International Firefighters Day is on the 4th of May!
Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. International Firefighters Day is held on the 4th of May, and is an event celebrated in order to encourage the world to step back and acknowledge the sacrifices that firefighters make.
Firefighters Day was created in 1999 after five firefighters died tragically during a wildfire in Australia when the direction of the wind changed suddenly and engulfed them in flames.
Firefighters are heroes every day and making their lives easier by putting preventative measures in places is extremely important.
There are many easy ways to prevent fires to help firefighters and the spread of them including:
Fire doors and their maintenance
Fire doors ensure that building occupants are protected for up to 60 minutes should a fire break out. This provides a safe place for occupants to remain until firefighters arrive. Keeping fire doors maintained is key, fire doors are subjected to a lot of wear and tear particularly in busy offices, schools, student accommodation etc. H Timmins can survey, install and service your fire doors checking the seals are in perfect working order. Any damage highlighted is immediately replaced if the door is in a state of disrepair.
Installing and maintaining fire alarms
Install a fire alarm on every level of your building. Change the batteries at least once a year and check the alarm is functioning properly every month.
For most people fire extinguishers are invisible red cans on walls, never looked at, rarely considered, often used as door stops. Although, it’s imperative to have them installed and maintained within a workplace as statistics identify that in 80% of fires where extinguishers were used, the fires were successfully extinguished
Tidy away flammable items
Paper is one of the riskiest of flammable items. One of the biggest causes of fires is the improper and careless storage of dry, combustible waste. Many offices have an abundance of these materials stored incorrectly, therefore, acting as fuel for any fire that may break out.
Keep an eye on soft furnishings
Soft furnishings such as sofas are more common in offices with an informal relaxed atmosphere. The fabrics that upholster this furniture is often flammable, which in the event of a fire can burn rapidly and pose a risk to anyone nearby. To ensure your office is safe, make sure any soft furnishings you put in your office are compliant with legislation on fire resistant materials and have the tags kept on!
Never overload extension cables and cords
Offices in particular are common place to spot overloaded plug sockets and extension cables. Using extension cables is a handy way to increase the number of appliances you can use at one time. However, extension cables have a rating indicating how much power they can handle, unfortunately, this is often ignored, or users are unaware of this fact. Ensure that you only have four plugs at one time on an extension cable in order to keep safe and avoid the plug in the wall socket overheating, potentially causing a fire.
Turn off heaters
Avoiding using space heaters is good practice in general. Although, in certain circumstances using space heaters is a must. Stay safe by avoiding using an old space heater, older models may not have adequate safety features compared to newer units. When purchasing a new space heater, ensure it has safety approval certificates and pay attention to the safety features. Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains or other objects that could easily catch fire. Also, never cover them with clothing or towels.
Keep chimneys clear
Keeping your chimney clear saves your business from the risk and stress of a fire. Having your chimney swept regularly will minimise the risk of chimney fires and improve efficiency, helping protect against any damage or dangerous gases.
Deliberately started fires pose very significant risks to all types of workplaces. The possibility of arson should be considered when completing your businesses risk assessment form. The majority of deliberately started fires occur in areas with a known history of vandalism. It is encouraged to seek advice from your local fire authority if you are concerned about this.
There are many great ways to celebrate firefighters on the 4th of May. At H Timmins we believe fire prevention is the best option. So, show your firefighter appreciation and celebrate their service, risks, and sacrifices this month; find a way to make sure your local firefighters know how much you value them!