Protecting Your Home With A Heat Alarm

Kitchens produce great amounts of steam and smoke when cooking which may set off smoke alarms, therefore heat alarms are advised instead. The majority of fires in the home are started in the kitchen, making fires in houses without heat alarms go undetected for a much longer period. You miss out on the ability to detect rises in temperature and the sound of an alarm to alert you of a fire.

What does a heat alarm do?

A heat alarm is a type of fire alarm that detects a rapid rise in temperature, rather than the presence of smoke. Heat alarms contain a thermistor that is set to respond to temperatures above 58°C. When heat enters the sensor chamber in the alarm, it triggers the heat alarm to sound, alerting occupants of a fire. A heat alarm serves as a key component in fire safety systems. By alerting occupants to dangerous temperature increases, heat alarms help to reduce the risk of fire-related injuries and property damage, allowing for swift evacuation and intervention measures.

What is the difference between heat alarms and smoke alarms?

Heat alarms and smoke alarms work together to provide the best fire detection system in homes. While smoke alarms are designed to detect the presence of smoke, heat alarms are specifically engineered to respond to rises in temperature. The difference in detection makes heat alarms advantageous in environments prone to smoke exposure, such as kitchens and garages. Unlike smoke alarms, which may sound an alarm in response to smoke from cooking or other non-fire-related sources, heat alarms remain unaffected, reducing the likelihood of false alarms. Smoke alarms (optical alarms) are ideally suited to hallways, landings, living areas and bedrooms where false alarms are unlikely.

Where should I put a heat alarm?

Heat alarms should be installed in places where smoke alarms would be prone to false alarms, such as kitchens and garages. Smoke alarms would detect smoke from cooking in the kitchen and exhaust fumes in the garage, therefore it is wise to have a heat alarm in these areas instead.

Heat alarms will have positioning instructions within the supplied user manual, but ideally should be installed in the centre of the ceiling. It’s recommended to position the heat alarm at least 300mm away from walls and light fittings/decorative objects. This is because air does not circulate effectively in corners, and objects like light fittings can obstruct heat from entering the heat alarm’s sensor chamber.

Heat alarm placement

On a sloped ceiling, the position of a heat alarm should be measured vertically from the peak, and can be installed within 150mm of it. It’s still important to position the detector as central to the ceiling as possible.

Heat alarm placement on sloped ceilings

Are heat alarms a legal requirement?

In Scotland, all domestic premises are now required by law to have a heat alarm in the kitchen. For the rest of the UK, legal requirements regarding heat alarms vary depending on the type of property and its specific circumstances.

If your home had heat alarms fitted when you moved in or they’re required by building regulations to be fitted as part as an extension or renovation, then you must have heat alarms. Regardless of the law, fitting a heat alarm in the kitchen allows you to have the best level of protection for you and your family in the event of a fire.

Do Landlords Have to Provide Fire Extinguishers in HMOs

More than half of UK housefires start in the kitchen

HMO’s (‘homes of multiple occupancy’) are rented properties with shared communal spaces, like kitchens and bathrooms, where the tenants lease independently. A common example of this is student housing, while HMOs are often habituated by recent graduates, and other young people. Shared communal spaces often have neglected responsibility for safety and general housekeeping, meaning that the risk of fires in HMOs is raised.

The Responsible Person for the building has a duty to maintain and promote fire safety in rental properties. This includes installing the right fire detection systems, educating tenants on fire safety, and maintaining fire doors. In the event of a fire, domestic firefighting equipment can be a lifeline for tenants.

Should landlords provide fire extinguishers in HMOs?

At least one suitable fire extinguisher must be provided in every kitchen of a large HMO (more than 5 tenants). Water Mist extinguishers are ideal for this, as they can be used on solid and liquid combustible fires, as well as small cooking fires. This covers most home fire risks. The landlord, or Responsible Person for the property must ensure that all extinguishers are well maintained. They must also be serviced annually (if applicable), and replaced if used or damaged.

Fire extinguishers can be used to aid a tenant in safe escape from a building. They may also be used to tackle small flames before they become out of control.

In private rentals, landlords are not obliged to provide fire extinguishers, although it is recommended.

Should landlords provide fire blankets in HMOs?

Fire blanket should be fitted in a kitchen in HMOs
Fire blankets can prevent small pan fires from spreading out of control

Landlords must provide one fire blanket per kitchen in every HMO, no matter how many tenants are resident. These should be hung on a wall away from the likely source of fire (cooker), regularly checked, and replaced if used or damaged. Fire blankets provide a simple and effective solution to frying pan fires, which cannot be extinguished with water. Accidents in the kitchen which cause fires can be devastating if allowed to spread.

The provision of fire blankets in private rentals is not mandated. However, more than half of all UK house fires start in the kitchen. Installing a fire blanket protects both the tenant and the property from fire.

Are tenants expected to fight fires?

Tenants cannot be expected to put themselves at risk to fight a fire. By providing fire fighting equipment, such as extinguishers and fire blankets, the tenant is provided with the option to tackle a small fire before it spreads, and only if it is safe to do so.

When a new tenant moves in, they should be provided with guidance about what to do in a fire. This includes instruction on how to use fire-fighting equipment if it has been installed, but only to attempt this if it is safe. More importantly, tenants should be told how to raise the alarm in the event of a fire, and how to safely evacuate the building. This is particularly important in flats and HMOs.

Misuse of fire extinguishers in HMOs

Educating tenants on the correct use of the extinguishers installed in HMOs is essential; getting this wrong can be fatal. Where more than one type of fire extinguisher is installed to cover different fire risks, there is a risk of the wrong type being used. This can be incredibly dangerous, not only because the extinguisher will not work, but because it could make the fire worse, and spread the flames. The only way to avoid this is to install one type of extinguisher. However, this extinguisher must be suitable for all present fire risks. A Water Mist extinguisher is therefore a good example of a versatile extinguisher that provides good all round coverage for most common risks.

There is also, of course, a risk of vandalism to and with fire extinguishers in HMOs. This could involve damage to the extinguisher, or unnecessary deployment of the extinguisher. The best way to avoid this is educating residents on the importance of extinguishers for fighting fires. This is particularly important as if there are repeated incidents of vandalism, the risk assessment may find the risk of this to outweigh the risk of fire. In this case, extinguishers would need to be removed, meaning that they would not be available in a fire.

Installing Water Mist extinguishers overcomes some of the dangers associated with accidental or unnecessary deployment. These units contain only deionised water, which is non-toxic, and will not cause damage to furniture or property.

How can landlords prevent the spread of fires?

Fire doors in HMOs
Fire doors slow the spread of smoke and flames

Fire fighting is a last resort in stopping the spread of fires. Tenants and the properties they live in must be primarily protected by preventative measures. This includes:

  • Maintenance of fire doors – use our free fire door inspection checklist to monitor the condition of fire doors in HMOs. From January 2023, in buildings over 11m in height, flat entrance door must be checked annually, while doors in and entering onto communal spaces must be checked quarterly. This includes checking door closers for vandalism – appropriate action must be taken where these have been deactivated due to tenants with mobility issues struggling with heavy fire doors.
  • Fire detection systems – Every HMO must have a suitable fire detection system, which is maintained and tested regularly.
  • Educating tenants – when they move in, tenants should be given guidance about good house keeping in relation to fire safety. They should also be advised on how to respond to a fire, including how to raise the alarm and evacuate.
  • Fire suppression systems – in some buildings, such as blocks of flats, suppression systems like sprinklers may be appropriate. Sprinklers reduce the damage caused by fire, and to allow tenants time to escape.
  • Fire-fighting equipment – fire blankets must be installed in the kitchens of all HMOs, and tenants should be advised on how and when to use them. Similarly, where fire extinguishers are installed, tenants should be given guidance on when they might attempt to use them, and which type of extinguisher to use.

Are tenants liable for fires?

There are over 30,000 house fires in the UK every year. These accidents are often devastating for the residents, who may lose all of their belongings. Landlords’ building insurance is therefore essential for the protection of their property from fire.

Tenants cannot be held accountable for failing to fight a fire that breaks out in their home. However, they may be liable for causing the fire if the subsequent investigation finds them to have been at fault. Tenants should therefore invest in contents insurance, including fire damage caused by accidents, faulty appliances, electrical issues.

It is Responsible Person’s duty to ensure that fire, and the damage they cause, are prevented in their property. This can be done primarily through education of tenants. Further to this, the maintenance of fire doors, fire detection systems, fire blankets, and fire suppression systems reduce the damage caused by fires. In large HMOs, or if the risk assessment deems it appropriate, install extinguishers for the control of small fires, or to assist tenants in safe escape from the building.

CO vs CO2

What is the difference between CO and CO2?

CO (carbon monoxide) and CO2 (carbon dioxide) are both colourless, odourless gasses. However, they are chemically different: CO is one oxygen atom bound to one carbon atom, while CO2 is two oxygen atoms bound to one carbon atom.

CO2 is a product of many natural processes in the human body, and is safe at normal levels. Due to the similarity in their chemical structure, however, CO is a dangerous gas, toxic even at low levels.

Chemical diagram: CO (Carbon and Oxygen) vs CO2 (Carbon and two Oxygen)
Chemical structure of CO vs CO2

What is CO?

Carbon Monoxide is released during ‘incomplete combustion’. This usually happens when a fuel, such as coal, wood, or oil, is burned without enough oxygen present. This deadly gas is dangerous even at very low levels. Because its molecules are very similar in structure to CO2, they bind to red blood cells in the body and become ‘stuck’. As a result, the amount of oxygen that can be transported to the body’s essential organs is reduced. This lack of oxygen can cause fatigue, breathlessness, headaches, and eventually death.

Levels as low as 50ppm (parts per million) will cause harm, particularly with prolonged exposure, while 700ppm can quickly be fatal.

Any level of CO therefore warrants concern, which can only be detected with a working carbon monoxide detector.

What is CO2?

Carbon Dioxide is released by many natural chemical processes, including combustion, respiration, and decomposition. CO2 is used to give fizzy drinks their bubbles, and as a medium in some fire extinguishers. It’s also present in the air we breathe, where it safe at normal levels (under 800ppm). However, at extreme levels, CO2 can cause asphyxiation by reducing the level of oxygen available.

CO & CO2 can both cause headaches
Both CO and CO2 can cause headaches

CO2 and indoor air quality

Although carbon dioxide is naturally present in the air, high levels can have negative effects on human health. Poor ventilation in an enclosed environment can lead to raised CO2 levels. This often leads to headaches, fatigue, and poor concentration. Safe indoor levels are below 800ppm; in classrooms, offices, and other public venues, levels can easily reach over 1000ppm.

You can improve indoor air quality by opening windows to improve ventilation, installing air purifiers, and reducing damp / humidity with dehumidifiers. Measuring CO2 levels with an indoor air quality monitor is the best way to track this, and know when improvements need to be made. 

Detecting CO vs CO2

Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed to detect the presence of CO. Without this, it is impossible to detect the presence of this deadly gas, which is dangerous even at low levels. A CO alarm with a digital display allows users to monitor levels which are too low to trigger the alarm, encouraging them to improve ventilation.

Carbon Dioxide detectors have traditionally been used in commercial premises like breweries or laboratories, where fatal levels of CO2 might be released by chemical reactions. While CO2 poisoning is unlikely to happen in a home environment, however, new technology has made these detectors more affordable and accessible. CO2 monitors are now recommended in schools, offices, and even homes to track and improve indoor air quality.

10 Year Life Digital Carbon Monoxide Alarm - UltraFire UBCO1D
UltraFire Digital Display CO detector
CO2 detector
Kidde CO2/Air Quality Monitor

For information about detecting gas leaks, visit our blog.

CO vs CO2: both are colourless, odourless gasses, which pose different health risks. The only way to stay safe from these gasses is to make sure you have the appropriate detector fitted. For additional support in selecting the best detector for your needs, contact our friendly customer support team on 0800 612 6537.

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.

Everything you need to know about cooking oil fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires, with unattended cooking being the primary culprit. Cooking oil fires, in particular, pose a unique challenge due to the intensity and rapid spread of the flames.

Cooking oil fires are difficult to extinguish if you don’t have the right equipment at hand. The powerful jet of some fire extinguishers could spread the oil fire. Using water to extinguisher oil fires can cause the fire to erupt violently. Therefore, it is important to have the correct equipment to tackle kitchen fires

Tackling Cooking Oil Fires at Home

How to put out a Cooking Oil Fire

Pan fires can be tackled with fire blankets and fire extinguishers. A water mist fire extinguisher is versatile, and therefore can tackle all types of kitchen fire including fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000 volts. A fire blanket is a good option for most domestic kitchens, as generally smaller amounts of oil are used. A fire blanket is placed over the pan fire to smother it and starve the fire from oxygen.

For larger deep fat fryers in your home, we would recommend a wet chemical fire extinguisher which holds a 25F rating. The wet chemical extinguisher is made specifically for tackling larger quantities of oil on fire.

Where to put a Kitchen Fire Extinguisher

In the case of cooking oil fires, having a fire extinguisher within easy reach can be a lifesaver. Mount the extinguisher in a visible and easily accessible location, away from the stove but still within close proximity to the cooking area. We recommend placing your fire extinguisher near the kitchen exit, ensuring a quick and unobstructed path to safety. Avoid placing it too close to potential fire hazards, such as curtains or wooden cabinets.

Tackling Cooking Oil Fires at Work

If you work in a commercial kitchen with deep fat fryers, a wet chemical kitchen fire extinguisher is usually recommended. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put out cooking oil fires and therefore should be kept in kitchens for commercial use. The wet chemical fire extinguisher forms a foam blanket on top of the oil which stops the supply of oxygen, therefore extinguishing the fire. Fire blankets are also a useful addition in a commercial kitchen as they can be used on pan fires, cooking oil fires, waste basket fires and also clothing fires.

What to do in a Kitchen Fire

  • Stay calm
  • Turn off the heat source (if possible)
  • If the fire is not too big, use your fire extinguisher or fire blanket to try and extinguish the fire 
  • Call emergency services
  • Move anything else that could catch fire away from the burning oil if you can
  • Make sure children and pets do not come near the fire
A man cooking starts a cooking fire.

How can Cooking Oil Fires be Prevented?

To avoid cooking oil fires, never leave cooking unattended and pay attention to cooking pans and deep fat fryers at all times, especially when cooking with oil. Keep the area clean from grease buildup, as accumulated grease can be a potential fuel source for fires. In the event of a small grease fire, never use water to extinguish it. Instead, cover the pan with a fire blanket or use a fire extinguisher for kitchen fires. By adopting these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of cooking oil fires and enhance the overall safety of your kitchen.

For further advice on fire prevention in your home, complete the Home Fire Safety Check. Get personalised tips and a fire safety action plan to help you and your family to stay safe.

Foam vs Powder Extinguishers

Both foam and powder extinguishers are commonly found in workplaces and public spaces across the UK, but which is best? Both types of extinguisher are suitable for use on most common fire risks, making them versatile, and a popular choice. Selecting the best fire-fighting solution for your organisation can be difficult and will depend on the type of environment and risks that exist.

foam vs powder fire extinguishers
Powder extinguishers are best suited to outdoor areas

Powder Fire Extinguishers

As the name suggests, powder extinguishers contain a dust like powder, which when discharged, forms a thin layer on top of the burning fuel. This layer absorbs heat and deprives the fire of oxygen, which prevents the continuation of the chemical process of combustion.

foam vs powder fire extinguishers
Powder fire extinguishers are available in a range of sizes

Pros of Powder Extinguishers

Cons of Powder Extinguishers

  • No class F rating
  • Messy and costly to clean up after discharge
  • Should only be discharged outdoors
  • Discharge can aggravate respiratory and digestive systems
  • Can reduce visibility when discharged

Foam Fire Extinguishers

Due to the harmful PFAS chemicals that AFFF Foam contains, the manufacture of AFFF foam fire extinguishers is expected to be banned before the end of 2026. Safelincs have already discontinued the sale of AFFF Foam and water additive extinguishers, and some manufacturers have developed a range of more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Britannia Fire has launched two eco-foam P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguishers: A-Foam and B-Foam. Like AFFF Foam, the medium in these units works by covering the fire, and forming a seal that cuts off the oxygen supply, and has a cooling effect.

foam vs powder fire extinguishers

Pros of Foam Extinguishers

Cons of Foam Extinguishers

  • No class C rating

Water Mist Fire Extinguishers – an Alternative to Powder and Foam

Water mist fire extinguishers are 100% environmentally friendly, as they contain only de-ionised water. Upon discharge, water mists therefore release no harmful substances, and leave no messy residue to clean up. The water they contain is de-ionised, and so does not conduct electricity. This means that they are also safe for use on live electrical equipment, making them an ideal replacement for the AFFF foam extinguishers.

An alternative solution to foam or powder fire extinguisher

Foam vs Powder Extinguishers – Which Extinguisher Should I Choose?

In premises where the fire risk assessment has identified only Class A and/or Class B risks plus fires involving electrical equipment, there are several types of fire extinguisher which may be suitable:

Ultimately, the type of extinguisher that needs to be installed on a premises will be determined by the risks identified by the fire risk assessment. Where there is overlap, and more than one type of extinguisher would be suitable, it is up to the responsible person to ensure that they have selected the most effective and appropriate fire-fighting solution for their organisation or property.

Powder extinguishers are often best for outdoor environments where there is a mixed fire risk. Water mist or eco-foam extinguishers are ideal for indoor spaces with common fire risks.

If you are still unsure which type of extinguisher to install on your premises, why not book an extinguisher survey with one of our qualified engineers. We also offer free site surveys for service-free P50 fire extinguishers.

Top Tips for Fire Safety this Chinese New Year!

Follow our fire safety top tips for Chinese New Year: candles and fireworks are often used to celebrate Chinese New Year, as well as lanterns with naked flames. There is, therefore, an element of fire risk in these festivities – stocking up on fire safety products such as burns kits, fire blankets and extinguishers should be part of any event preparation.

Children celebrating Chinese New Year
Two children celebrating Chinese New Year

In 2024, The Chinese New Year will begin on February 10th and will be the year of the Dragon. This sixteen day long traditional Chinese holiday is recognised worldwide by many people across Asia, and increasingly in the Western world, along with festivals and celebrations to mark the Lunar New Year.

Following our top tips for celebrating will ensure that everyone can enjoy this tradition safely.

Fire Safety Top Tips for Chinese New Year

Whether organising a large event with fireworks and flames, or a small home gathering with sparklers and candles, Chinese New Year celebrations come with a fire risk. We have put together top tips for fire safety to help you make your event a safe and happy occasion.

1. Before your event you will need to carry out a fire risk assessment. This free assessment form will help you identify your fire risks and document your actions to reduce these risks. As the organiser of a public event, you have a legal duty to complete a fire risk assessment.

Fire safety top tips: invest in a site stand for Chinese New Year celebration events
Events marking Chinese New Year should have a suitable site stand

2. Consider how you will raise the alarm in the event of a fire. If you celebrate at home, do you have heat and smoke alarms fitted? When planning a public event, consider using site alarms or a rotary bell and having site stands with all your fire safety and first aid equipment at strategic places.

3. Prepare for any activities involving flames with adequate supplies of fire safety equipment. We recommend having fire blankets, water mist fire extinguishers, and a burns kit on hand for any eventuality. Our water mist fire extinguishers are non-toxic. This makes them particularly suitable for events with large numbers of spectators, or where children and animals may be present. Water mist extinguishers are environmentally friendly and leave no residue when discharged.

4. Even for an outdoor event like Chinese New Year, pathways should be kept clear of debris to ensure that people can move to a place of safety in a fire. Where crowds are expected, fire assembly points and exit routes should be clearly signposted.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Safelincs would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone celebrating the Chinese New Year good health and happiness.

Fire safety top tip: ensure your burn kit is in date and on hand at any events involving flames
Have a Burn Kit on Hand at any Chinese New Year Celebration

Bonfire Night: Top Safety Tips

Bonfire night can be a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy autumnal nights outside. Whatever you’re planning for 5th November this year, read our top bonfire and firework safety tips for Guy Fawkes Night.

How do you keep safe on bonfire night?

Rather than run the risk of lighting a fire or fireworks at home, attend an organized event if you can.

Wear gloves when holding sparklers
Hold sparklers away from your body and wear gloves

If you do plan to celebrate bonfire night at home, follow these top tips to stay safe

  1. Always follow the fireworks code
  2. Keep pets and young children away from bonfires and fireworks
  3. Store fireworks securely in a metal box away from anything that could ignite or cause a spark
  4. If you are using sparklers, always wear gloves, hold them at arm’s length away from others and place them in a bucket of cold water when they are finished
  5. Have a Watermist Fire Extinguisher to hand. They are non-toxic, leave no residue to clean up and can be used on wood, paper, clothing and electrical items
  6. Build bonfires away from garden sheds, fences and hedges
  7. Never use flammable liquids such as lighter fluid or petrol to start a bonfire and never light the fire in high winds
  8. Always supervise your bonfire and extinguish it using a bucket of water if it is still burning when your celebrations have finished
  9. Keep a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby
  10. Keep a burns kit or first aid kit at home in case of minor burns or injuries

What do I need for bonfire night?

We recommend the following additional safety items for bonfire night:

St John Ambulance Burn Kit
Have a St John Ambulance Burn Kit to hand on bonfire night

Can I store fireworks that I don’t use?

It is not advisable to store fireworks for any length of time at home as they are explosives and could be very dangerous. If you are intending to store fireworks, ensure they are kept dry in a metal container. Store them in a place where the temperature does not change significantly (for example not on a window sill) and away from anything that could ignite or cause sparks such as electrical items, heaters, matches or lighters. Make sure they are not stored near other combustible materials like card or wood and place them out of reach of children and pets. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for storage periods.

Fire safety in schools

school-fire-safetyWe have created a helpful guide for school leaders and staff with fire safety responsibility in schools to condense the confusing legislation and recommendations that exist and have turned them into an easy to understand fire safety guide for schools. The article, created by a very experienced fire risk assessor with many years of experience in inspecting schools, addresses:

  • Current situation with regards to arson in schools
  • General fire precautions in schools
  • New school buildings and fire safety
  • What to do should your school experience a fire
  • Examples of typical fire safety violations in schools

Being the fire safety provider of choice both for the Church of England and the Catholic Church, one of Safelincs’ key roles is to supply fire safety goods and services to the thousands of faith schools, amongst others, in the UK. Providing guidance and support is just part of this. We offer schools many opportunities to save costs and to improve fire safety provision at the same time. To benefit from this support offer, contact support@safelincs.co.uk or ring 0800 612 6537. We are happy to help.

We also offer fire risk assessments for schools at very good rates. In addition we provide free fire risk assessment forms as well as free online fire safety log books with automatic reminders, suitable for organisations with multiple sites and numerous responsible staff members.

If you would like to talk to us about the fire safety needs within your school call 0800 612 6537.

Fire at National Archives highlights need for document protection

Sentry-SFW123CSB-fire-and-waterproof-safe-1A recent fire at the National Archives in Kew, home to some of the UK’s most important historical documents, was tackled by 20 firefighters. The blaze was caused by two disused water towers at the site in Richmond, South-West London.

The National Archives is the official UK government archive and publisher and holds 11 million historical documents of national importance, some dating back more than 1,000 years. Among its collection are the Domesday Book, parchments, electronic records, photographs, posters, maps and paintings.

Fortunately everyone was evacuated from the building safely and no documents were damaged although the building was closed to the public for a short period for recovery.

This type of incident focuses people’s attention on the importance of preserving key documents and items of irreplaceable value, not just for large national institutions but also for businesses and individuals. For this reason more and more people are looking at ways to preserve such items in the event of a fire.

Safelincs has a range of solutions ranging that start with fireproof document boxes for under £30 and go right up to high capacity fire safes for storing computer media and files.

And, in the light of recent floods we are increasingly being asked for safes that will provide water protection as well. We have a range of fire and waterproof safes for paper documents and digital media that start at under £200. These fireproof safes with water protection have UL certification and have passed submersion testing to ensure their suitability.