Independent Fire Safety Training & Risk Assessment

January 30, 2009

Fire Safety Training is ‘Crucial’

Filed under: Fire Safety — Adrian @ 2:11 pm

Fire safety training is crucial for those working in a kitchen environment as this can reduce the risk of a fire starting, a leading organisation asserts.

This must cover as a minimum the high risk areas such as cleaning flues and ductwork, fighting cooking fires, isolating extractor fans and the safe handling of fats and oils.

It is important to keep adequate records of who has received training and is competent at cleaning as this can help prevent firms from being prosecuted.

Failure to provide an adequate cleaning regime can jeopardise insurance claims in cases of a fire and many insurance policies stipulate this as a condition.

Earlier this month, it was revealed one in three business were breaking the law by failing to conduct a fire risk assessment.

January 12, 2009

Fire Safety Campaign Hailed a Success

Filed under: Fire Safety — Adrian @ 3:00 pm

A recent fire safety campaign targeting shops and nightclubs in Southend town centre has been heralded a success.

The operation “back passage” is ran by the Southend fire station every Christmas because of the increased chances of a fire starting during the festive season.

The station commander sent letters to shop, pubs and nightclubs warning them to expect a surprise visit and what standards they were  expected to meet.
For nightclubs and pubs, fire crews visited in the evening when they were full and checked the fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting as well as the fire escapes to see that they were clear from obstructions and well lit.

For shops the dangers of a fire were exacerbated due to the increased volumes of stock, storage and rubbish combined with limited bin collections.

Small contraventions of fire safety were dealt with on the spot, but for the more serious cases fire safety offices were involved until the problems were rectified.

December 15, 2008

Good housekeeping in the office can help to reduce fires in the workplace and save lives!

Filed under: Fire Safety — Adrian @ 4:36 pm

There is no doubt that implementing good housekeeping practices in offices and workplaces  can significantly reduce the chances of a fire starting and will help to minimise its spread if a fire does break out.  The following is a list of guidelines to ensure that your work premises has as low a risk of an office fire as possible.

  • Ensure that all fire exits and fire escape routes are cleared from obstructions at all times.
  • Ensure all air conditioning or conditioning/heating units are regularly serviced and maintained to reduce a build up of dust and dirt and to make sure they are working effectively.
  • Check that all electrical appliances are in good working order, that plugs are not overloaded and that unused electrical items are switched off at the end of the working day.
  • Have good security systems in place to deter arson attacks.
  • Store solvents and all other flammable materials away from sources of heat.
  • Fire extinguishers should be tested and maintained at least once a year.
  • Ensure that all escape routes are well lit with the appropriate fire safety signs displayed.
  • Keep your fire register up to date.
  • Do not stack rubbish so high that it could impede the effective operation of sprinklers or fire alarm systems.
  • Carry out regular fire alarm tests.
  • Keep stationery/archive cupboard doors closed at all times, particularly if they contain large amounts of paper.
  • Ensure that all equipment that could provide a source of ignition is left in a safe condition, even when not in use.

Remember that after October 2006 all business must now carry out a fire risk assessment and maintain a fire management plan, Assseco can help businesses to perform their fire risk assessment and produce a suitable fire management plan.

November 14, 2008

Fire Safety – The Fire Triangle

Filed under: Fire Safety — Adrian @ 2:16 pm

One of the first things taught in a Fire Safety Training course is how a fire starts. Knowing how fires start can considerably increase awareness of potential hazards and also helps in providing an understanding as to how fire extinguishers work.

In order for a fire to start, there needs to be sufficient quantities of three elements in place – fuel, oxygen and heat. Once a fire has started, removal of any of these three elements will cause the fire to extinguish. The term for this is the ‘Fire Triangle’ Recently, this has largely been replaced in the industry by the term Fire Tetrahedron which takes into consideration the ignition or combustion process.

Fuel

Without fuel a fire will stop. Fuel can be removed naturally, where by the fire has consumed all the burnable fuel, or manually, by mechanically or chemically removing the fuel from the fire. Sources of fuel include:

Petrol
Paraffin/kerosene
Alcohol
Oil
Paint
Wood / paper / card
Plastics – most plastics will release toxic smoke during combustion
Metals – some metals are flammable, although usually very high temperatures are required
Dust – airborne particles which can be highly explosive
Materials/clothing/upholstery – present virtually everywhere, these can produce toxic smoke

Oxygen

When there is a lack of oxygen, a fire cannot begin nor can it continue. Oxygen can be removed from a fire by dousing it with foam, spraying it with inert gas, dry chemicals (powder) or by enclosing the fire in an area where all the available oxygen will be used up. Imagine using a candle snuffer on a burning candle, instantly the candles source of oxygen has been removed and therefore the flame will go out.

Heat

Without sufficient heat a fire cannot begin nor can it continue. Heat can be removed by dousing some fires with water; the water turns to steam taking the heat with it. However, it is worth noting that adding water to some types of fire (i.e. combustible metal fires) can have the reverse affect and can cause the fire to spread. That is why it is extremely important to use the correct type of fire extinguisher depending on what type of fire it is you are tackling.

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