The Importance of Fire Safety

Whether at home or at work, it’s important to understand the dangers of accidental fires and how to avoid them. Fires cause around 49 deaths per year in the UK, as well as more than 100 million in property damage. In addition, the vast majority of all fires are preventable, so taking measures to reduce risks and improve safety can make a big difference.

In this article, we’ll be sharing tips on fire safety, including equipment, procedures and more. Whether you’re securing your home or reducing fire risks at home, you can use these tips to help prevent fires and minimise the damage caused if a fire breaks.

Fire Safety Equipment

While most fires are preventable, even if you have measures in place, fires can still occur. For that reason, it’s important to start out by ensuring you have the right fire safety equipment. Most homes and workplaces should follow fire safety regulations.

One of the most important things to consider is whether or not you need special fire exits. Most buildings need to have sufficient exits which can be used to safely evacuate the building in the event of a fire. These should always be marked with fire exit signs to ensure that everyone can see where the exit is, even when the air is filled with smoke. In addition, special fire doors are often required by law. These are made to automatically close, which helps to prevent fires from spreading through a building.

Aside from the exits, fire extinguishers can also be a great piece of equipment to have. These are canisters which can be unlocked and used to help extinguish a fire in the early stages, preventing it from getting out of control. Different extinguishers can be used for different types of fire, with carbon dioxide better for chemical or electrical fires compared to a traditional foam or water extinguisher. In addition, fire extinguisher blankets can be used in kitchens to cover oil fires.

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What Causes Fires?

Fires are caused simply by a source of ignition coming into contact with a source of fuel. If you’re deliberately trying to cause a fire, such as when lighting your barbecue during the summer, you always need both fuel and ignition. However, fires can also start accidentally in the same way.

Common sources of ignition that can be found at work and around the home include ovens and stoves, lights, heaters, electrical equipment, naked flames and anything else that can cause heat or sparks. Sources of fuel are perhaps even more common, as you’d be surprised by how flammable some common household items are.

Things like wood, paper, plastic and even clothes can become fuel for fires, along with the more obvious sources of fuel, such as flammable chemicals. Especially when packed densely into a small space, these fuel sources can quickly lead to out-of-control fires which can quickly become a major safety risk.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment and Management

To ensure safety and minimise the risk of fires breaking out, it’s important to carry out a proper risk assessment. This means identifying and evaluating potential fire hazards before managing them as best you can. The first thing to do in any fire risk assessment is to look at the potential sources of ignition and fuel.

You can also use your risk assessment to identify the lack of fire safety equipment or to check that it’s properly maintained. For example, fire extinguishers and smoke alarms need to be tested regularly to ensure they’re in working order. Also, any and all fire escape exits should be unobstructed. There’s no use in a fire exit if it’s blocked off when a fire breaks out.

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