What are the Most Common Causes of Fires?

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Fire PreventionAs a company who value our customers, we want to pass on some facts and advice. House fires are so common, yet aren’t at the forefront of many people’s minds during their day to day. As many fire fighting bodies constantly stress, prevention is the best course of action. Of course apart from efforts and actions to stay safe, working smoke and fire alarms are a must have in every building. In 2020 fire and rescue services in the UK received 153,314 calls to fires, varying in severity, with 229 of them resulting in deaths. Fires are categorised as:

Primary fires
These fires begin in a building or vehicle that is inhabited, involve a casualty or fatality and require several pumping devices. There were 65,513 of these in the UK in 2020, Most of these types of fire [74%] occur in houses.

Secondary fires
Secondary fires are smaller and usually take place outdoors, and have not caused harm to people. The weather is a big factor in the impact caused by these fires.

Chimney fires
Chimneys in the home are still a significant source of fire and represent a notable amount of cases.

What’s the biggest causes of house fires?

Smoking

Smoking indoors is a major cause of all fires, and is responsible for almost half of household fire deaths. Being careless with cigarettes after alcohol, falling asleep with a lit cigarette or failing to put one out properly are main causes. Smoking in bed is also extremely dangerous.

Candles

Unattended candles represent one of the most hazardous situations and cause many devastating fires. Always place candles away from anything combustible and out of reach of children, pets etc.

Cooking

A main cause of fires is cooking, particularly where any kind of grease is involved, which can combust even where there are no flames. Never leave things like chip pans unattended.

Electrical appliances

These are also famous for causing fires especially if faulty, and may produce sparks which ignite nearby materials. Always use a qualified electrician for any electrical work, and have appliances checked regularly.

Call Fire Logistics for advice on what we offer on 0191 214 6400.

 

 

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How Do I Extinguish a Class F Fire?

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Class F FireAll fires are potentially dangerous, but not all can be dealt with in the same way! Water based fire extinguishers for instance, must not be used to put out Class F fires. These are fires often seen in kitchen environments as they involve the ignition of cooking oil and fats. The first instinct of many people on discovering a fire, is to try and extinguish it by throwing water at it. This is extremely hazardous with Class F fires, and can cause the fire to spread, or even create an explosion. You may think that any fire extinguisher will work, this is also a mistake, as these fires need a particular type of extinguisher. Extinguishers that use water, CO2 or powder should never be used on this type of fire.

Unlike flammable liquid/petrol fires, Class F fires are characterised by needing excessively high flash point and ignition temperatures in excess of 340°C to ignite. This difference is the reason for them having their own separate category. These fires can be avoided most of the time, and are usually caused by carelessness or negligence. Pans left unattended, oil or fat spills not being cleaned up, or not changing deep fat fryer oil.

Dealing effectively with these fires can be difficult, as their temperature has to be reduced to below the flash point. This is why a wet chemical fire extinguisher is needed, which contains potassium salts to cool the flames and cut off the oxygen source. These fires can be dangerous and devastating to people and surroundings, so their risk should be avoided at all cost. Kitchen managers, particularly in places like schools, hospitals, care homes, hotels and restaurants are legally obliged to remove and reduce any risk of these fires. Risk assessments, proper cleaning and safe practices must be in place, along with fire alarm systems and appropriate fire extinguishers.

 

 

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Better Safe Than Sorry

Sprinkler Systems, Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Extinguishers, Fire Prevention & Safety, Fire Warden Training

Fire is often at the back of our minds, making it a shock when the worst happens, and we may not remember what to do. There are several beliefs and misconceptions about fire too, making it even more dangerous. We all know how important fire safety is, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few things people ask in relation to fire prevention.

  • Do I need to test my fire alarm and emergency lighting?

Fire alarms should be tested and recorded each week, with a different point being tested each time. Emergency lighting needs to be tested and recorded once a month, and both should be tested by a competent person annually.

  • Should I buy fire extinguishers?

Most businesses and organisations need to provide an extinguisher for every area measuring 200m2. Each floor should also have two, unless the premises are very small. There are guides available with advice on which type of fire extinguisher your business premises needs.

  • Fire Risk Assessments

Fire risks must be assessed in order to protect you and others from injury, so this process is crucial. Only when all concerned are aware of any potential issues can you implement effective prevention.

  • What is a fire safety order?

This order outlines the minimum fire safety standard in all non domestic premises with only a few exceptions. The employer in the workplace is the Responsible Person (RP), who has to plan and manage fire prevention and deal with emergencies.

  • Where can I get fire safety training?

Fire Prevention experts like Fire Logistics offer fire prevention and fire fighting equipment along with in depth fire assessments and training. Our basic safety awareness courses and fire safety training are tailored to suit your specific needs. Also our comprehensive website has information on the types of extinguisher available and their uses.

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Fire Prevention

Comprehensive Range of High Quality Fire Sprinkler Systems, Domestic, Commercial & Industrial Applications

There is a fire extinguisher for just about every type of fire, some can cope with several kinds of fire at the same time, but none cover all fires. Operators of facilities such as chemical plants are required to have a range of fire prevention and fire fighting equipment readily available as well as strict procedures to limit danger. These measures include smoke detection, fire alarms, advice notices, signs, emergency lighting, sprinklers and fire extinguishers of varying types to deal with different classes of fire.

A fire risk assessment must be carried out to determine which extinguishers etc you will need on the premises, and it is always wise to err on the side of caution. It is also important to have the correct size and weight of extinguisher for each setting. There are 5 main types of fire extinguisher, although because there are additional versions of the water and dry powder units there are actually 8 to choose from.

In August 2018 a Shell chemical plant in the North West UK was evacuated after a significant fire broke out. Luckily the fire at Stanlow was brought under control by Cheshire Fire Service before it could cause any major damage. Incidents like this have to be taken extremely seriously though, as the plant uses ethylene in the manufacture of lubricant, polymer, detergent intermediates, detergent alcohols and plasticisers. This kind of mix makes for a very flammable and potentially hazardous cocktail.

Apart from the location in which the fire started, there was an adjacent unit housing an oil refinery that deals with 200,000 barrels per day, around 4.4 billion litres of diesel, 3 billion litres of petrol and 2 billion litres of jet fuel. There are 900 staff and 500 contractors based at this facility also, making on-site safety and fire prevention an even bigger priority.

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Devastating Car Park Fire in Liverpool

Sprinkler Systems, Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Extinguishers, Fire Prevention & Safety, Fire Warden Training

Yet again we read of a tragedy that could potentially have been avoided or at least considerably lessened by the presence of a sprinkler system! This time the location was the city of Liverpool, and the Echo Arena multi storey car park was the site of the catastrophic blaze. It was New Years Eve 2017, and as four thousand people watched the Liverpool International Horse Show in the venue, a fire broke out in it’s car park, destroying 1,400 vehicles. The fire is believed to have started in an old Land Rover spreading rapidly to other vehicles, and ex Liverpool FC and England footballer Mark Wright and his wife helped to raise the alarm after spotting the flames.

Chief fire officer of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Dan Stephens said “Had the car park had sprinklers that would certainly have acted to suppress the fire. It may well even have extinguished the fire. Had the car park had sprinklers that would certainly have given us a far better chance to get sufficient water on the fire to put it out. But beyond a certain point . . . the heat release rate from vehicles is such that we just didn’t have access to the water to put it out.”

Incredibly, car parks are exempt from having sprinkler systems, but this is based on outdated 50 year old research. In 2009, the Building Research Establishment reported that in this situation, the effectiveness of sprinklers in limiting the spread of fire to more than one car had been demonstrated. However in 2015, the same body concluded in a government funded project, that installing sprinkler systems in multi storey car parks was not cost effective, after looking at evidence from the 1960’s.

Cars nowadays are more likely to ignite for a number of reasons such as having larger engines, and containing more combustible materials. According to an industry expert, insurance companies are expecting claims of more than £2 million, which could rise to £10 million. Liverpool residents were praised by authorities, for their kindness in offering help and accommodation to those affected.

For advice on sprinkler system installation call us on 0191 214 6400.

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Many Thanks to Mike Graham

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Fire Logistics founder, Mike Graham, has been exploring options to wind down his activity within the company for some time, and the opportunity arose for HPA to buy him out. Mike had a number of very attractive offers to sell, but he opted to encourage a management buy out by HPA.

Mike even chose to assist in the financing of the management buyout, enabling us to retain the independence and continuity of the company. As a group we are extremely indebted to Mike for his guidance, commitment and generosity

Says director Helen Watson ‘We are very grateful to Mike for giving us the opportunity to buy the business and to continue the development of the business for the long term. We have plans to develop the business further, to secure the growth and prosperity of the business into the future.’

Mike is still active in the business as a consultant, undertaking surveys and attending site meetings. We are a well structured company, with a very healthy order book and Mike handed over the reins of a business looking forward to the future.

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Fire tragedy could have been prevented

Sprinkler Systems, Fire Prevention, Smoke Alarms, Extinguishers, Fire Risk Assessment & Fire Warden Training

 

In the aftermath of recent tragic events in London, resulting in loss of life and devastation, people are struggling to make sense of the situation. Through all of the tragedy and heartbreak, questions persist about how and why this fire happened, whether it could have been prevented and which warning signs were ignored. If there is one lesson we have learned from this awful event it is how important the inclusion of sprinkler systems are in as many buildings as possible.

The managing director of the Fire Protection Association stated that “A sprinkler system would have “undoubtedly” saved lives at the Grenfell Tower blaze”. This is the general consensus across the board, which is why there is so much anger about what happened, and the fact that fire prevention measures like sprinklers were not present in the dwelling. A catalogue of inexcusable circumstances existed in this tower block such as the fact that Councils did not provide fireproof cladding on the building when refurbishment took place in 2016, alarms were not working as well as the lack of sprinklers. According to the British Automatic Fire Sprinklers Association, more than 3,800 residential housing blocks in the UK remain without sprinklers, as it is not required by law.

While not a total solution, sprinklers will make the surroundings more survivable as they can help to contain fire and smoke. They frequently stop a fire in it’s very early stages, even before anybody has become aware of ignition, and often when a building such as an office is empty at night. Once a fire has taken hold however, there is a high likelihood of toxic gases being released as happened in this case.

There are some heart warming stories emerging from the catastrophe, such as people offering holiday homes to those left homeless, and generous donations made through the Red Cross. Although clearly this can never be allowed to happen again.

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Fire Safety Awareness

Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Prevention & Safety, Fire Warden Training, Sprinkler Systems, Fire Extinguishers

fireexIn a non domestic building there are a variety of regulations and procedures which by law have to be observed. Some of these relate to the very real threat of fire, which tragically is in most cases avoidable. In 2015 there were 294 fire related deaths in the UK, showing a worrying 21% increase compared to previous years.

Most fires which cause fatalities are domestic, although non domestic fires are a significant problem also, costing lives and often the loss of business premises, stock, important documents etc. In a business or other non domestic premises where people could be at risk, a ‘responsible person’ is required to carry out fire safety duties and make sure that fire prevention and fire fighting equipment is in place. The responsible person is normally an employer, landlord, owner or occupier, and their tasks include: –

  • Regularly carrying out and reviewing fire risk assessments of the premises.
  • Reporting any risks identified.
  • Implementing and maintaining appropriate fire safety.
  • Planning of emergency strategies.
  • Organising staff information, fire safety instruction and training.

If your business has 5 or more people you must keep written records of regular fire risk assessments, which include any fire hazards, people who are at risk, how to tackle the risks and proposal for emergency procedures and training needed. These assessments must be reviewed and updated regularly.

Along with our wide range of fire safety and prevention products and services we offer in depth fire risk assessments by fully trained fire officers. We can also carry out bespoke training, including basic fire awareness and fire warden training. Our popular loyalty discount gives fixed price deals for commitments covering 3 or 5 years, and you can choose to pay quarterly or annually. Contact Fire Logistics Limited, for more information or a quote on 0191 214 6400.

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The Truth about Fire Sprinklers

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Sprinkler sprinklingWhether its in a domestic, commercial or industrial setting its a fact that fire sprinklers save lives, property, jobs, money, communities and the environment! The reality of this statement is well documented with many incidences where fire sprinklers have averted what could have ended as disastrous fires. The devastating consequences of blazes are a source of concern everywhere but particularly where loss of life is possible. As a result of raised awareness, we are experiencing increased enquiries and contracts from all sectors to advise on and fit sprinkler systems.

There are still some myths around about fire sprinklers however, which need to be dispelled before we will see progress, and safe and widespread fire prevention. The main arguments people put forward about installing fire sprinklers are :-

Myth: Every sprinkler in the building will activate if a piece of toast burns, ruining property and stock.
Truth: Sprinkler heads are designed to operate independently of each other, and will only go off when a fire reaches a predetermined temperature. Also, sprinklers use 15 times less water than a fire fighter would use on the same blaze.

Myth: Aren’t sprinklers unreliable?
Truth: Sprinklers are exceptionally reliable, with only 1 in 14 million per year having manufacturing defects. There are actually 100 year old sprinklers today which remain in full working order!

Myth: Sprinkler systems are too expensive.
Truth: Installation of sprinkler systems can usually be compared roughly to the cost of carpeting throughout. Many customers consider them cost effective when you look at their advantages. Plus the presence of fire sprinklers may actually save money on your insurance policy.

Myth: Fire sprinklers are a bit of an eyesore and will spoil the look of my building.
Truth: In fact fire sprinklers these days are elegant and compact, they can be extremely small and can be installed unobtrusively so as not to detract from the surrounding décor. One additional benefit of this technology is that they negate the need for highly visible portable fire fighting equipment.

Myth: I dont need fire sprinklers, its unlikely to happen to me.
Truth: A significant amount of accidental fires are caused by carelessness, electrical faults or electrical appliances, and a high percentage of fires are started deliberately. In these circumstances anybody can become a victim.

Myth: The nature of my business means that water cannot be used, and sprinklers only use water.
Truth: Foam enhanced sprinklers are able to cope with a wide range of fires such as flammable liquid, petroleum and chemical fires.

So you see how versatile and dependable fire sprinklers are, and any other questions about sprinklers or our other products and services, can be answered by ringing us on 0191 214 6400.

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Sprinkler System Projects

Sprinkler System Design, Installation & Maintenance, Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Lighting, Fire Safety Training, Tyne & Wear

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image by Tim Parkinson

The importance of a high quality, professionally installed sprinkler system as part of a buildings fire prevention strategy is now undisputed. The facts and figures speak for themselves, and in early 2015 Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service joined forces with other fire and rescue services nationwide to raise awareness. In 2014 alone in the UK, 322 people died and 9,748 suffered injury as a result of fire. These devastating events can destroy lives and where the fire occurs at a business premises, cause financial ruin.
Earlier this year in East Sussex fire and rescue service crews were called to a hostel in Brighton, and found that a sprinkler head had subdued a fire in one of the bedrooms. The fire was completely extinguished with ease by the crew, and the sprinkler head replaced immediately avoiding what could have been a very serious situation.
There is plenty of reported evidence to highlight how crucial fire sprinkler systems are, and we are experiencing increasing demand for installation of sprinkler systems across the board.

Fragrance Manufacturer, Tyneside
We recently undertook a major project for a fragrance manufacturer, involving installation of over 1800 sprinkler heads at their production plant.

Military Base – Discreet Sprinklers
We have also been contracted to complete an appraisal of a fire fighting system located within a sensitive military base. All equipment here is required to remain unobtrusive yet practical and compliant with international standards fire fighting equipment regulations.

Factory Complex in Oman
Fire Logistics are due to satisfy a request from a leading UK based multinational company, to review their fire protection systems and procedures. We will perform an examination of a factory complex upgrade in Oman. This is a result of the development within the UK of an excellent relationship with this client.
We strive to attain this relationship with all of our customers, and are always happy to advise free of charge,  about fire prevention installation and answer any questions our customers may have.
If you wish to find out more about our fire prevention products or services including sprinkler system design, installation and maintenance, extinguishers, fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire safety training courses contact us on 0191 214 6400.

 

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