your safer community with Saffire (UK)
Office statistics inform us that in 1995 the fire service in the
United Kingdom attended approximately 65,000 fires in the home,
this represents 32% of total fires. In these fires there were
808 people who died and approximately 13,000 who were casualties.
Of those fires in the home 13,500 were considered to be malicious.
(UK) aims to provide general education in fire safety to the whole
community. This section endeavours to use the internet to highlight
particular fire safety issues within the home.
main focus is to increase the awareness of the public in fire
safety matters. Many of these deaths and injuries could be prevented
if people were aware of safety from fire, had early warning and
were able to get out in time. The buying and fitting of a smoke
alarm in your home could help to save your own and your family's
life as well as closing all doors at night to prevent smoke spread.
is a smoke alarm?
alarms are self-contained devices that incorporate a means of detecting
a fire (smoke detector) and giving a warning (alarm). They are about
the size of a hand and are normally fitted to the ceiling. They
can detect fires in their earliest stages and sound a loud warning
alarm. This alarm can give you those precious few minutes for you
and your family to get out safely.
are two types of smoke alarm currently on the market - ionisation
These are the cheapest and can cost from under £5. They are very
sensitive to small particles of smoke produced by flaming fires,
such as chip pans, and will detect this type of fire before the
smoke gets too thick. They are marginally less sensitive to slow
burning and smouldering fires which give off larger quantities of
smoke before flaming occurs.
These are more expensive but more effective at detecting larger
particles of smoke produced by slow-burning fires, such as smouldering
foam-filled upholstery and overheated PVC wiring. They are marginally
less sensitive to free burning flaming fires.
type looks similar and is powered either by a battery, or mains
electricity (or a combination of both). Some are interconnectable
so that any smoke detected at one point can raise the alarm at all
others. Some have additional facilities, such as emergency lights
and silence buttons, for use where false alarms can be a nuisance
e.g. when cooking.
do I need a smoke alarm?
will not smell the smoke of a fire when you are asleep. The poisonous
gases, which are present in the smoke, will put you into a deeper
sleep. During a fire, the smoke alarm will sound and give you the
time you need to escape. A working smoke alarm cuts your risk of
dying in a residential fire in half.
should I do?
smoke alarm can give you those precious few minutes of warning,
which could help you and your family to get out safely. They are
quite reasonably priced and may be purchased from most DIY stores.
However, the battery smoke alarm should have achieved a standard
acceptable to the British Standards Institution (BSI).
alarms should meet the current British Standards and should carry
the well-known Kitemark
the manufacturers instructions on how to fit and position the alarm.
The instructions will also give you guidance on battery replacement
and maintenance. If you have difficulties, local voluntary organisations
may be able to make arrangements to have the alarm fitted for you.
Smoke alarms for people with hearing impairment
people whose hearing is not severely impaired are still able to
hear a conventional smoke alarm. It is a good idea to link two or
more alarms. This way smoke detected in the living room will set
off another alarm in the bedroom. An electrician will be able to
advise you about linking the alarms.
people who would not be able to hear a conventional smoke alarm
there are special devices available which make use of a vibrating
pad or flashing light instead of the auditory signal - the vibrating
pad alarms are particularly useful for deaf-blind people.
many and what type should I fit?
you live in a flat or bungalow one smoke alarm should be enough
to provide you with early warning of fire. If your home has more
than one floor, an alarm should be fitted on each floor.
alarms substantially reduce the risk of dying in a fire. There are
many different types, all designed to be used in different places.
can be tested by a torch instead of pressing a button.
come complete with batteries that last for ten years.
can be linked together so if one goes off, they all go off.
This is invaluable if you live in a large house.
are specially designed so that they can be sited in or near
should I fit smoke alarms?
your home is on one level you should fit the alarm in the hallway
between the living and sleeping areas.
If your home has more than one floor, one alarm should be fitted
at the bottom of the stairs with an alarm on each upstairs landing.
alarms should normally be fitted to the ceiling and not in a position
of personal danger when you come to change the battery e.g. over
a staircase or other opening.
additional protection you can fit alarms in any room where you think
a fire might start e.g. lounge or sitting room. In some cases the
smoke alarms be able to be linked together to provide a better sound
coverage. But be sure that when they are fitted that they can be
heard at night particularly when you are in bed and asleep.
NOT FIX FIRE SMOKE ALARMS IN KITCHENS, BATHROOMS OR GARAGES
fumes or steam from these locations may cause false alarms)
do I maintain the protection?
alarms need very little maintenance. A few minutes a year should
ensure that your alarm is working and could help to save you and
a month - Press the test button to check the sound (there may
be a little delay in the button operating)
a year - Change the battery in the alarm and make a note of the
change (perhaps use a personal memorable date to change the battery)
a year - Vacuum the inside of the smoke alarm to ensure that dust
is not causing a blockage
you want any more information or advice you should contact your
local fire brigade or 'E' mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
care with Electricity.
appliances and their leads cause 10,000 fires a year in people's
homes Look for danger signs
plugs, which are not being used at night
build up of heat within electrical items such as TV's, video recorders,
computers etc by ensuring that any ventilation slots are kept
free from obstruction.
not join together cables - have a longer cable fitted
you are worried about your wiring you can ask your electricity
company to check your installation.
aware of the danger signs:
plugs or sockets.
or circuit breakers that blow for no apparent reason.
scorch marks on plugs and sockets.
checks of the wiring inside your home should help prevent these
danger signs occurring.
information is intended for GUIDANCE ONLY
Learn the correct wiring colours
/ Yellow Wire
correct fuse is vital to your safety
use the correct fuse for the equipment you are using. Fuses should
conform to British Standard 1362.
Video recorders, sewing machines.
1 kw (1 bar) Fires, Irons, Toasters, Vacuum Cleaners, Drills,
Machines, Kettles, Jugs, Dishwashers, 3 kw (3 bar) Fires, Deep
wattage (w) of any electrical appliance is marked on the rating
ALWAYS follow the manufacturers instructions regarding the use and
maintenance of equipment.
b. If in doubt consult a QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN.
starting any electrical work ALWAYS switch off at the mains supply
(Consumer Unit), as a further precaution remove the fuse of the
circuit concerned or switch off appropriate circuit breaker (if
- "One appliance, one socket" is safest
you use an extension cable, all the wire must be pulled out to prevent
the electric cable from overheating inside the drum.
in the garden or outside
use a residual circuit device when using any electrical appliance
outside. These devices are designed to fuse quickly, before you
can kill - so beware!
than 90% of accidental fires never come to the attention of the
1998 around 71,000 'home' fires were reported to the fire service.
500 people died in a fire in their home during 1998.
a fire occurs in your home, your chances of survival will
depend on how quickly and safely you are able to get out. This web
page aims to give you advice on how to prevent a fire, and how to
protect yourself should one occur.
all fires in the home can be prevented. Here are some fire safety
tips, which could help prevent a fire from starting in your home.
How to stop a fire starting in your home
to stop a fire starting in your home
pans/Deep fat fryers
are one of the most common causes of fire in the home but if you
follow some simple guidelines you'll keep your kitchen safe. Before
putting food in the pan dry the food, and test the temperature of
the oil by putting in a small piece of bread. If the bread crisps
up quickly the oil is ready.
fill a pan more than one-third full of fat or oil
leave the pan unattended when the heat is switched on
put the food in the pan if the oil begins to give off smoke. Turn
off the heat and leave the oil to cool otherwise it could catch
the pan does catch fire:
not move it
off the heat if it is safe to do so, but never lean over the pan
to reach the cooker controls.
the pan with a fire blanket or damp cloth and leave it to cool
for at least 30 minutes never throw water onto the fire.
you are in any doubt about whether to try to put out a chip pan
fire yourself then don't - leave the room, close the door and call
the fire brigade
fires or Portable heaters
fires are a constant source of danger and safeguards should be
taken to ensure that accidents do not happen. All open fire should
always have a fireguard round it.
have mirrors or frequently used items over an open fire q Never
remain closer than three feet to a heater.
not place a heater near clothes or furnishings.
not rest clothes or place newspapers on the guard.
materials still cause a large number of fires. You should always
be vigilant about what happens to them, especially when they are
leave a lit cigarette or pipe unattended - it may fall onto an
armchair or carpet, which will soon catch fire and start to give
off dense smoke and fumes.
keep matches and lighters well out of reach of children.
smoke in a chair if you think you may doze off in it.
fires in the home start at night. This is a time when all family
members are asleep and not fully aware. Make sure you have a smoke
alarm and a bedtime fire safety routine to help you and your family
safe. Here are a few simple things you should do every night:
off and unplug all electrical appliances not designed to stay
on e.g. refrigerators.
sure no cigarettes or pipes are still burning. q Before emptying
ashtrays make sure the contents are cold.
sure all open fire are out and are guarded q Switch off portable
the doors of all rooms.
smoke in bed
a smoke alarm
your escape route
a fire occurs in your home you may have to get out in dark and difficult
conditions. Escaping from a fire will be a lot easier it you have
already planned out your escape route and know where to go.
sure that your planned escape route remains free of any obstructions
and that there are no loose floor coverings that could trip you.
Everyone in the house should be made aware of the escape route.
you have serious mobility difficulties you may wish to consider
having your bedroom on the ground floor, if this is practical, and
as near as possible to an exit. If you would need assistance to
make your escape, it is vital that you have some means of summoning
help by your bed, i.e. a buzzer, intercom or telephone.
are also systems available that will automatically dial out on your
telephone line to summon help or send a signal to a manned control
room. Details of the many emergency call/alarm systems available
can be obtained from the Disabled Living Foundation who produce
a booklet on the subject
from a fire will be a lot easier it you have already decided and
practiced your safety drill and know where to go. Here are a few
pointers to set you in the right direction.
Plan your escape route from every room.
Close the door to help stop the smoke spreading into the room.
How are you going to leave your home?
Where is there a telephone - outside your home e.g. neighbour,
Plan what to do if you are cut off by fire or smoke, it's not
easy, but remain calm.
Go to the window - if the room is smoky crawl, it's easier to
breathe nearer the floor because the smoke rises upwards.
Attract attention of your neighbour or a passer by.
your family "fire safety drill"
at regular intervals, ensure that every member of your family knows
all their possible exits and that they know how to call the fire
brigade and in an emergency, everyone should
to do if a fire starts
all try to prevent fire starting in our home. But it only takes
an unguarded or careless moment for a fire to start. A couple of
minutes later and your home could be filled with smoke. Smoke and
fumes can kill - particularly the highly poisonous smoke from some
will only have a short time to get out.
it wisely and try not to panic.
opening a closed door use the back of your hand to touch it. Don't
open it if it feels warm - the fire will be on the other side.
possible close the door of the room where the fire is and close
all doors behind you as you leave, this will help delay the spread
of fire and smoke.
everyone out as quickly as possible. Don't try to pick up valuables
or possessions. Make your way out as safely as you can and try not
to panic. It will help if you have your planned escape route rather
than waiting until there is a fire.
the fire brigade on 999 or 112 from a neighbour's house or a telephone
state the address of the fire.
go back into the house until a fire officer has told you it is safe
to do so.
majority of 'home' fires are preventable
THE FIRE BRIGADE OUT
is better than cure.
you are cut off by the fire
to remain calm
you are unable to use the door because of flames or smoke, close
the door and use towels or sheets to block any gaps. This will
help stop smoke spreading into the room.
to make your way to the window. q If the room becomes smoky, crawl
along the floor where it's easier to breathe because smoke rises.
the window and try to attract the attention of others who can
alert the fire brigade. Wait for the fire brigade to arrive.
fire brigade should arrive in a matter of minutes.
you are in immediate danger and your room is not too high from
the ground, drop cushions or bedding to the ground below to break
your fall from the window. If you can, get out feet first and
lower yourself to the full length of your arms before dropping.
further information, help and advice
local fire brigade officer or Saffire (UK)
will be happy to advise you on fire prevention and safety.