The Damaging Effects of Fire
At Target Fire Protection, we’re constantly emphasising the importance of fire safety procedures in every building; in the home, the workplace, and all public areas. Negligence of the proper fire safety regulations can be fatal, with over 30% of dwelling fires caused in 2014/15 due to a lack of correct smoke alarm fitting, for example.
Taking a look at statistics and historical fires, we’ve outlined some of the most dangerous aspects of fire safety to be ignored, and the consequences of this.
No smoke alarm
Fires where a smoke alarm was not present made up 30% of all fires in 2014/15, a shocking statistic that shows how an accident can accelerate quicker and more dangerously without the proper fire detection systems in place.
The proper installation and maintenance of smoke alarms will ensure anybody in the building is warned of a fire in sufficient time to safely evacuate the building. The alarm will also alert others to the presence of a fire, allowing trained employees to use a fire extinguisher or blanket to prevent it from spreading. This can not only prevent extreme damage done to the building, but can also save lives.
In 2013/14, 25% of accidental fires in the workplace were caused by faulty appliances and damaged leads. A thorough fire risk assessment would identify these faults and ensure they were repaired as soon as possible, suggesting a lax attitude to fire safety in many workplaces.
Indeed, many historical fires owe their tragic death count due to poorly maintained equipment, causing fires to accelerate and spread in a manner that made fatalities unavoidable.
Cooking appliances are the cause of many accidental fires, with 50% of fires in residential buildings caused due to faulty or misused cooking equipment. Historically, some of the worst known fires gained momentum due to their occurrence at times when many homes were using cooking appliances – for example, it is thought that the infamously destructive London 1666 fire, and the earthquake and resulting fire in Tokyo 1923 were more destructive and damaging due to many people in the cities cooking at the time of the tragedies.
Although smoking in public buildings and workplaces is now illegal, anybody who smokes is likely to exit the building and smoke nearby throughout the day. Due to improper handling of smoking materials, in 2013-14 over a third of fire-related fatalities were caused.
Fires can easily be caused when cigarettes are not put out properly, particularly when people are smoking in areas that do not store hazardous waste or combustible materials correctly. Storing your flammable materials in a secure, segregated area is essential, and employers may consider assigning designated smoking areas to ensure cigarette butts are restricted to one area.
Many of the most tragic fires in history could have been avoided with a better attention to fire safety measures. Ensuring your building is assessed and prepared for the event of a fire with alarms, extinguishers, and a frequent maintenance service is essential. Contact our team at Target Fire Protection today to discuss your needs. We cover Manchester, Rochdale, Bury and Oldham but also operate in the whole of the UK.