Common Christmas fire hazards

The last thing that you want to happen over the Christmas season is to have a house fire. Around Christmas time, appliances are overworked, every plug socket adaptor in the house is used, and Christmas lights are everywhere, which unfortunately can be potentially hazardous.

At HydroFire we want you to have a fabulous Christmas, so to prevent any unwanted accidents we’ve put together a list of some common causes of house fires at this time of year to help you be more wary of potential fire risks.

FAIRY LIGHTS

Although they look great, fairy lights are responsible for 1 in 3 Christmas tree fires. Most lights will have a symbol on the side of the box which shows that they have met the health and safety standards required. Although LED lights are more environmentally friendly, they can still reach high temperatures and potentially cause a fire.

We would advise that you do not purchase any lights that have not got this sticker on the box, and would also encourage you to check any other lights that you have to make sure that they have been tested – if they haven’t, replace them.

CANDLES

Candles are often given as a festive gift, and, just like fairy lights, are excellent decorations but very prone to causing house fires. Of all home decoration fires, 40% are started by candles, with December being the peak period of time for this. Candles should never be placed under any decorations – particularly paper chains or similar – and should also never be placed on a Christmas tree as a decoration.

COOKING

Most fires that are reported over the Christmas period take place in the kitchen. Try not to cook too many things at once when in the kitchen. Although it is tempting to run out 10 different courses and have the oven on all day, fires are often started as a result of food being left in the oven too long – or someone going overboard with their Christmas pudding fireworks.

CHRISTMAS TREE

Although a staple addition to the homes around Christmas, a Christmas tree is often times responsible for the cause of a fire. It is imperative that your tree is not left any closer than three feet away from any heat sources as they speed up how fast the tree dries out and can also set a tree on fire, particularly open fire places.

Here at HydroFire we have been providing risk assessments and fire extinguishers to small businesses in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and the surrounding Yorkshire area for over 20 years. To make sure that you have a wonderful festive season, ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order, and that if you have a fire extinguisher it is the correct one for your home and has been serviced.

If you have any queries about the article or would like to contact us, call us on: 0808 1443934

The importance of fire safety at work

The importance of fire safety in the workplace cannot be overstated. Employers have a duty to make sure that the building is a safe place for their staff to work and part of this responsibility is to ensure that fire standards are met. Here are some of the considerations which should be made by business owners:

  1. Carry out a risk assessment

The fire risk assessment should be carried out by the member of staff responsible for fire safety and should be reviewed at regular intervals with any changes recorded. A fire risk assessment should determine any possible fire hazards as well as people who are at risk. As a result of these findings, there should then be a plan to decrease or if possible eliminate the identified risks. If you are not confident about carrying out a risk assessment, a professional company can do this for you, giving you peace of mind that the workplace will be a safe environment for employees as well as complying with legislation in this area.

  1. Have an evacuation plan

Having a plan for what to do should there be a fire is all really important. Escape routes need to be clearly marked out so that employees know how to get out of the building quickly. An assembly point should also be clear so that staff know where to go once they are outside.

  1. Promote good practice in the workplace

Finally, it’s also important to promote good practice amongst staff that can help reduce the risk of fire. This includes things such as encouraging people to turn off PCs before they go home, ensuring that smoking only takes place in designated areas and having a system in place for reporting electrical faults so that they can be addressed quickly before they escalate into a more serious problem.

HydroFire provide a wide range of fire equipment and services including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire risk assessment and fire training. We operate across the Yorkshire area including Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield. For more information or to book a bespoke train session or schedule a risk assessment please get in touch today on 0808 1443934.

How should fire extinguishers be serviced?

Professional fire extinguisher servicing and maintenance is an essential part of any fire protection system. It is up to the business owner or responsible person to arrange a regular service.

Stored Pressure Fire Extinguishers

Stored pressure fire extinguishers consist of a cylinder containing the extinguishing agent (water, powder, foam etc.) and are pressurised with dry air or oxygen-free nitrogen.

Basic Service by a Qualified Engineer

Fire extinguisher servicing should be carried out once a year to the standard laid down under BS 5306-3:2009. The service procedure involves thorough checking of the fire extinguisher for corrosion and partial or complete discharge. Reference should be made to the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for specific information on servicing and recharging. Any fire extinguishers that are deemed unfit for use should be brought to the attention of the user and removed from service.

1.      Visually check the fire extinguisher for damage and corrosion.

2.      Ensure the extinguisher has not been used by checking the following:

o    Safety pin and tamper seal are in place.

o    Pressure gauge reading (the needle should be in the green area. This does not apply to CO2 fire extinguishers).

3.      Check that the operating instructions on the extinguisher are clear.

4.      Remove the discharge hose and check for blockages and/or corrosion.

o    Once the discharge hose has been removed, replace the ‘O’ ring.

5.      Weigh the extinguisher and record the weight on the service label.

o    If there is a weight loss greater than 10%, investigate and recharge.

6.      Wipe down the extinguisher.

7.      Ensure that the wall mountings are secure and in good condition before replacing the extinguisher back on the wall.

Extended Service (by a Qualified Engineer)

Every five years water, foam, powder and wet chemical extinguishers require a more detailed examination including a test discharge of the extinguisher and subsequent recharging.

This only applies to pressurised extinguishers. We have not provided guidelines for gas cartridge extinguisher servicing.

Due to the amount of work the extended service requires, it is often cheaper to buy a new extinguisher rather than carry out the service.

Cartridge Operated Extinguishers

Cartridge operated extinguisher are made up of a cylinder filled with either water, foam or powder, and a gas cartridge containing highly pressurised CO2. The cylinder itself is not pressurised while not in use and the pressure is only released from the cartridge once the handle is squeezed and pierces the cartridge.

Do you have the right fire extinguisher?

There are several types of fire extinguishers which means that you need to be careful that you have the right one/s for your workplace / building and the potential risks that you face. There are five main types of fire extinguishers, each of which is designed to target a different type of fire. These are listed below:

Water extinguisher (RED)

A water extinguisher is best to be used on fires involving solid organic materials (Class A fires) such as coal, paper, wood, cloth, plastics etc.

DO NOT USE ON burning fat / oil / electrical appliances.

Carbon Dioxide extinguisher (BLACK)

A CO2 extinguisher is best to be used on electrical fires as it suffocates the area, removing oxygen from the fire to stop it from burning. However, the CO2 dissipates quickly allowing oxygen near the fire which can encourage the fire to reignite, so caution must be taken.

BE CAREFUL TO ensure that the room is well fumigated and that this extinguisher is not pointed in the direction of people as it can cause asphyxiation.

Powder extinguisher (BLUE)

Powder extinguishers are mainly used on fires involving organic solids, however unlike water extinguishers, powder extinguishers can also be used on gas fires and liquids such as grease, fats, oil, paint and petrol, but not on chip or fat pan fires.

PLEASE NOTE powder extinguishers are also safe to use on electrical fires, however they are not the best at reaching deep set fires in equipment which leaves the potential for the fire to reignite.

Foam extinguisher (CREAM)

This type of extinguisher is best to be used on fires involving solids and burning liquids such as paints and petrol. It is also safe on fires up to 35kV when stood 1m away.

DO NOT use on chip or fat pan fires.

Wet chemical (YELLOW)

A wet chemical extinguisher can be used on fires involving cooking oils and fats such as lard, olive oil, sunflower oil, maize oil and butter.

PLEASE NOTE this kind of extinguisher is not recommended to be used on fires involving petrol, however some manufacturers have produced some that work so check your manufacturer’s details.

For any further information on our services click here, or to contact us directly, call us on: 0808 1443934

Fire regulations at work

Every business has a serious obligation to the health and its of their workers. The owner of the business is responsible for ensuring that your workplace meets all required health and safety standards, especially in terms of fire safety.

It’s crucial that your working environment complies with all building regulations, to ensure the safety of your employees and the protection of your building. Fire safety should always be a main concern, no matter what type of business you run or how many people are employed.

It is always worth keeping abreast with the most current regulations your business must adhere to. There are many fire codes in place which are becoming more enforced every year, particularly for public buildings. The British Standard for Fire Alarms in Non-Domestic premises lists that:

  • Residential care homes must now have automated fire service response and those with 10+ bedrooms must have addressable fire alarms.
  • The lack of a Zone Plan is now regarded as “Major Non Compliance”
  • There must be new stringent detector coverage for buildings with high ceilings.
  • Requires the filtering of alarm calls – automated fire service response requires human confirmation.

Having a high quality, well designed, working fire alarm is one of the most important requirements that you must adhere to. Skimping at the quality of your fire alarm could end up costing you a lot more in the future. Typically 88% of fire alarms installed by non-approved companies fail to meet the standards.

At HydroFire we are one of the leading providers of fire alarms in Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield. The importance of fire alarms cannot be underestimated as they literally could be the difference between life or death.

For more information on fire alarms or any of the other services we offer, please call us today on 01132 089498.

 

Your Legal Obligations

Fire safety is essential in any workspace. At HydroFire we can ensure your office has the fire protection necessary with over 20 years of experience in the Leeds, Sheffield and Greater Yorkshire area. Last year in the UK there were over 160,000 fires, and almost 10% of these took place in office work spaces and similar buildings.

Some of the questions that we are often asked by businesses are listed below:

  • How many extinguishers do I need?

According to regulations, a minimum of two Class A [water, water mist, foam, dry powder, wet chemical] fire extinguishers are needed on each floor of a building. If the building is particularly small then one may be acceptable.

All premises with electrical equipment, which encompasses most buildings, must have at least 2kg CO2 extinguishers, and 5kg if there is equipment on the premises that is 415-Volt rated.

  • Where should the extinguishers be?

In a low-risk workplace an employee should be within 30 metres of a fire extinguisher at any one moment – meaning that extinguishers can be 60m away from one another. Offices must ensure that fire extinguishers are easily visible and accessible. In addition to this, CO2 extinguishers should be situated near exits and fire alarm call-points to encourage people to move away from the fire.

  • Servicing and maintaining fire extinguishers:

It is imperative that fire extinguishers are kept in proper working order to ensure the health and safety of those within the workplace. Annual services of the extinguishers must be carried out by a competent person, and monthly visual checks should be carried out by Responsible Persons (business owners and managers). A basic check should ensure that the product is in good working order, hasn’t been tampered with, it is in date, the correct weight and pressure, and that it has the correct signage and positioning.

  • Commissioning fire extinguishers:

For an extinguisher to be on site it must first be commissioned by a licenced person, usually someone who has obtained a BAFE fire qualification or equivalent.

If you have any further questions regarding fire protection and fire extinguishers, don’t hesitate to contact us on: 0808 1443934.

Fire extinguisher ADR regulations for HGV

Here at Hydro Fire we are being asked the question a lot recently about the requirement for fire extinguishers for heavy goods vehicles under the ADR regulations.

Size of vehicle- More than 7.5 tonnes- 12 kg of dry powder that must include 1 x 2kg powder for the cab/engine and 1 x extinguisher with a minimum capacity of 6kg. Therefore the options could be 1 x 2kg powder and 2 x 6kg powder or 1 x 3kg powder and 1 x 9kg powder.

Size of vehicle- 3.5 tonnes-7.5 tonnes-8kg of dry powder that must include 1 x 2kg powder for cab engine and 1 x extinguisher with a minimum capacity of 6kg.

Size of vehicle-up to 3.5 tonnes- 4kg of dry powder that must include 1 x 2kg powder for cab engine, we would advise 2 x 2kg dry powder.

The fire extinguishers should be kitemarked to EN3, serviced to national standards and include the next service date in month and year format. They should also be installed so they are easily accessible and protected against the adverse effects of weather.

Hydro Fire realise the importance of ensuring your business activities are not disrupted in any way so work with the customers on a bespoke basis ie evening or weekend fire extinguisher inspection of the equipment to avoid any disruption.

The HGV fire inspection can take place in and around Yorkshire, Humberside and Lacashire areas with local engineers based in the following areas ;

Fire extinguisher service for HGV avalable in and around the following areas ; Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, York, Harrogate, Hull, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Sheffield , Doncaster, Rotherham, Keighley, Oldham, Rochdale and Manchester.

If you require any further information you can contact us either through the website at www.hydrofire.co.uk , via email colin@hydrofire.co.uk or freephone 0808 1443934

Fire Door Inspection

Hydro Fire Ltd would like to welcome Steve to the team of fire protection specialists who as over 20 years experience within the idustry. The actual performance of an installed fire door can vary significantly due to a wide variety of factors, including the door, frame, hardware, intumescent strips and smoke seals. The fire door inspection includes checking items such as alignment, opening and closing devices, signage and intumescent seals. If you would like an inspection or require fire door remedial work contact sales@hydrofire.co.uk.

Fire extinguisher rental

Hydro Fire would like to wish the best of luck to The Beacons Music Festival this weekend in which we will be providing the fire extinguisher hire for the weekend. Lets hope the good weather that we have been having recentley holds out and all goes well. With festivals becoming more and more popular here at Hydro Fire we have been providing fire extinguishers for a record number of events this year from  rallies at Newby Hall for the National Farmers Union to village fetes like the one held in Huby recentley. We can provide fire extinguisher hire to any of the Yorkhire areas including fire extinguishers Leeds,fire extinguishers Bradford, fire extinguishers Wakefield, fire extinguishers Sheffield and fire extinguishers in the Huddersfield areas. We also sell Fire extinguishers and refill any type of fire extinguisher regardless of type ie powder, foam, water or co2 or regardless of manufacting Company ie Chubb, Nu-Swift, Thomas Glover etc. As well as fire extinguishers Hydro Fire as a Company offer the complete firew protection package including fire alarm supply and service, emergency lighting supply and service, fire signage, fire training and fire risk assessment. If you require any details do not hesitate to contact Hydro Fire Ltd on freephone 0808 144 3934.

FIRE EXTINGUISHER HIRE

With spring just around the corner, the days getting longer and the summer season of festivals about to begin why not give us a call about extinguisher hire for your special event. Quote Glastonbury 2013 and we will beat your best price for extinguisher hire by 10%.