Types of Fire Extinguisher

When a fire breaks out on premises, it is possible to fight it yourself using one of the fire extinguishers that may be located in your building. However, certain types of fire extinguisher can’t be used on certain fires; doing so would do more damage than good. This article will explain the classification system of fires, and which extinguishers can be used on which. Continue reading “Types of Fire Extinguisher”

Mandatory Training Courses – What are they?

Mandatory training relates to training that employers are expected to provide to their staff following statutory requirements.  Statutory requirements include the Health and Safety at Work Act, local authority requirements, and the requirements specified by the Care Quality Commission. Continue reading “Mandatory Training Courses – What are they?”

Fire Safety Awareness – prevention and what to do in a fire

The safest method of dealing with fires is to take steps to prevent them. The leading causes of property fires are faulty wiring and power outlets, yet these are also arguably the most easily avoided fires.  This article covers some basic steps in Fire Prevention and looks at the importance of Fire Safety Awareness. Continue reading “Fire Safety Awareness – prevention and what to do in a fire”

Workplace fire safety – fire safety checklist for employers

As we approach national fire safety awareness week it is useful to review old checklists (and update) to ensure the information we offer on this site is accurate. Fires and explosions caused 261 fatalities in 2017, in addition to damage and loss of business equipment and buildings. These are good reasons every business needs a fire prevention plan. Here are some workplace fire safety tips: Continue reading “Workplace fire safety – fire safety checklist for employers”

How to treat burns – First Aid

Burns are the most common household injury and unfortunately a regular occurrence in certain work environments.  This article discusses how to treat burns.

More than 1 million people in the UK seek medical treatment for burn-related injuries each year.  50,000 people are hospitalised due to burn-related injuries.  4,500 people die from burn related injuries.

Burns should always be treated as serious regardless of severity.  Before treating a burn-related injury however, it is important to first determine the type and degree of the burn. Continue reading “How to treat burns – First Aid”

First Aid – What to do for electrical burns

Electrical burns can be caused either by low or high voltage current.  High voltage currents can jump distances of up to 18 meters (known as “arcing”).  In such instances do not approach the casualty; stay at least 25 meters away until the power source has been turned off and contact emergency services.

With all electrical burns, there may be visible wounds on the skin where the electric current has entered and shocked the body.  Internal damage to the body may also have occured and can range from an irregular heart beat to cardiac arrest.

Continue reading “First Aid – What to do for electrical burns”

Housing providers admit fire safety failures

A new survey has revealed that three quarters of the people who work for housing providers do not believe proper fire risk assessments have been carried out.

The survey, undertaken by the fire service and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), involved asking nearly 400 employees of different housing providers if they were confident their organisations had properly assessed all fire risks at the high-rise tower blocks they managed.

The results of the survey, which was launched following the deaths of six people in a fire at Southwark Council tower block Lakanal House in July 2009, revealed that 75 per cent of employees were not confident that the housing provider they worked for had carried out a suitable fire risk assessment.

Concerns were also raised about the level of fire safety training those employed to carry out the risk assessment had undergone, as 49 per cent of survey respondents said they didnâ’t think their block’s risk assessor was wholly competent.

All of this could mean that large numbers of tower blocks in the UK are potential fire hazards. Andy Cloke, from the Chief Fire Officers Association, said:

“We are still finding buildings with significant problems, It wasn’t until Lakanal that we got a bit of a jolt in the arm and we started to uncover the sort of problems we are now aware of.”

UK care homes found to be routinely breaching fire regulations

A number of care homes in the UK have been found to be routinely breaching fire safety regulations and putting their residents at risk, according to a report in the Guardian.

Following a freedom of information request, it was revealed that as many as 135 care homes in the UK have been identified as fire hazards by inspectors from the fire service. In total, as many as 4,700 elderly and disabled people were found to be in danger by residing in these unsafe care homes.

There was a wide range of hazards uncovered during the inspections, including:

– Faulty smoke detectors and inadequate fire alarms
– Damaged and potentially dangerous equipment
– Staff who had not undergone the proper training on fire safety in care homes
– Blocked escape routes

A spokesperson from the Alzheimer’s Society commented on the findings, saying:

“In the event of an emergency, older people, especially those with dementia, will need more time to understand what is happening around them and negotiate fire exits,”

“Urgent action needs to be taken to protect people from the serious and tragic consequences that could occur in the event of a fire.”

Each of the care homes branded as being a fire risk had been issued with a fire safety enforcement notice, and it is hoped that the right changes have now been made to improve safety and protect residents from harm.

Building managers fined over fire safety breaches in London flats

The managers of a block of flats in London have been fined thousands of pounds by Southwark Crown Court after numerous fire safety breaches were uncovered at the property.

Inspectors from London Fire Brigade visited the Gloucester Terrace flats in Paddington after a fire broke out in one of the flats. They found a number of quite serious fire safety hazards, including failures to lock the electrical intake cupboard and failure to install a proper fire alarm system.

The fire service also found that although a fire risk assessment had been carried out on the property, both the leaseholder and the managing agent of the flats had failed to act on its findings. Whether due to a lack of fire safety training or plain negligence, no emergency plan was made, nor were emergency lighting or self-closing fire doors installed.

Douglas and Gordon Ltd, the managing agent, was ordered to pay £100,000 in fines and 13,000 in court costs. Leasehold owner of Gloucester Terrace, Atomlynn Ltd, was fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,440.

Steve Turek, the assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation, said:

“London Fire Brigade will continue to take action against managing agents, lease owners or landlords who do not take their fire safety responsibilities seriously. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution.”

Mansfield hotel manager pleads guilty to fire safety offences

A manager of two hotels in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, has pleaded guilty to a number of fire safety offences at Nottingham Crown Court.

David Liu, the manager of both the Market Inn and the Dial Hotel, admitted 15 breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 after officers from Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service uncovered serious problems at his hotels.

During a routine inspection, fire safety officers found that the upper floors of both premises were being used as sleeping accommodation without the property fire safety precautions being taken to protect occupants. Risk assessments were prepared for both premises, but they both failed to spot a number of significant hazards and deficiencies in fire safety policy.

Mr Liu has now been handed a jail sentence of eight months for the breaches, along with the man who carried out the fire risk assessments on the hotels, John O’Rourke of Mansfield Fire Protection Services, was also given the same sentence. Whether through improper fire safety training on how to conduct risk assessments or through negligence, Mr O’Rourke failed in his duty to fully assess the safety of each property.