It’s obviously a lot better to do everything in your power to stop fires breaking out in the first place by having fire prevention measures in place rather than having to deal with them once they get started. On this page we will give you advice on this topic by showing you how to do a fire risk assessment on your property as well as giving you advice on safety procedures. Listed below is information on certain fire safety equipment that when used properly can help in preventing serious injury or even death from fires or smoke inhalation.
The information we provide on this page is not complete, and you should always seek advice from fire safety UK consultants. You should always ask the advice of those who are employed in fire service jobs or by contacting your local fire brigade office. They can offer practical help on safety rules on how to deal with all sorts of scenarios relating to your kitchen, to the use of electric heaters etc. For instance if you know where the fire exits are in a tower block then its a lot easier to get out of a burning building than if you did not know where they were.
Having furniture like beds, sofas, carpet’s etc that are fire resistant is also important, you should note that when burning some items can release highly poisonous fumes. Make sure you do not have highly flammable surfaces by your cooking area, and that frying pans are always stored away and covered with a hard surface after use. Have a qualified electrician check the electric wiring. Ensure that hallways are clear and free of major obstacles to ensure you can leave quickly in an emergency, this is particularly important for office blocks and high rise towers. Be very careful where you place portable electric heater’s, keep them away from curtains etc. Tape down extension cables to make them hidden, ensuring no one trips over them or pulls them out accidentally. Never be tempted to leave electrical items like computers or heaters on over night, when the building is empty. In any cooking area try not to leave food that is being cooked unattended for long periods, especially if you are deep fat frying which uses oil.
Factors like these combined with other measures all decrease the likely hood of accidents occurring and increase your chances of survival.
As regards domestic properties they must follow strict building guidelines, walls and doors in stairways should be built to ensure smoke cannot travel easily between rooms. The road outside your house should ideally be wide enough and clear of obstacles for fire engines and other emergency vehicles to be able to get reach you quickly.
In residential homes where smokers also live you should have plenty of ashtrays around to ensure no ash or cigarette ends are accidentally dropped on to carpet’s. Most fires happen in homes due to cooking incidents in the kitchen, to reduce the chances of this happening to you always have it clear and well organized. Simple things like keeping towels away from a burning cooker, never leaving the oven door open while it is on. Ensure all electrical cables are tucked away, and not unnecessarily exposed.
Common sense should always be used when you come across a fire in any location, do not put yourself or others at risk, and always call the emergency services on 999. If in the unfortunate event that a fire does break out then try to remain calm, attract the attention of other people in the building and call the fire service immediately.
Prevention benefits of a smoke alarm
Smoke detectors are installed in the majority of homes in the UK, and because they can give you a warning of a few minutes they are responsible for a decrease in the number of serious injuries and deaths.
They are activated by the smoke from a fire, and when alarm detectors pick this up a loud audio alarm is set off, attracting and warning the occupants. They are easy to install and, typically for the best protection one should be installed in the centre of the ceiling of all the bedrooms and halls ways of a house. As you can imagine you should not install one in your kitchen, or very close it as it will be going off every day, due to false alarms.
Most fire alarms are stand alone, but you can have a network of them linked together, so that if one detects a particle of smoke it will activate all of the others. Which every one you eventually buy make sure that it is up to fire safety UK standards. There are many different types of smoke alarms, some are battery operated and others are powered by an electricity supply from the mains or even a ordinary power socket. There are three main types of smoke alarms, firstly there are photo electronic ones, then there are ionisation smoke alarms. Finally there are combined ones, there are even carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should be tested regularly to make sure they are working, this can be done by pressing the ‘test’ button that is on every alarm.
These are mainly hand held devices can be found in virtually all offices in the UK and many homes. They are primarily used to put out small blazes, not big ones, and are very useful in giving people a few extra minutes to either control a fire or to get out of a building. Fire safety consultants can give advice on the most suitable one for you, as there are so many different types of CO2 extinguishers, for instance some expel a powder agent or chemicals while there are also foam fire extinguishers and water based ones. You can even have miniature ones for cars.
Further related topics you may be interested in: