Monthly Archives: May 2019

The rules for fire blankets according to BS EN 1869

Fire blankets might sound simple – but there are plenty of essential rules to follow to ensure that the fire blanket does what it is meant to: smother a fire and put it out.  

In a recent article, published by the Fire Industry Association (FIA) they provide further information on the updated Code of Practice, as well as, how you can ensure you are following the correct steps when commissioning a fire blanket.

If you’re a building owner, a consultant, a fire risk assessor  or just work in the fire industry – then all the below information will help you to be able to select, install, maintain, and commission a fire blanket (or choose someone who can).

First things first: fire blankets are designed to extinguish small fires in and around the kitchen and the home.  In some instances, the blanket alone may not be enough and a portable fire extinguisher may also need to be used – for example fires in small containers where the blanket creates a lid, such as food in a sauce pan or waste in a small bin. 

In all instances of possible causes of fire, it is important to consider the potential size of the fire and therefore the size of blanket required. BSEN1869 states that the smallest fire blanket size allowed is 0.9m x 0.9m, however there are currently no approved blankets of this size. The most common sizes available are 1mx1m, 1.1mx1.1m, 1.2mx1.2m, 1.2mx1.8m and 1.8mx1.8m. A smaller blanket might be suitable for things such as spilled candle wax on a counter, or food in a frying pan or a baking tray, but not for other purposes.  As such the use of fire blankets should be tailored to the type of fire that it is likely to be used for, and every opportunity should be taken to instruct personnel in the use of fire blankets, and to demonstrate their performance.

The next thing to note is that the location of the blanket and accessibility of said blanket are vitally important.  As you likely know, small fires can very quickly become large fires in a matter of minutes or even seconds, so the location of the blanket becomes particularly vital in these situations, since it will be used for first aid firefighting.

Fire blankets should not be located where a potential fire might prevent access to them; over or close to heating appliances; in concealed positions behind kitchen furniture and/or equipment, behind doors, in cupboards, drawers or deep recesses; or where they might be damaged.

The best place for a fire blanket is mounted on the wall, marked with the correct signage, red in colour, and where they will be easily seen. A fire blanket should be in the same room as where it is likely to be used and the user of the blanket should not have to walk through any doorway in order to gain access to the blanket (due to the fact that by the time they come back, a fire blanket may not be adequate, since the fire may have spread and be too large for a blanket to work).

The process of the commissioning a fire blanket should involve a visual inspection of the blanket itself. Check that the fire blanket has not been used, is not obviously damaged, or has any hand hold devices missing/unsatisfactorily affixed to the blanket. 

After any visual inspection is important to put the blanket back exactly as directed by the manufacturer.  Remember to replace any safety element designed to show whether the blanket has been deployed, and ensure the blanket is clean and dust free, ready for use again.

A full explanation of commissioning a fire blanket is available in the technical document released by the FIA, ‘Code of Practice for the Selection, Installation, Commissioning and maintenance of Fire Blankets manufactured to BS EN 1869’, including a step by step walkthrough, and more in-depth information regarding servicing, labelling, and when to replace a fire blanket.

The guide has been recently updated with the latest information and written by industry experts to provide you with the most accurate information possible about fire blankets.

Firechief manufacture a wide range of Fire Safety Equipment, have a look on our website – www.firechiefglobal.com.

For more information on our fire safety products, click here.

To speak to our team, call: 0330 999 0019

References:

FIA

 

Housing

Government launches group to give social tenants voice on building safety

According to a recent article published by Inside Housing, the government has launched a new group which will see social landlords and their residents explore ways to improve tenant engagement over building safety.

Social housing tenants are to join their landlords in a new government-backed ‘best practice’ group to look at ways of improving how tenants can communicate concerns over fire and building safety issues in the future.

The government has launched the Social Sector (Building Safety) Engagement Best Practice Group that will see eight social landlords take part.

Housing associations including Clarion, Optivo, Chelmer Housing Partnership and Phoenix Community Housing will be part of the group, with Sheffield City and Stockport Homes also listed as members.

Each social landlord will be joined by one of its residents at the group’s monthly meetings to discuss and agree short-term initiatives to be piloted across the organisations to ensure residents are better informed about the safety of their buildings and have a greater say in work carried out. Read More

Home Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguishers at Home

When choosing a fire extinguisher for your home, here’s what you need to know.

The Vital Role of Fire Extinguishers

In approximately 80% of all fire incidents, a simple portable fire extinguisher is all that is needed to put out the fire. Studies have also shown that 60% of fires go unnotified. This means that the fire is not severe and can be handled easily with a fire extinguisher.

How many should I buy?

In terms of the number of home fire extinguishers you should have, try to have at least one per floor, so you have it available in case of an emergency. Also, know when to go. Fire extinguishers are only one part of a fire response plan, but the primary element is to escape safely.

Five main types of extinguisher for home use are:

  • Water
  • Foam
  • Dry Powder (ABC rated)
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Dry Water Mist

Recommended Places to Keep Fire Extinguishers Around Your Home

  • Each Floor. Keep at least 1 fire extinguisher in a central location on each floor of your home.
  • Garage/Workshop
  • Laundry Room
  • Bedrooms
  • Patio and Grill
  • Other Areas where you think one could be useful.

What type of fire extinguisher should I get?

Every household extinguisher is labelled A, B, C or F which tells you the types of fires the extinguisher is effective against. A is ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth; B is flammable liquids, such as gasoline or cooking oil C is live electricity; and F is cooking oil and fat fires.

Why should I have one at home?

While fire extinguishers are needed to put out small fires, they also have an amazing benefit towards the environment. By having the ability to control fires, fire extinguishers limit the amount of pollution that is caused by smoke and burning debris.

Points to note before tackling a fire

  • Don’t attempt to use an extinguisher on a fire unless you feel it is safe for you to do so
  • Position the extinguisher where you can get to it quickly, like the hall
  • Buy extinguishers that you can carry easily
  • Don’t position extinguishers over a heater or fire, but do fix them to the wall, so they are out of reach of children but still easily accessed
  • Read the instructions and be familiar with how to use your extinguishers. Don’t leave it until you have a fire
  • If you require the extinguishers for a business (including letting premises) you must have them serviced once a year
  • If you are using a fire extinguisher on a fire, keep yourself on the escape route side of the fire.

Firechief manufacture a wide range of Fire Extinguishers which are suitable for home use, have a look on our website – www.firechiefglobal.com.

For more information on our fire safety products, click here.

To speak to our team, call: 0330 999 0019

 

Work fire safety

Improving Fire Safety at Work

The 28th of April 2019 introduced the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, inspired by the ILO centenary anniversary and discussions on the future of work, the world day this year attempted to take stock of a 100 years of work in improving occupational safety and health and looks to the future for continuing these efforts. In support of this day, Firechief have put together this blog explaining why fire safety at work is of vital importance.

Fire safety is one of the most important aspects of health and safety, and is something that all businesses, no matter how small, must give some consideration to. Here in the UK, we have wide ranging and strict fire safety laws, and standards that equipment must follow, to the point that fire safety signage and equipment is commonplace and easily recognised.

Fire risks cannot be understated. Thousands of fires occur  in commercial premises each and every year in the UK, with retail distribution centres such as warehouses, and industrial premises the most commonly affected. This costs millions of pounds to rectify, and many businesses struggle to recover following a serious fire.

There’s no debate that fire safety legislation is important – it saves businesses, it keeps people safe from injury, and it also saves lives. There are two main things to think about that demonstrate why the most common types of fire safety practice are so very critical to the everyday running of a business.

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