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

Reasonable adjustments and fire safety in education

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? 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 adjustments you need to make to meet legal requirements for disability and fire safety will depend 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.

Risks of Working From Home

Working from home is often a new and exciting experience for many employees, but it also brings with it new responsibilities. There are a number of associated risks that are often overlooked or forgotten; risks that you wouldn’t usually consider when working normally because someone else is responsible.

Home working combines all the safety hazards you would find in your normal working environment but instead places them all in your own home. Our Home Working Fire Safety Kit provides a number of essentials for dealing with these risks, giving you piece of mind.

One risk is the increase in the use of electronic devices and wiring, which is a serious fire hazard. In a rush to start work, sockets can easily be overloaded providing an opportunity for fire to break out. Electrical fires are still one of the most common causes of fire in the UK so limiting the chance of ignition is crucial.

Where possible avoid keeping flammable materials, such as paper, near wires and plug sockets. Make sure that your electrical appliances are correctly looked after – do the wires look to be in good health with no damage to the sheathing? The 1kg Powder Extinguisher in this kit will tackle the common fire risks in your home office, including electrical fires.

Working flexible hours when home working is very common and you may find yourself working at night as a result of this. All business workplaces should be fitted with emergency lighting but it is unlikely that you will have this in your own home. The Safe T Light Portable Emergency Light is ideal for home use and will provide you with adequate light to safely evacuate your home in an emergency, should there be a power failure.

Although many people working from home will be office workers, this kit also serves those in the craft or catering industry. The St John Ambulance First Aid Kit is equipped to deal with the most common accidents in and around the home.

People working from home should be encouraged to review the risks and take the appropriate precautions to prevent fires and accidents from happening. Those precautions should include having the means to detect and manage a fire should one occur. In our Home Working Fire Safety Kit, we have also included an optical smoke alarm and a fire blanket to help you cover all the common risks found in the home.

To assist with protecting yourself, your family and your home, there a few simple steps that we would recommend:

  • Ensure you have the appropriate fire detection and protection methods for yourself and your home, should a fire break out.
  • Regularly check the health of your devices and their wiring. If any wires appear to be damaged, that device should not be used.
  • Ensure all electrical devices are turned off and unplugged when not in use to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Equip your home with a first aid kit, as injuries are often unexpected and immediate treatment is usually the best course of action.
  • Know how you would evacuate your home in the event of a fire and practice this with all members of the household.
Home Working Fire Safety Kit - Safelincs
Home Working Fire Safety Kit - Safelincs
  • Fire blanket included for emergency escape
  • Supplied with a portable powder extinguisher and emergency light
  • St John Ambulance first aid kit provides the essentials for minor injuries
  • Also supplied with an optical smoke alarm and CO alarm
  • Protect your home office / home working environment
£66.99 ex VAT
£80.39 inc VAT
Buy Now

For more information about our product range or to place an order, call today on 0800 612 6537.

Connor Storr

PPC Specialist

Connor is one of our product administrators. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fire and security safes and fire doors.

Latest Posts by Connor Storr

Risks of Working From Home6th April 2020

New Evacuator Site Alarms

Recently Safelincs added several new site alarms to their range. These included the Evacuator Site Guard call point and push button alarms, the Evacuator Tough Guard and the newly released Evacuator Tough Guard Wireless.

All four of these alarms are designed for use in building and construction sites, temporary marquees, camp sites, markets etc. where installing a permanent fire alarm system would be impractical and unnecessarily costly.

The Evacuator Site Guard is ideal for less harsh environments, such as camp sites and markets, while the Evacuator Tough Guard is perfect for busy building and construction sites where it may encounter water, dirt, dust and debris. The Tough Guard features an IP56 rated weatherproof enclosure that copes with harsh weather conditions and the occasional knocks and bumps it may have to endure.

These battery powered alarms can be used as standalone units or linked using 2 core wire. Running interlink cables all over a busy construction site may not be safe or practical, and this is where the new Tough Guard Wireless comes in. The Tough Guard Wireless has all the strength, durability and weatherproof protection of the standard Tough Guard with the added benefit of completely wireless interconnection to other Tough Guard Wireless units. The amazing 18,000m wireless range, long life battery and extremely loud 118dB sounder make these alarms an essential piece of safety equipment for any situation.

Take a look at the new models in our site alarm product range.

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, and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where you burn solid fuel, such as a gas boiler, gas or open fire, gas cooker. Make sure you check that they are working on a regular basis and that they are never left without a battery in them.

For help and advice call 0800 612 6537 or email support@safelincs.co.uk

Safelincs recognised as disability friendly employer

Fire safety provider Safelincs Ltd have been awarded the Two Ticks’ Disability Friendly Symbol, which demonstrates the commitment of the company to employ, train and develop staff with disabilities.

In order to receive this symbol from Jobcentre Plus, Safelincs had to demonstrate their dedication to implementing the five commitments outlined under the symbol.

These include guaranteeing an interview for all disabled applicants which meet the minimum requirements for the job vacancy, consult with disabled staff on a regular basis to ensure they can develop and use their abilities and make every effort to retain any member of staff should they become disabled.

Safelincs have also pledged to ensure that their staff develop their disability awareness to enable the five commitments to be implemented and will review the five commitments on an annual basis to ensure that they are continuously renewing their pledge and developing their commitment.

HR Manager, Angie Dewick-Eisele said ‘We are delighted to be awarded the ‘Two Ticks’ Symbol. This award underpins the company ethos of equal opportunity and our commitment to help develop the skills of all our staff. Implementing the five commitments will also dove-tail into our Investors in People framework.’

It’s the smoke that kills…

There is a fire in your house, the staircase is full of smoke preventing you from escaping – unless you have a fire escape hood.

It is worn over the head and protects the head from heat and thermal radiation, the eyes from harmful irritant gases and can provide protection for 15 minutes from the most toxic gases produced in fires including carbon monoxide, acrolein, hydrogen choloride and hydrogen cyanide. The hood is easy to use, portable and can be easily stored in your home by your bedside. It can also be taken with you for use in hotels and transportation. Make sure you buy your fire escape hood from a reputable company and check it has the right specifications and is CE marked to EN 403:1993. See our fire escape hood information sheet for detailed specifications.

Don’t miss Horizon, BBC2, 21.00, tonight – “How to survive a disaster” – the ultimate guide to disaster survival using survivor testimonies from plane crashes, ferry disasters and even 9/11 and providing a guide to increasing your chances of survival through mindset, techniques and aides including fire escape hoods.