Protecting your kitchen from fire

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

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

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

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

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

 

New UltraFire fire blankets with 5 year warranty!

Fire blankets are essential in kitchens to extinguish pan fires and fat fires safely or to wrap around burning people. In the case of a kitchen fire the blanket is placed over the pan or bin that is on fire, cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire which then extinguishes it. The blanket is left on the container until the liquid is cooled down sufficiently to prevent re-ignition.

Most fire blankets on the market come with only a one year guarantee, but with our new UltraFire fire blanket range we can now offer a full five year material guarantee! A real improvement for our customers who are always at the forefront of our thinking.  On top of this comes the fact that our UltraFire range of fire blankets are manufactured in the UK. The hard outer case makes them easy to keep clean and protects them from damage. The blankets are certified to BS EN 1869: 1997.

Reviewing domestic fire safety in the light of the recent riots

Now that the rioting seems to have come to an end it is worth considering how to be prepared for similar occurrences in the future. Most of the physical damage, excluding the massive damage to lives and communities, was caused by arson attacks and many people were put at risk by being trapped in their houses by fire.
There are a few precautions one can take to avoid being trapped by fire and to reduce the risk from arson.

Make arson attacks more difficult

It is easy for rioters to pour petrol through a letterbox and to throw a match after it. The impact is devastating. The fire races through the house and the main exit is blocked by fire. However, you can protect yourself by installing an anti-arson letterbox. These fire protection bags sit behind the letter slot and normally just catch your mail. However, they also will contain any flammable liquid poured through the letter opening and automatically extinguish any fire in the letterbox with a small automatic extinguisher or intumescent materials built into the anti-arson letterbox.

Stop your soft furnishing catching fire

You can reduce the flammability of curtains, carpets and soft furnishing in entrance areas by treating them with fire retardant spray. These sprays make fabrics less flammable and thus reduce the impact of a fire bomb thrown into a building.

Protect your most valuable documents from fire

Place your most valuable and personal items in a fireproof box. These fireproof boxes are ideal for valuable photos, passports, certificates etc. Special fireproof boxes for electronic data protection will protect your familiy videos and electronically stored data/photos. Some of the boxes are also water tight, which is important in case the fire brigade have to douse the flames with water and foam.

Ensure you have a second route of escape

Do you have a second escape route if the hallway is in flames? Make sure you can open upstairs windows to escape. If they do not open, keep a hammer or a dedicated  emergency escape hammer near the windows. If the fire brigade cannot easily reach an upstairs window, consider a fire escape ladder which can be hooked over a window sill in an emergency.

Don’t suffocate from the smoke

Smoke from house fires is extremely toxic. A few breaths will overwhelm you and render you unconscious. If the house is filled with smoke, crawl along the floor towards the nearest exit.  Wrap a wet cloth over your face if you have to run through smoke or fire, however, you must not breathe in the smoke due to the extreme tocicity! Consider having a fire escape hood in the house. These hoods cover your head and filter the fumes of the fire. This gives you valuable time to escape through smoke.

Make sure you can extinguish small fires yourself

During the riot the fire brigades were stretched by the number of fires. As a result their response time will not have been as fast as usual. Make sure you can tackle small fires yourself by having buckets of water at the ready or equip yourself with fire extinguishers

Make sure you can extinguish a person on fire

Keep a non-flammable blanket or large fire blanket at the ready to wrap around a person or roll the person on the floor to extinguish the flames. Have a bucket of water placed in a suitable place or ensure that you have a water fire extinguisher.

Fire Drill

Ensure that you know how you will escape from your home if a fire blocked the main exit. If you have children talk to them in a calm manner about what to do if there is a fire. If the child is particularly clingy to one parent, get that parent to lead the way out of the building. The child will be more willing to leave the building that way.

Ensure that you have working smoke alarms fitted to alert you to a fire. Make sure you check that they are working on a regular basis and that they are never left without a battery in them.