Fire safety is crucial for several reasons.
First and foremost, fires are obviously dangerous. While they can cause serious injuries, fires also result in millions of pounds of property damage each year. A report released by the Fire Protection Association (FPA) calculated that the average financial impact of a single fire reaches over £657,000.
But it’s not just the destruction of property and long-lasting injuries that makes fire safety so important. Fires are deadly.
There were 280 fire-related fatalities in the year ending December 2021, a 27% increase over the previous year. This alarming increase in fatalities further cements the importance of fire safety. At FPC, we specialise in fire safety products to help protect the nation.
With experience and fire safety knowledge across a range of sectors, we understand the need to increase the awareness of fire safety as well as fire prevention methods. That’s why we have outlined the key points in this helpful blog.
How might a fire start?
There are many ways a fire can start, but some are more common than others. Whether it’s a residential property or a commercial/workplace environment, it’s crucial to know the common causes:
- Candles: Candles are a common cause of house fires. Never leave them unattended, and make sure they’re extinguished before you go to bed or leave a room.
- Electrical plugs: Overloaded electrical sockets can cause fires. Be careful not to overload them, and don’t use extension cords for appliances that draw a lot of power. This is the most common cause of fires in the workplace.
- Smoking: Cigarettes are one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths. If you smoke, be extra careful to extinguish your cigarette correctly.
- Kitchen fires: Cooking is the leading cause of domestic fires. Make sure to stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking, and don’t leave flammable items, like oven mitts or tea towels near the stove or near an open flame.
- Heating: Small electrical heaters often cause fires during the winter. Be sure to keep them away from flammable objects and turn them off when you leave the room. Do not leave them under a desk either.
Fire safety is important for everyone. By taking some simple precautions and preventative measures, you can help prevent fires and stay safe by using common sense.
When there’s fire, there’s also smoke
Surprisingly, smoke inhalation is one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths. It happens when you breathe in hot smoke from a fire.
The smoke can damage your lungs and airways, filling them with smoke and making it hard to breathe. Smoke inhalation can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.
This cements the importance to have a working smoke alarm in your home or office. A smoke alarm is a fantastic preventative measure that can give you the early warning detection you need to get out of a burning building before the smoke overcomes you.
By UK law, a workplace or business must have a fire detection system in place; a smoke or fire alarm is the more cost-effective method.
What to Do if There is a Fire?
If you find yourself in a situation where there is an active fire, it is important to stay calm and act quickly.
The first thing you should do is try to extinguish the fire, if possible to do so, but more importantly, is safe to do so. If the fire is too large or out of control, evacuate the building immediately.
Once you are outside, call 999 and do not go back inside for any reason.
When you get through to an operator, make sure to let them know all the necessary details, such as location as well as if you know how the fire started.
Fire Evacuation plan
If you don’t already have one, it’s important to create an evacuation plan.
If you own a business or work in an office, it is highly recommended that you have an evacuation plan in place, so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. The plan should include an evacuation route and a designated meeting place.
It’s essential that everyone that may be in the building – whether a home or business – should know the basics of fire safety as well as an evacuation plan if a fire was to start. This escape route should also be practised regularly.
By taking these simple precautions, you can greatly reduce the risk of a fire in your home or workplace.
Preventing a fire
The best way to prevent a fire is to never start one. Be careful when cooking, smoking, or using candles. Don’t leave open flames unattended and make sure your electrical outlets are not overloaded. Inspect electrical and heating equipment regularly, and clean chimneys and vents yearly.
By taking measures to prevent a possible fire, you can keep yourself, your family, and your home or business safe.
Other fire prevention methods
As well as the essentials outlined above, there are many other methods that can help prevent a fire:
- Smoke alarms: A smoke or fire alarm can give you the early warning you need to get out of a burning building. Be sure to test your smoke alarms regularly and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Fire extinguishers: Fire extinguishers can be used to put out small fires before they get out of control. Keep one in an easily accessible place, and make sure everyone in your building knows how to use it. Make sure to have the correct type of fire extinguisher to fight the correct type of fire.
- Putty pads: putty pads are socket inserts that are designed to prevent the passage of fire through switches and sockets. Made from a flexible, useable material, putty pads provide a full fire barrier and are easy to install.
- Fire blankets: Fire blankets are excellent at putting out and smothering small non-electrical fires, such as those caused by kitchen fires. Do not use it for other fires.
- Carbon monoxide detectors: These can also help prevent fires. They detect carbon monoxide, which is a colourless, odourless gas that can be deadly.
- Fire-rated acrylic sealant: Our fire and smoke resistant seal is designed to swell under heat and create a barrier in the event of a fire. Perfect for floors, pipes, walls, and fire doors, this sealant is designed to help prevent the spread of a fire.
Fire safety with FPC
The importance of fire safety cannot be stressed enough. Knowing how to prevent and fight a fire correctly can be the difference between life and death. A fire can spread quickly, can destroy properties and ruin lives so it’s crucial to know what to do in the event of one.
At FPC, we are dedicated to creating effective fire protection solutions to help aid current fire prevention methods. We consistently manufacture products for the changing market and have pledged to continue researching product development to maintain effective and impressive fire protection solutions.
Fire prevention is not just limited to smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, there are other unique ways to prevent a fire before it even begins. FPC has worked tirelessly across industries and sectors to pinpoint specific hazards and supply fire prevention methods and products to help protect you and your business.
If you’re interested in creating a fire-free safe environment, contact us today.