Cinema chain installs P50s

empireEmpire Cinemas is one of the latest Safelincs customers to benefit from the minimal maintenance costs of P50 fire extinguishers.

The largest independently-owned cinema chain in the UK, Empire Cinemas has just opened two new cinema complexes at Hemel Hempstead and Catterick Garrison, and was determined that its new cinemas should have the most modern appliances fitted.

Safelincs supplied and installed P50 foam and P50 wet chemical extinguishers in the new cinema complexes as well as the linked restaurants and cafes. The appliances were selected primarily for their low maintenance costs. Unlike conventional extinguishers, P50s do not require an annual service by an external engineer; a simple check can be undertaken each year by one of the cinema’s staff, which is where the savings are made. The kitemarked P50 extinguishers are guaranteed for ten years after which they can be refilled and used for another ten years.

When the fire extinguishers in the all the other cinemas come up for renewal, it is intended to replace them with P50s.

“Safelincs were an easy company to do business with,” commented Steve Clode, Facilities Manager, Empire Cinemas. “The solution they have provided gives us the very latest in fire extinguisher technology, whilst enabling us to achieve significant cost savings over the coming years.”

National Chip Week Fire Safety Tips

ChipsChips are one of the nation’s favourite foods. The National Chip Week (16th – 22nd February) celebrates this passion in a fun way encouraging everyone to eat chips, vote for their favourite condiment and the best chip shop and to share ideas and recipes.

However, with over half of last year’s domestic fires being linked to cooking there is a serious side to this national celebration. Over 3,000 people were injured last year in kitchen fires, many of which involved deep fat fryers. With this in mind we would like to remind everyone planning to cook chips of some fire safety tips.

– If possible use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer, the thermostat regulates the temperature of the fat and prevents overheating.

– Look out for signs of the oil overheating, if it starts to smoke, the oil is too hot. Turn off the heat or remove from the source of heat and leave to cool.

– Oil can ignite very quickly if splashed onto hot surfaces. Care should therefore be taken not to overfill chip pans (it is recommended that the pan is no more than a third full of oil)

– Never cook with oil after consuming alcohol and always attend to your cooking, never leave the room with a pan still cooking. A chip pan can ignite very quickly. ALWAYS supervise cooking with oil.

– Should your chip pan ignite ensure that you and any occupants of the house are safe. Call 999 and leave the house, closing doors and windows as you go.

– If you are able to, turn off the heat, never try to move a burning chip pan. Burning oil may spill and spread the fire. If you are confident in doing so, use a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher, such as a water mist fire extinguisher or a wet chemical extinguisher

– Think of safer ways to cook chips, oven chips and air fryers are not only safer but healthier ways to enjoy your chips this week.

Lastly, before embarking on cooking chips and joining in the general celebration of the humble chips, check that your smoke alarms and heat alarms are working. A smoke alarm will alert occupants of a fire, giving them precious seconds to evacuate.

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.

 

Pan fires and fire extinguishers

Deep fat fryer fires and pan fires with burning fat are difficult to extinguish. The jet of an ordinary extinguisher can carry the burning fat out of the pan and spread the fire, making the problem worse. Any traditional water based extinguishers can also be dangerous, as water droplets sink into the fat and then erupt violently, spreading the fire. The five most commonly used methods of extinguishing fat fires are:

1) wet chemical extinguishers

2) fire blankets

3) dry water mist extinguishers

4) ABF fire extinguishers

5) Foam Aerosols

Wet chemical extinguishers

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are usually supplied with a long lance which helps to safely deploy the foam. The wet chemical forms a thick soapy foam-like blanket over the surface of the burning oil/fat which stops oxygen from reaching the fire and smothers the flames. This process is known as saponification, which is an endothermic process that not only ensures that the additive penetrates the fat/oil and creates a seal, but also cools it to below the ignition temperature, thus preventing the oil/fat from re-igniting

Fire blankets

Fire blankets are spread over the burning pot or pan and exclude oxygen which suffocates the fire. It is crucial to leave the fire blanket on top of the container even when the flames have gone, as the hot fat would re-ignite again should the blanket be removed.

Dry Water mist extinguishers

Portable dry water mist extinguishers create a microscopic mist with low pressure which settles onto the surface of the fire without sinking in. As the water droplets evaporate above the surface, the fire cools and oxygen is excluded. Dry water mist also protects the user from the flames, as the mist forms a heat barrier.

ABF fire extinguishers

These extinguishers resemble a normal fire extinguisher and contain a foam suitable for burning fat.

Aerosols

Whilst formally not classified as extinguishers, these foams are a low cost solution for domestic kitchens with cooking oil.