Guides  /  The importance of fire safety at home and in business

The importance of fire safety at home and in business

Fires can be devastating. They can tear apart families and destroy homes. The worst thing about fires at home and within business is that most of them are entirely preventable.

By flouting general safety guidelines every day people put themselves at risk from third degree burns, smoke inhalation and in the worst cases death. Below is a run down of the fire hazards that are present within most homes and businesses.

Homes, Hotels and Care Homes

Over 72% of the recorded fatalities from fires occur in the home. Everyday, people start fires by falling asleep with cigarettes in their hands, leaving candles burning in unattended rooms and by leaving discarded items in front of open fireplaces. The fires that are started are careless and completely avoidable.

Another obvious place that fires can start within the home is the kitchen; leaving food unattended when it cooks, especially on a gas hob can have disastrous consequences. If you start a task, don’t get distracted, focus on it until it is done. That’s the best preventative measure in this case.

Fire sprinklers are an essential item in care homes and hotels. Care homes often house vulnerable people who may not be physically or mentally prepared for a speedy evacuation. When fire sprinklers engage, they give you an extra bit of time to get out safely. This also benefits hotels, as it can be hard to safely and speedily evacuate numerous guests, especially if it is a large multi story hotel.

It can seem like a good idea to celebrate a happy occasion with fireworks or by setting off a glowing lantern. If you do decide to release any of these items, consider the following:

  • Can you insure that you will not be endangering anyone around you?
  • Do you have enough room to set it out, unobstructed into the night?

Accidents are all too common where these items are concerned and you wouldn’t want to be responsible for any devastating consequences. Perhaps consider going to a staged event or an area away from the home to enjoy fireworks or glowing lanterns.

Schools

Unfortunately, many schools are the targets of arson attacks. The installation of fire sprinklers can at least reduce the damage caused in these cases. Regular fire alarm tests and training are an absolute must where children are concerned. Safety lectures should also be implemented in schools to make children more aware of the dangers and make them vigilant at spotting the signs.

Children should also be wary of the dangers present within the classroom. Science lessons should highlight the importance of lab safety. Playing around with bunsen burners and chemicals is extremely dangerous, as are the gas taps that are used to power the burners. These taps should be turned off at the mains whenever they are not going to be used and the mains cupboard should be locked at all times.

Within Business

Fire safety within business doesn’t just protect your staff, it protects your investment too and under current Health and Safety laws is a mandatory requirement. You won’t just be out of pocket if a fire strikes and work needs to be done to the building, you’ll lose time too, valuable time.

Make sure that you check that any electrical equipment in your business is functioning properly. Just because you don’t have open fires doesn’t mean that fires can’t start just as easily. Electrical fires are just as common, so if you notice a frayed wire or a loose connection, don’t ignore it, have it removed or fixed.

Restaurants obviously have dangers associated with their cooking equipment just as the home does, but remember that this is on a larger scale. If grease traps and vents aren’t properly cleaned they can leak onto your burners and cause grease fires. These are some of the most notoriously difficult fires to control and expand within seconds.

Fire sprinklers provide the best protection against fires, as they activate at the beginning of the problem limiting the damage that can be caused to property and life. Of course there will always be instances where they are not 100% effective, but with the installation of fire sprinklers in your home or business, alongside a healthy knowledge of fire safety and any applicable laws and legislation, you will be protecting yourself from unnecessary danger.

Below you will find a detailed list of safety advice that should be implemented at home and at work. Reading it will only take a moment and could end up saving someone’s life, perhaps your own.

Remember, prevention is always better than a cure.

The Essential Fire Safety Tips You Need To Know

At least one smoke alarm should be installed on every floor of your home. There should be at least one smoke alarm installed in every section of your office building/workplace.

Smoke alarms should be routinely tested to ensure that they are still functioning. This is a simple exercise which simply involves pressing the test button on the console. This should be done every two months without fail. Fire alarm tests should also be carried out regularly within businesses.

Emergency numbers should be clearly marked in a place everyone sees in your home. Emergency contact details should be visible in a number of places that are visible to all staff within your business.

Fire extinguishers should also be available on each floor of your home and within each area of your business.

Children should not be left unattended near open fires or around electrical outlets.

Any equipment or belongings that are not flame retardant should be stored away from open fires. It is best practice to not have any obstructions around an open fire.

Lit candles should not be left unattended when you leave a room and should always be snuffed out before you retire to bed.

Fire evacuation safety is extremely important within any business. All of your staff should know where the evacuation point is and a diagram detailing the procedure should be visible. You should also consider devising a fire evacuation procedure in your home, especially if you live in a large building or have a number of children/relatives living in your home.

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In 2010-11, there were 388 fire-related deaths in Britain, 28 fewer than in 2009-10. The highest number recorded was 1,096 deaths in 1979. (Source).




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