective.
  • Your smoke alarm may be damaged or have developed a fault. Exposure to water, fire, grease and certain types of paint can cause a fault to develop. If you suspect a fault, replace your smoke alarm immediately to protect your home and family.

How to stop wired alarm chirping intermittently

* All new or recently extended homes should have mains powered, interlinked alarms fitted which also have a back-up battery. Intermittent chirping in mains-powered alarms is often caused by low power in the back-up battery.

Replacement batteries for smoke alarms

Smoke alarms usually require either Alkaline AA batteries, an Alkaline 9V battery or a Lithium 9V battery. Buy replacement smoke alarm batteries as soon as possible to ensure that your family would be alerted to a fire in your home.

Mains powered smoke alarm need replacing?

Whether your smoke alarms are mains powered or battery powered, they should be replaced after 10 years due to a deterioration of the sensors. Battery alarms are easily changed and installed, but how do you replace a mains powered alarm? Most mains powered alarms can be replaced without the need for an electrician if you purchase the exact same model, if still available, or an Easichange® replacement where applicable.

Discontinued smoke alarm need replacing?

If you need to purchase a replacement alarm, but find that your existing model has been discontinued, we have a dedicated collection of replacement smoke and heat alarms. This range consists of models specifically chosen to be the simplest, most direct replacement alarms that can often be installed without the need for an electrician.

Related help guides:

Preventing false alarms

The type of sensor an alarm has determines where it should be positioned in the home. False alarms may be due to the wrong alarm type being used in or near a steamy, dusty or smoky environment.

  • Heat alarms are more suited to areas such as the kitchen or garage that are often smoky or dusty. Other types of sensors would be prone to false alarms in these areas.
  • Optical smoke alarms are ideal for bedrooms, living rooms and ground floor hallways.

To avoid causing false alarms or affecting the performance of an alarm, it is good practice to avoid installing alarms in the following locations:

  • Next to a door, window, air vent or fan that would create a draft
  • Outside
  • Anywhere that airflow would be obstructed by curtains or furniture
  • Locations that are steamy or humid such as a shower room

Find out more about positioning your smoke alarm in your home or take a look at our help guides for more information about types of alarm sensor.

Always ensure you act as quickly as possible to change or replace a defective smoke alarm to keep your home and family safe. If you require any further assistance, contact our customer service team on 0800 612 6537 or email

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Educating residents on the importance of fire door regulations for flats

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, which was implemented on 23rd January 2023 sets out new fire door responsibilities for Responsible Persons of multi-occupied residential buildings. Part of these new responsibilities involves inspecting flat entrance doors and educating residents about the importance of fire doors. We explore these new fire door regulations for flats and give guidance about implementation and what is expected from the Responsible Person.

What are the new fire door regulations for flats?

From January 2023, the following fire door regulations apply to any residential building with more than 2 dwellings:

  • Residents should be provided with information about the importance of fire doors to ensure that they are being used correctly. Distributing our free Residents Fire Door Fact Sheet among your tenants could save lives.
  • Regularly inspect all fire doors (as specified by your fire risk assessment) and record evidence of the inspections. This free fire door inspection checklist can be downloaded and used as a template to record inspections. Using a Fire Door Gap Gauge will help to effectively measure gaps around the sides and top of fire doors to ensure they are within the required limits.

These additional regulations apply to buildings over 11 metres in height:

  • Every 3 months, the Responsible Person must check all fire doors in communal areas of the building.
  • Annually, the Responsible Person should make ‘best endeavour’ checks on every flat entrance door within the building.

What is a ‘best endeavour’ check for flat entrance doors?

Under these new fire door regulations, checks on flat entrance doors must be carried out once a year. The Responsible Person must therefore make a ‘best endeavour’ to gain consent from the tenant to enter the property. This is essential for Responsible Persons to be able to carry out their legal duty to check fire doors.

Permission to access flats must be sought in advance of the intended inspection, with at least 24 hours’ notice. This should be requested multiple times. If residents are unresponsive, supplement with educational material on the importance of fire doors and new legislation to encourage cooperation. Make contact in writing, either via email or dated written letter, to keep a record of ‘best endeavour’ attempts to inspect flat front doors.

The importance of fire doors in flats

Example of Fire Door Keep Shut sign

Fire doors save lives: Flats that open out into communal areas are legally required to have FD30 ratings. This means that they can withstand fire for at least 30 minutes. If a fire starts in one flat, the fire door will stop flames and smoke from spreading to communal areas and corridors. This provides enough time to for residents to escape the building safely. The responsible person has a legal responsibility to make sure all fire doors are in good working order. They must also ensure that that fire door regulations are followed at all times in the building.

Keeping fire doors closed: A fire door can only contain a fire and smoke if it is closed. Fire doors should always be fitted with a door closer to ensure that the door automatically closes after use. If residents prop open fire doors for any reason, the door will not work. This means that the building’s safety will be put in jeopardy.

Educating residents on the importance of fire doors

Information about the importance of fire doors must be available in communal areas. Ensuring residents are aware of the importance of keeping fire doors shut can be challenging, especially if tenants change frequently. Displaying information in communal areas can encourage tenants to work together to keep the building safe. Ensure that new tenants have been made aware of fire safety procedures when they receive they keys, as it provides an opportunity to ask questions.

Are door closers required on flat doors?

Door closers are required on flat doors to ensure that they are shut when not in use. If door closers are not installed, or have been removed or deactivated, the door may be open in a fire. This will allow smoke and flames to spread throughout the building.

Disengaged fire door closer
Fire doors cannot effectively prevent the spread of smoke and flames if they are not properly maintained

Residents and fire door accessibility issues

Due to their heavy construction and required door closer, fire doors may pose accessibility problems. This can affect disabled residents, those with impaired mobility, older people, or those with young children. In these circumstances, fire doors can seem impractical and a barrier to free movement. Where flat entrance doors are fire doors, tenants may try to find a solution to help them it more easily. Common misuse in this way involves doors being wedged or propped open for convenience, or fire door closers being disengaged.

Fire door propped open

Without effective fire doors in all parts of the building, everyone’s fire safety is compromised. Further to this, the Responsible Person may be liable for prosecution under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Retaining fire doors in residential blocks

There are a number of solutions available that allow fire doors in residential buildings to be held open safely in normal day-to-day use, but will close the fire door when the fire alarm sounds. In BS 7273-4: 2015 Critical (Category A) areas, such as stair wells, it is paramount that fire doors are maintained and effective at all times to slow the spread of smoke and flames throughout the building.

Fireco’s Pro Fire Door Retainer System is one example to enable fire doors to be safely and legally held open, without compromising their effectiveness in a fire, even in Category A areas. This system can be configured with any proportion of Dorgard Pro or Freeswing Pro units to suit the needs of the building, with up to 500 devices in one system. Fire door retention improves ventilation and ease of movement within a building, which reduces temptation for residents to illegally hold them open.

This wireless fire door retainer system is operated by a control hub, which is wired directly into the building’s fire alarm system. During a fire, the fire alarm is activated, and the hub signals every device in its system to release the fire doors, causing them to close. The optional InSite Site Manager cloud remote management system gives you the ability to check the system status, including the status of each individual component, from anywhere.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Top Christmas Safety Tips

Make sure your home is a safe space for you, your family and friends over the festive period by following our Christmas safety advice. Christmas trees, decorations and celebrations can increase the risk of a fire starting in your home. Following these Christmas safety tips and having some key safety items to hand will help to ensure you can relax and enjoy the festive season.

Christmas safety tips fairy lights
Christmas tree lights can be a fire hazard

Christmas fire safety tips

Christmas trees

Real Christmas trees catch fire very quickly when they start to dry out. Always stand your tree in water to keep it fresh for as long as possible and position your tree away from heat sources including open fires. Never smoke or place candles near your Christmas tree.

Keep a Water Mist Fire Extinguisher close to hand. This versatile extinguisher will quickly and effectively extinguish a Christmas tree fire as well as most other fire risks found in the home including electrical fires. Water mist extinguishers contain only deionized water and so do not leave any messy residue to clean up. They are non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about children or pets coming into contact with the extinguishing agent.

It is also advisable to spray your real Christmas tree with fire retardant spray to prevent it from catching alight.

Christmas lights & electrical safety

Christmas tree lights (or fairy lights) can cause a fire or could trigger a spark which might ignite your Christmas tree if they are not properly maintained or used. Be careful no to overload plug sockets and extension leads. Use the electrical socket calculator if you are unsure. Check your fuses are the right type and if the bulbs blow, replace them straight away. Never leave fairy lights on when you go out or go to bed.

Replace Christmas lights straight away if you notice they are damaged or the electrical wire casing is cracked. When buying new Christmas lights, look for the CE mark to ensure they comply with European safety standards and read all labelling and instructions carefully before use. Watch the British Standards Institute Christmas light safety videos for further information.

Candles & decorations

Decorate your home with care to reduce the risk of a fire starting. Many Christmas decorations could easily catch fire so make sure they are not near heaters, open fires or candles. Never place decorations immediately above or around the fireplace when it is lit.

Place candles away from children or pets so they don’t get knocked over and ensure soft furnishing such as curtains or blankets are not nearby. Always make sure you put candles out before going to bed or leaving the house.

Can you spot the fire hazards?

Cooking fires

More than half of all accidental fires in the home are started by cooking. Usually this is because a cooker, hob or grill has been left unattended. On Christmas day, there can be a lot of distractions whilst preparing the Christmas dinner. Keep children and pets away from the stove and never leave your cooking unattended. Follow these basic cooking safety tips to ensure a fire doesn’t ruin your Christmas. Keep a fire blanket in the kitchen to quickly tackle any cooking, clothing or waste bin fires that start and have a burns kit to hand just in case anyone suffers from a burn or scold.

Never cook if you have been drinking alcohol, especially if you feel tired or drunk. Drinking alcohol causes drowsiness, slower reactions and confusion and will affect your coordination. You could fall asleep whilst cooking, and are more likely to knock pans or spill hot oil if you have reduced coordination.

Fire detection – plan ahead to stay safe

Making sure you have working smoke alarms fitted in your home prior to the Christmas period could save your life. Fit a heat alarm in the kitchen to quickly detect cooking fires without causing false alarms (heat alarms respond to a sharp increase in temperature not smoke and so will not sound if you burn the toast!). Test all alarms before Christmas and replace the alarm or battery if required. For further fire safety tips and advice tailored to your home, try the free online home fire safety check.

replace the battery on smoke alarms before Christmas if required
Test your smoke alarm regularly and replace the battery if required

Carbon monoxide safety tips for Christmas

During the festive period, there could be an increased risk of carbon monoxide gas in your home. Using log burners, open fires, heaters or boilers that have not been maintained throughout the year could produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Sweep chimneys and service gas or solid fuel appliances such as boilers, heaters or cookers prior to use during the Christmas period. Fit a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where there is a gas or solid fuel appliance, or open fire.

Carbon monoxide gas is also known as the ‘silent killer’ as it can cause death and serious illness in people and pets. Get to know the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and share them with your friends and family. Always ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you, your household and visitors to the presence of this dangerous gas.

Fit a CO alarm in your home before Christmas
Place a CO alarm in each room with a gas or solid fuel appliance

Wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas!

Consider this advice during your festive preparations in December to keep you, your family, friends and pets safe. Why not share our Christmas safety tips with others using the share buttons below? We wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas and new year!


How do I keep my pet safe at Christmas?

Christmas can be an exciting or anxious time for pets due to a change in routine, an increase in noise and people, and lots of new and interesting objects to stimulate the senses! Follow the RSPCA’s advice on keeping pets calm at Christmas and keep candles and decorations out of reach. Never leave your pet unattended near heaters or open fires and keep them out of the kitchen when you are cooking to avoid any mishaps or distractions.

Why are Christmas trees a fire hazard?

Real Christmas trees can catch fire very quickly especially when they start to dry out. Buy your real tree closer to Christmas so it doesn’t dry out too much and keep it well watered at the base. Artificial Christmas trees can also be a fire hazard if their flame retardant coating has worn off – check the lifespan of your artificial tree and replace if required.

Is it safe to leave Christmas tree lights on all night?

No, it is not safe to leave Christmas tree lights on all night. These lights can get hot and could start a fire. Switch Christmas tree or fairy lights off when you go to bed or leave the house.

What fire extinguisher can be used on Christmas trees?

A Water Mist Fire Extinguisher is the best fire extinguisher to have at home during the festive period. You can use a Water Mist Extinguisher to tackle all common household fires including fires involving Christmas trees and fairy lights. This type of extinguisher dispenses a fine de-ionised water mist. This is non-toxic and will not leave any messy residue to clean up.

1ltr+ Water Mist Fire Extinguisher
1ltr+ Water Mist Fire Extinguisher

The best solution for home owners & owners of holiday cottages or caravans. These extinguisher are safe to use & effective for most common types of fires.

  • Proven on class A, B, C, and F fires
  • Safe on electrical equipment
  • 100% non-harmful and 100% clean agent
  • Perfect for clothing fires
£49.99 ex VAT
£59.99 inc VAT
Buy Now

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

New! Fluorine-Free Foam Alternatives added to the P50 Service-Free Extinguisher range

Just added to Britannia Fire’s range of P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguishers is the Fluorine-Free A-Foam Fire Extinguisher. Further to this, a P50 B-Foam Fire Extinguisher is coming soon. With the phase out of AFFF foam expected to begin imminently, these Fluorine-Free Foams provide a more environmental alternative.

P50 Fluorine-Free Alternatives
New! P50 Fluorine-Free Foam Extinguishers

What is the difference between AFFF foam and fluorine-free?

AFFF Foam contains PFAS chemicals that have been identified as being harmful to the environment, people, and wildlife. The most harmful component of PFAS chemicals is fluorine compounds. Some of these compounds have been discontinued by law since 2020, and other legal restrictions are expected to follow shortly. In light of this action, Britannia Fire have developed the P50 fluorine-free foam as an environmental alternative. This extinguisher contains no harmful fluorine compounds, and therefore will not be subject to PFAS regulations or other forthcoming regulations.

Is the P50 Fluorine-Free an eco-extinguisher?

The P50 fluorine-free foams are free from any harmful fluoro compounds, making it a true eco-foam extinguisher. They are non-toxic, more environmentally friendly than AFFF foam, and will not be subject to any changes relating to the PFAS regulations.

It is important to check the firefighting medium in an extinguisher that is called ‘eco-foam’ or ‘enviro-foam’. Previously, these terms have been used to refer to a group of AFFF foam extinguishers that contain lower fluorine content. Any amount of fluorine is harmful to the environment; these extinguishers should not be considered to be ‘eco’ or ‘environmental’.

Is fluorine-free foam a like-for-like replacement to AFFF foam?

In many situations, the P50 Fluorine-Free A-foam can be used as a direct replacement for AFFF foam extinguishers to tackle class A and electrical fires. The 6ltr extinguisher has ratings of 34A, 13B, and electrical equipment up to 1000 Volts. Where there is a high risk of class B rating fires (flammable liquids like oil, alcohol, or diesel), additional protection may be required. This will soon be provided by the P50 B-Foam Extinguisher which has ratings of 27A, 144B, 25F, and electrical equipment up to 1000 Volts.

Visit PFAS-Free Fire Extinguishers for more information, or book a free P50 Service-Free Extinguisher site survey.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Improve Ventilation and Air Quality in Schools

During the pandemic, funding became available for schools in Scotland and Wales to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of the virus. SAMHE, a government backed research project monitoring air quality in schools, is keen to further investigate the consequences of poor air quality on pupils’ health and concentration. With this issue high on the agenda, we look at how to identify poor air quality and the simple measures available to improve ventilation in schools where action is required.

increase ventilation with a fire door retainer on classroom doors
Dorgard Fire Door Retainers will safely hold open classroom fire doors to improve ventilation

Identifying Issues: Monitoring Air Quality in Schools

SAHME is offering a free air quality monitor to schools across the UK. The devices measure carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) particulate matter (PM), temperature and relative humidity, with data available to both teachers and pupils. The data from each monitor is also recorded on a national database, available to SAHME, which will be analysed to understand and improve long-term air quality for all schools.

Schools in the scheme which monitor trends in air quality across their site will be able to identify areas in which ventilation improvements need to be made. SAHME acknowledges that in some areas, mechanical ventilation systems may be required. For many areas, however, natural ventilation from opening windows and doors is enough to reduce air pollutants to acceptable levels.

Improve air circulation with a fire door retainer

Fire doors are critical to any building’s infrastructure, but they can be a barrier to good air circulation. Propping or wedging open fire doors, or cutting the bottom off a fire door is, however, illegal, and could be dangerous as the door may fail to prevent the spread of fire.

Fireco’s Pro Fire Door Retainer System can improve ventilation without compromising fire safety. The fire door retainer devices hold fire doors open safely, allowing air to circulate throughout the building. Dorgard Pro and Freedor Pro retainers can be used to hold doors open at any angle, allowing for adjustments during colder months. Doors are released to close as soon as the fire alarm sounds, protecting pupils, staff and property.

The fire door retainer devices are wireless and battery-operated, meaning they can be installed with minimum disruption. In nurseries, primary schools, SEN schools, and other noisy environments, the Pro system is ideal. The ProHub control panel is hardwired directly into the building’s fire alarm panel which eliminates the possibility of false activations.

Safely increase ventilation by holding fire doors open safely
A Freedor Free-swing Closer will hold the fire door open at any angle

Allow ventilation with an intumescent grill

Air flow can be increased in schools by installing fire-proof ventilation grilles into fire doors. This should only be done after checking that the fire door can be adapted to include intumescent grilles. Due to the varying construction of fire doors, some doors cannot be safely altered in this way. Some doors may need an additional hard wood liner fitted in the newly-created aperture. Fire doors that require cold smoke seals may not be suitable for installing intumescent grilles. As the grilles rely on heat from fire to activate them to swell, cold smoke may be able to pass through before this happens. Always consult your fire risk assessment for the type of seals that are required before having work carried out on your fire doors. Any work to fire doors should be carried out by a competent person.

Air transfer vents fitted into fire doors should always be fire-rated. Intumescent grilles are specially designed to swell when exposed to heat, closing the gap and maintaining the fire resistance of the door. A standard air transfer vent would not do this and so would invalidate the fire door certification and fail to stop the spread of fire.

increase ventilation with fire rated air transfer vents
Increase ventilation with fire-rated air transfer vents

Safelincs fire door services

If you are unsure about whether your fire doors are fit for purpose, or require support to install fire door retainers contact our fire door team on 01507 464185 or email Our qualified engineers can visit your site anywhere in the UK to inspect existing doors or carry out installation work.


Is it safe to cut the bottom off a fire door to improve ventilation?

Fire doors should never be cut to improve ventilation. The maximum gap under a fire door is 8-10mm depending on the door specification. A gap any larger than that could result in the door failing to prevent the spread of fire. Some fire doors can be trimmed to fit if they are too tall for the door opening. Always consult the manufacturer to ensure it is possible to trim the door without affecting its fire rating. Great care should be taken when altering fire doors so that the door certification is not invalidated.

Are fire door retainers suitable for external fire doors?

No, fire door retainers are not suitable for external use. However, it is worth noting that in many cases, final exit doors do not need to be fire rated. If existing external/final exit doors are not fire rated, they are not fire doors. These can therefore remain open to improve a classroom’s ventilation.

There is no solution for retaining final exit doors which are also fire rated. If ventilation is insufficient in this instance, a mechanical ventilation system may be required.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
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Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Can You Extinguish a Lithium-ion Battery Fire?

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in many devices now found in our homes and workplaces. Laptops, mobile phones, cameras, e-scooters, power tools and electric cars are all powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Whilst the chances of a lithium-ion battery fire are relatively low, the prevalence of these batteries and the ferocity with which they burn presents a new fire risk that is difficult to tackle with traditional methods. So, can you extinguish lithium-ion battery fires if they occur? We look at what fire safety technology is available to tackle them.

lithium-ion battery fire in a mobile phone
Lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones are a fire risk

Lithium-ion Fire Extinguisher

There are 2 types of fire extinguisher to tackle lithium-ion battery fires that occur in items such as mobile phones, laptops and power tools.

The Lithco LB6 Fire Extinguisher is a water-based extinguisher with an additive called ‘P Foam’. The agent in these extinguishers is specially designed to penetrate through the outer casing of electrical devices to the source of the fire (the battery). The Lithco LB6 has been rigorously tested and is proven to be very effective when fighting li-ion battery fires. The Lithco LB6 is suitable for use on live electrical equipment (up to 1000v). It also effectively extinguishes class A fires making it a versatile unit.

The other type of lithium-ion fire extinguisher uses an Aqueous Vermiculite Dispersion (AVD) agent to surround and cut off the burning battery cells.

Lithco 6ltr Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Extinguisher
Lithco 6ltr Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Extinguisher

Designed specifically for use on rechargeable lithium-ion battery fires, the LB6 fire extinguisher satisfies modern fire risks in a cost-effective, multi-purpose solution.

  • Designed for UPS systems, laptops, power tools, and bulk device chargers
  • Heat dispersing, low-viscosity agent to penetrate battery casings
  • Rigid applicator lance for enhanced control and user safety
  • Third-party tested up to 360Wh battery capacity
£179.00 ex VAT
£214.80 inc VAT
Buy Now

Electric Car Fire Blanket

Due to the intense nature of electric car fires and the toxic fumes emitted, they are notoriously difficult to tackle. The Electric Car Fire Blanket from Bridgehill is designed to contain the fire to prevent flames and flying materials from spreading to nearby vehicles and buildings. As well as containing the fire, the fire blanket stops oxygen from getting to the fire, therefore controlling it further. Designed for use by the fire service or in parking lots, at charging stations or on car ferries, we recommend this car fire blanket is used by trained personnel only.

electric car fire blanket used to tackle lithium-ion battery fires
The Electric Car Fire Blanket should only be used by trained personnel

Lithium-ion Battery Safe

The Phoenix Battery Commander range provides safe storage and a protected charging point for li-ion batteries and devices. Heat activated seals contain any fire within the safe and also protect the safe contents from an external fire. For further protection, an optional fire extinguisher, smoke detector or alarm can be fitted.

Phoenix Battery Commander Safe contains lithium-ion battery fires

Extinguishing Lithium-ion Battery Fires

The lithium-ion extinguishers and containment featured in this blog provide some solutions to this modern fire risk. Great care must always be taken when tackling lithium-ion battery fires as lithium-ion burns quickly and intensely and emits toxic fumes. If in any doubt, always contact the fire service as soon as possible to deal with the blaze and evacuate the area.


What can lithium-ion extinguishers be used for?

Lithium-ion extinguishers can be used to tackle fires in any item that is powered by a lithium-ion battery. This includes rechargeable devices such as mobile phones and laptops, power tools or electric bikes or e-scooters amongst others. Lithium-ion fire extinguishers are not suitable for use on electric cars. This is because of the large quantity of extinguishing agent that would be required to tackle such large fires. Instead, an electric car fire blanket could be used to control and contain the fire.

What fire extinguisher should be used for lithium-ion batteries?

There are two types of fire extinguisher that have been specifically developed for putting out lithium-ion battery fires. The Lithco LB6 Fire Extinguisher will effectively extinguish a lithium-ion battery fire in handheld devices, laptops and power tools plus other lithium-ion battery powered items. A car fire blanket will contain and control a lithium-ion battery fire in an electric or hybrid vehicle.

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

New! Longlife Radio-interlinked Smoke Alarms from UltraFire with a 10-year warranty

The new longlife radio-interlinked smoke alarms from UltraFire are a great option for any home. They are the only radio-interlinked smoke and heat alarms available in the UK that have a 10-year warranty for complete peace of mind.

UltraFire Longlife Radio-interlinked Smoke & Heat Alarms have a 10 year warranty
UltraFire Longlife Radio-interlinked Smoke & Heat Alarms have a 10 year warranty

Longlife and long warranty

UltraFire longlife radio-interlinked alarms are fitted with a 10-year sealed battery. This battery lasts for the lifetime of the alarm so will never need to be changed and cannot be tampered with. The base of the alarm and the alarm itself are covered by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty for the lifetime of the alarm. This gives you complete peace of mind.

Radio-interlinked alarms give you the best chance of escape

Radio-interlinked alarms are recognised by the fire service as giving the best chance of escape. Fitting multiple alarms around your home and linking them together means that if one alarm detects a fire, all the alarms will sound. This means that where ever you are in your home, you will be alerted if a fire is detected. This early warning gives everyone in your household a better chance of escape.

Fire detection throughout your home

Wirelessly link up to 15 of these UltraFire radio-interlinked smoke and heat alarms in one system. This will quickly alert the whole house if a fire is detected. Fit the UltraFire heat alarm in the kitchen and garage, and smoke alarms in any rooms where a fire could start. As a minimum, alarms should be fitted in the main living area, kitchen and all hallways and landings.

We offer a smoke and heat alarm starter kit which can be linked to additional alarms from the same range.

Suitable for the 2022 Scottish legislation

The UltraFire Longlife Radio-interlinked Smoke and Heat Alarms comply with the latest Scottish alarm regulations for homes.

UltraFire ULL10RF Wireless Alarm Kit – 1 x Heat & 2 x Smoke
UltraFire ULL10RF Wireless Alarm Kit – 1 x Heat & 2 x Smoke
  • FREE delivery
  • Battery: 10 year sealed lithium battey
  • Warranty: 10 year manufacturer's warranty
  • Wirelessly interlink up to 15 UltraFire ULL10RF devices
  • 2 x optical smoke alarms and 1 x heat alarm included
  • Suitable for BS 5839-6: 2019 Grade F1 installations
  • Also suitable for the updated Scottish 2022 legislation
£72.99 ex VAT
£87.59 inc VAT
Buy Now

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023

Money Saving Tips for Businesses

With energy prices soaring and lots of businesses still feeling the effects of the Covid pandemic, many businesses and organisations are understandably looking for ways to reduce costs. When it comes to fire safety, cost saving should never compromise the level of protection in your organisation. Read our top money saving tips for businesses so you can cut costs without cutting corners.

money saving tips for businesses

1.Switch to P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguishers 

No annual service from a trained technician – Due to their unique construction, P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguishers can reduce your fire extinguisher costs substantially. Unlike traditional steel extinguishers that require annual servicing from a trained technician each year, P50 Service-Free Extinguishers only require a simple visual inspection. A member of your team can carry out this inspection and will receive free training from Safelincs at the point of installation. This eliminates your annual extinguisher servicing costs.

Longer lasting and highly durable – P50 Service-Free Extinguishers have a 10 year warranty and a lifespan that is twice as long as steel extinguishers. They can last for 20 years if they are refilled by the manufacturer after 10 years. P50 Extinguishers will not corrode – even if left outside for 20 years! This is due to the materials used in their construction.

Reduce the number of extinguishers required – Due to its superior fire rating and versatility, the P50 Foam Service-Free Extinguisher can often replace a common extinguisher combination of 9ltr Water and 2kg CO2. Making this switch actually gives you better coverage for class A and B fires and can also be used to effectively tackle electrical fires. Having one P50 Foam Extinguisher rather than the traditional combination of water and CO2 extinguishers also removes confusion about which unit to choose in the event of a fire. Having less units to install and maintain will significantly reduce fire extinguisher costs.

Free site survey, delivery and installation service – If you decide to switch to P50 Service-free Extinguishers, Safelincs will carry out a site survey at your premises, deliver and install the extinguishers free of charge. Our professional technicians will also commission the P50 extinguishers and supply and fit wall brackets with no extra charge. Your staff will receive training on how to complete the annual visual inspection and the engineer will complete and supply all relevant certification. Our team will even remove and recycle your old steel extinguishers!

money saving tip - p50 extinguishers
Switch to P50 Service-Free Extinguishers and reduce fire extinguisher costs

2. Install LED emergency lighting

The purchase price of LED emergency lighting has come down a lot in recent years. It is now in many cases cheaper than the cost of the traditional fluorescent bulb equivalent. Aside from the upfront cost saving, the accumulative saving with LED lighting is substantial.
With the price of electricity at a record high and continuing to rise, cutting energy usage can make a big difference to business expenses year on year. LED emergency lights such as the Eden LED Emergency Lighting Bulkhead (Maintained) are far more energy efficient. They use only 5W of power compared to the 21W used by a standard fluorescent bulb. View our LED Emergency Lighting cost for comparison article for further analysis of the amount that can be saved.
money saving tip - LED emergency lighting

3. Carry out regular maintenance checks

Keeping your fire safety equipment maintained in good working order is a legal requirement. This could also save you money in the long run. Servicing fire safety equipment and making regular checks will uncover any issues early on that could be more costly to rectify later on.

money saving tip - maintaining equipment
Regularly check and service fire safety equipment to reduce long term costs

4. Choose versatile fire extinguishers

Install a broad-spectrum fire extinguisher such as a Water Mist Extinguisher and you could reduce the number of fire extinguishers you require. Suitable for class A, B and C type fires and tested for use on live electrical equipment, Water Mist extinguishers are ideal for tackling most common fires found in offices, warehouses, schools, churches and many other locations.

money saving tip - versatile extinguishers
Choose versatile fire extinguishers to keep costs down

5. Take advantage of quantity discounts from a trusted supplier

Purchasing a higher quantity of equipment at one time means you can take advantage of quantity discounts. Safelincs offer a reduced unit price on many items when multiple units are purchased at the same time. It often also pays to use one trusted supplier for multiple services and equipment as this may help to reduce call out fees or delivery costs. Safelincs can provide a complete range of fire and safety services and equipment, and we would be happy to discuss your individual requirements.

If you would like to speak to our team about any of these money saving tips for businesses please call 0800 612 6537 or email

Mel Saunders

Head of Marketing

Mel joined Safelincs in 2020 and leads the content and marketing team.

Latest Posts by Mel Saunders

Maintained or Non-Maintained Emergency Lighting?7th June 2024
Reasonable Adjustments in Schools14th March 2024
Why is my smoke alarm beeping?13th December 2023