Many of us believe that ‘Health & Safety’ has gone mad! With current demands and legislation at an all time high, let me highlight an important statistic for you Workplace fire safety should be paramount for all employers as in the first 6 months of 2013 alone, there were 140 deaths in the UK (Gov 2013). Here are the main causes of workplace fires along with tips on how to fire proof your premises;
Faulty electrics are the biggest cause of workplace fires, i.e loose wires, plugs that are over loaded and old unchecked equipment. Each workplace is by law obliged to carry out Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) on electrical equipment. This will ensure that your electrical appliances are in good working order.
Flammable and Combustible Materials
These materials are a dangerous hazard to your employees as well as your business; Put these risks at the forefront of your mind. Think about the safety of your employees and ensure a plan is in place for correct storage, processes for handling and appropriate disposal of these materials.
Again, think ahead and be prepared as a common reason for fires in the workplace is particularly as a direct result of human error. Accidents occurring when spilling liquids onto electrical equipment or tasks as simple as cooking in the staff kitchen.
Causes of fire at home are not too different from those in the workplace – the most common is burning food, grease, or an electrical problem, often times all three can cause a fire which can quickly grow and spread. Electrical fires or even portable heaters and electric blankets are common causes during the winter months.
What a lot of us don’t realise is, though all fires may look the same, not every fire will burn in the same way and unfortunately, even some ways in which we may fight a fire could even make it worse or spread quicker. Each material will burn differently
Different Fires Require Different Methods
There are different classes of fire;
Class A fires, which include combustible materials like wood, paper, trash, plastics, and fabric. Most extinguisher types can be used in the evnt of this type of fire.
Class B fires, which include flammable liquids like gasoline or propane.
Class C fires, which include gaseous elements, i.e.;hydrogen, lithium, propane, etc.
Class D fires, which include metals like potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium.
Class F fires - The only appliance that will work on large scale cooking oil appliances e.g. deep fat fryers etc, is a Wet Chemical.
See our colour coded easy guide or contact us for advice on anytime for the fire extinguisher you require in your home or workplace.
Fire Blanket is also a useful appliance in the kitchen. This is often used on small scale cooking oil fires, i.e. frying pan, wok, saucepans etc.
Typically, if we have a fire extinguisher sitting somewhere in our home or workplace, we don’t think much about it again. However, that extinguisher can end up saving your life and your home; So, you want to be sure it’s working perfectly from the moment of purchase, ensuring you have the correct cover for the environment you are in – after all, you never know when it will come into use.