Candle Fire Safety Week November 14th – 20th

Candles are a common site in many homes and now that the dark nights are drawing in, the number of candles being lit is increasing. However, the beauty of candles is linked to a risk. Last year candles were the cause of over 1,000 fires across England and many Fire Brigades are encouraging the general public this week to think carefully about safety when using candles.

When setting out candles to be lit it is very important to consider the surface they sit on, they should always be placed on a non-flammable base such as a glass or porcelain dish or on a candle stick. When the candle burns down the base of it can get very hot and could cause the surface underneath to ignite if not protected. A hotel fire, at Burstin Grand Hotel in 2009, was caused through a guest putting a tea light on top of the television, forgetting to blow it out before they left the room. The candle burnt through and set the television alight.

Candles should be placed away from curtains and and other combustible materials such as books, bedding and soft furnishings. Ensure that children can not reach them or knock them over. When a candle is tipped and hot wax is spilled it can ignite very quickly.

Ensure that any matches or lighters used to light candles are kept well out of reach of children and that children know about the dangers of playing with them.

Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm in the rooms where you are burning candles and that you test them regularly. A candle can put you, your home and your family at risk. Do not underestimate the dangers candles pose and use them with caution whilst enjoying their atmosphere.

For more information go to http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/1960.asp

http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/news/snuff-out-the-fire-risk

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/InYourHome/FireSafety/DG_180798

Safelincs now fully mobile

The Safelincs Mobile site on an iPhoneOur website www.safelincs.co.uk is now fully accessible for smart phones such as the iPhone, Android and others. We have created a dedicated mobile version of the site to stop you having to scroll left-right to see the full pages and we have arranged all content in a way that you can see the content that matters most.

You can now browse and purchase over 3000 different fire safety products over your mobile phone. The navigation is easy, the purchase process simple, product reviews are easily accessible and you can always ring us by the click of a button if you have any further questions. We hope that you will enjoy the new mobile site and that it helps to make your purchasing of fire safety products even easier.

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

Fire safety warning relating to the use of essential oils

A warning was issued by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service after several incidents of fires occurring from the use of essential oils.

When washing fabric soaked with essential oils the oil is not broken down properly at low washing machine temperatures, leaving a residue on towels and linen. The residues can ignite either through the towels being heated when tumble dried or when they get warm while stacked.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue services have attended blazes in salons and homes where essential oils have been used. They also attended a fire at a beauty room at Swindon College, where extensive damage occured.

To read the full story follow this link http://www.info4fire.com/news-content/full/towel-fires-lead-to-safety-warning

Man in Ingham County, Michigan saves life of daughter with escape ladder

Mark Kennel has very little left from his home after a house fire except his charred wedding album after he, his wife, Amber and daughter, Kelsey managed to escape the flames with the help of a fire escape ladder.

A fire broke out at their home in Ingham County. Mr Kennel stated that it was not the heat or flames that caused problems during the incident but in actual fact it was the smoke that was their biggest problem. ‘Smoke is ungodly, I’ve never experienced anything like that, flames are one thing, it wasn’t hot, but you just can’t breathe.’ said Mr Kennel.

Luckily for the Kennel family they had been given a fire escape ladder as a Christmas present by their mother and father in law a few years ago. Mr Kennel used the ladder to evacuate the daughter out of the building. Mrs Kennel, who is five months pregnant was having difficulty getting out of the blazing house. Mr Kennel was then able to rescue her once he had climbed down the fire escape ladder by using a forklift truck.

View the video

See the actual fire escape ladder

Severe fire at Pounstretcher store in Newcastle-under-Lyme

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of a severe fire at a Poundstretcher store in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The fire, which broke out on the morning of 28 February 2011, has rendered the building unsafe which will now have to be demolished. Residents of flats adjacent to the fire wrecked building have been evacuated and occupants will only be able to return to their homes after the unsafe building has been demolished and made safe.

At the peak of the fire there were approximately 60 firefighters attending the blaze with 10 fire engines and two aerial platforms. The metal roll-down shutters that the store had fitted hindered the access to the fire as the attending crews found it difficult to cut through.

The demolition and rebuilding of the store is estimated to cost in the region of £1 million.

To read the full story follow the following links,

http://www.info4fire.com/news-content/full/poundstretcher-store-destroyed-in-town-centre-blaze-video

Pancake day safety tips

Across England on Shrove Tuesday hundreds of people will be cooking and eating pancakes. Pancakes are easy to make and many children will be cooking them themselves.

Cooking pancakes can be a high fire risk, getting distracted with lathering your pancake in your favourite topping could lead to the frying pan being left unattended and to overheat. If there is oil in the frying pan the overheating of the pan could cause the oil to burst into flames. Do you and your children know what to do if this happens?

To stay safe this Shrove Tuesday:

– Always ensure that a responsible person is supervising the cooking of the pancakes.

– Talk to your children and ask them if they know how to put out a fire that is due to overheating oil.

– Make sure your children know the dangers of adding water to a pan of overheating oil. Show them clips on YouTube if you think this would help them understand.

– Check that you have a fire blanket and talk through the process of how to use a fire blanket with all members of your family who are keen pancake cooks.

– Go through the evacuation procedure in your house with all occupants.

– Check that you have smoke alarms fitted and that they are working. Having a working smoke alarm can increase your chances of surviving a fire in your home unharmed.

Enjoy pancake day and stay safe.

Here are some useful links:

Alarm test reminder service

Smoke alarms

Fire blankets

Safelincs go to 2011 Caterex Show

The Caterex show has been running for 27 years and this year we made our debut appearance.

The trade show is an opportunity for local and national suppliers to show the hotel and catering industry what they have to offer. There were stands from very local suppliers and also very large national companies, giving visitors the best of both worlds.

During the two day show we were very well looked after by the organisers and the venue was very good. We used this opportunity to introduce ourselves to local business people and to offer visitors the chance to take our fire safety catalogue away with them.

We have had a lot of positive feedback since the show and are looking forward to the event next year.

If you would like to request a brochure, please call our FREEPHONE number 0800 612 2946 or visit our website www.safelincs.co.uk

Fire alarm system in hotel prevents spread of fire

A fire which broke out in the boiler room of the Beach Arms Hotel in Basingstoke, was detected at the early stages of onset due to a well maintained fire alarm system.

The fire was detected and the alarm raised at around midday. Two staff members tried to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher while the manager informed the emergency services and evacuated the hotel. The swift action was praised by the brigade as it prevented the fire spreading to the roof space and preventing any injuries as a result of the fire.

The cause of the fire is not yet know but an investigation into the incident is underway.

Ensure that your alarms are working and check them on a regular basis. You can request a free reminder from our reminder service.

To read the full story about this fire follow this link

Stay safe this Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year begins on February 3, 2011 and this year it is the year of the rabbit. For many Chinese this is a time to celebrate the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. With it comes the opportunity to meet and gather with family members for meals and to forget any past problems that they may have had with each other.

The Chinese traditionally wear red, the colour that symbolises fire, and have firework displays. The fireworks and red garments are believed to ward off evil. Candles may also be lit at this special time and the highlight of the celebration is the lantern parade on the fifteenth day. There is also a Dragon dance that usually takes place at the weekend. This is a spectacular display of dragons dancing through the streets accompanied by firecrackers.

When candles and fireworks are being used as well as lanterns with traditional candles with naked flames there is an element of fire risk. Ensure that you have adequate fire safety equipment and a burns kit at hand for any eventuality.

Safelincs would like to take this opportunity to wish all celebrating the Chinese New Year good health and happiness in the year of the rabbit.