Ways you can prevent a fire

JST Construction – Fire protection and safety measures

Fires have to potential to devastate not only buildings but most importantly families and communities. The loss of a building to fire is traumatic, the loss of friends and family is overwhelming. The need to prevent and protect from fires is one that everyone must accept and be ready to respond. Indeed, there are numerous ways that we can all act to safeguard against fires and reduce the risk of them occurring. This blog shall set out some of the most effective and life saving measures you can take around your home and other buildings to prevent a fire from breaking out.

Smoke alarms

These small devices have the power to save lives so long as they are present and regularly tested to remain active. Having a powerless smoke alarm isn’t much use if a fire starts, so make sure that the alarms work. Two smoke alarms in your home is recommended, both to increase the likelihood and speed of fire detection and spread the sound. It can also act as a backup alarm to provide 24 hour coverage if one of the alarms is broken or need new batteries etc. Alarms in different rooms and parts of the house, for instance on different floors is a good way to cover more ground and give you more notice of a fire. It is also sensible to have alarms in rooms such as attics and garages as fires can start in these rooms but are often more difficult for smoke alarms to detect as they are often located in kitchens and hallways. Office blocks and other premises are likely to be fitted with integrated smoke alarms and sprinkler systems to act against the outbreak of fire. 

Inspect heating machines

Keeping an eye on the heating systems is advised as these can overheat and become serious fire risk, so making sure to watch for possible overheating to the units is a sensible measure to pre-empt a fire and remove the risk. if a heater is damaged or shows signs of overheating unplug and remove it immediately as it could be close to causing a fire. Do not leave on for long periods and unattended especially over night as this is a common time and cause for fires to commence. Also do not cover the heating units and do not place them by combustible materials and objects which could increase the prospect of fire.

Kitchen and stove

When using the stove and cooking in the kitchen do not over the stove as this could easily cause a fire and do not leave the cooking area unattended as this is a common example of when fires have started while cooking and the person cooking has left the room and so cannot prevent fire as easily and safely as being next to the cooking. If you must leave the room, make sure you take the pan or pot off the stove and turn off or down any cooking applicants that you are using for the time you are absent.

Check cords and plugs

Ensuring that cords are properly maintained and do not fray can be useful for preventing fires by keeping electrical devices and wires in good condition and not using them if they are not. The risk of fire and electrocution from damaged wires is high so you must be vigilant and discard any dangerous or unsafe wires and devices that could pose a fire risk. Furthermore, you could also switch off devices and plugs that when not in use/overnight and this will not only reduce the risk of fire it will also save you money on energy bills.

Candles/fireplaces/cigarettes  

Candles although popular and effective, are also major fire risks since fire is present throughout their use. So, when using them be sure to extinguish completely when finished and do not leave unattached for long period i.e. overnight. If you smoke, smoking inside is strongly discouraged as it increases the possibility of a cigarette end igniting and causing a fire, outside is best place for smoking. However, if you choose to smoke indoors, then like candles, be sure to properly extinguish the cigarette and use ash trays to reduce the chances of accidental fire. Similarly, to candles and cigarettes, open fires pose a serious threat of fire and so extra care must always be taken to ensure that the fire is properly monitored and attended too in order to prevent a dangerous situation from escalating into a life threatening situation. Using a metal fire guard to reduce the risk of the fire leaving the fireplace is a measure that should not be ignored. A fire guard could be the object that prevents a fire by stopping hot sparks from reaching beyond the hearth and into your home causing a fire.

Closing doors

In the event of a fire it is important that you act to prevent the fire spreading and reaching more areas quicker, allowing others time to escape and also enabling the fire brigade to fight the fire in a more confined space if a fire were to break out. Placing blankets and other material in front of doors to limit the spread of smoke is also advised to make escaping and fire fighting easier. The use of fire doors is most effective as they can contain the fire and compartmentalise rooms to make them more fire resistant. Fire doors are designed and built to withstand fire for 30-40 minutes whereas a standard door may only last a few minutes before the fire consumes them and is able to move further. Your place of work is also likely to contain both fire doors and fire walls to compartmentalise the workspace and limit the spread of fire. If your work place doesn’t, then call JST who’ve provided reliable fire compartmentation services to a whole range or organisations.

Fire extinguisher

Having a fire extinguisher in your home is also a reliable option to protect yourself, others and your home from a fire if it breaks out. Although it is vital to remember that if a fire starts you must leave your home at once and call the emergency services who will arrive to tackle the fire while you remain at a safe distance with others. It Is not for you to put your life at risk, the fire brigade will handle the fire. If one occurs, preserve your life and the lives of others rather than face the fire. Fire extinguishers, although not often found in homes, are a standard piece of apparatus in commercial and office premises for the purpose of tackling fires.

Following these steps to keep yourself and your home safe from fire is a matter that should be treated with the most serious attention as failing to implement at least some of these measures could have very catastrophic outcomes. For more information regarding fire safely and prevention please contract JST construction who will be glad to give you more information and advice on this issue.

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