home fire safety advice....

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Yorkshire Andy
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home fire safety advice....

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:01 pm

Good starter advice

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 96157.html

Every year there are around 60,000 house fires in the UK, resulting in the loss of property and in some cases even lives.

Property can always be replaced by your home insurance policy, however to protect your life and the lives of those around you, it is important to make sure you have the right equipment on hand to deal with a fire. Allianz Your Cover offers a rundown of the types of extinguishers that could save your life.


Water fire extinguishers are good for putting out flames on carpets and soft furnishings, but are dangerous when used on flammable liquids or cooking fats. This is a good device to have in the bedroom and living room, especially if you are a smoker, but not useful for the kitchen.


Foam extinguishers are effective on woods and flammable liquids, petrol and spirits but not for kitchen or electrical fires, making this a handy device to keep in the garage.


This is effective on flammable liquids and electrical fires, but not suitable for cooking fats or soft furnishings.

Dry powder

This can be used on the widest range of fires in the home. It is safe to use on textiles, wood, flammable liquids/gases and electrical fires. However it cannot be used on kitchen fires involving cooking fats and oils. It’s a good device for garages and living areas, but you will still need a separate device for the kitchen.

Wet chemical

This is safe to use on soft furnishings and cooking fat fires, yet hazardous when brought into contact with electrical or flammable gases and liquids. It is good for the living room and kitchen but unsuitable for the garage.

Fire blanket

This is a handy item to have in cooking areas and can stop small pan fires from spreading. They are mounted on the wall and easily accessible: using a fire blanket is the best and quickest way to extinguish a pan fire. They can also be used to wrap around people when their clothing has caught fire.

The best thing to do is to make an assessment of the places in your home where you see the greatest potential risks of fires occurring and keep the appropriate devices in an easily accessible place nearby. A fire blanket and wet chemical extinguisher in the kitchen and dry powder device in the garage could prove invaluable tools in saving your home and your life in case of a house fire.

Smoke Alarms

Every year the fire and rescue service is called to over 600,000 fires which result in over 800 deaths and over 17,000 injuries. About 50,000 (140 a day) of these are in the home and kill nearly 500 and injure over 11,000, many which could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time. In fact you are twice as likely to die in a house fire that has no smoke alarm than a house that does.

Buying a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family.
What are smoke alarms?

Smoke alarms are self-contained devices that incorporate a means of detecting a fire (smoke detector) and giving a warning (alarm), usually a very loud beeping sound. They are about the size of a hand and are normally fitted to the ceiling. They can detect fires in their early stages and give you those precious minutes to enable you and your family to leave your house in safety.
What type of smoke alarms are available?

There are mainly four types of smoke alarm currently on the market – ionisation, optical (also described as photo electronic), heat and combined.

Ionisation: These are the cheapest and cost very little to purchase. They are very sensitive to small particles of smoke produced by fast flaming fires, such as paper and wood, 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. They can also be too over-sensitive near kitchens.

Optical: 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 fast flaming fires. Optical alarms can be installed near (not in) kitchens, as they are less likely than ionisation alarms to go off when toast is burned.

Heat Alarms: They detect the increase in temperature from a fire and are insensitive to smoke. They can therefore be installed in kitchens. They only cover a relatively small area of a room, so potentially several heat alarms need to be installed in a large kitchen.

Combined Optical Smoke and Heat Alarms: Combinations of optical and heat alarms in one unit to reduce false alarms while increasing the speed of detection.

Combined Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Alarms that combine both smoke detection and CO alarm protection in one ceiling-mounted unit. This reduces costs and takes up less of your living space.

Each type looks similar and is powered either by a battery, or mains electricity (or a combination of both, with the battery being the backup for the mains power, which could be interrupted). Some are interlinked so that any smoke detected in one room can raise the alarm at all others. This interlink can be achieved at the least cost with radio-interlinked smoke alarms.

Most smoke alarms now have hush buttons, for use where false alarms can be a nuisance e.g. when cooking. The alarm lets you know it’s been silenced by “chirping” or by displaying a red light – while a real fire producing lots of smoke will set it off anyway. Another helpful technology is the ‘Sleep-Easy Function’ which allows you to silence the alarm if a low battery beep starts in the middle of the night.

In a standard smoke alarm, the battery will need to be replaced every 12 months. You can buy alarms fitted with sealed 10 year batteries. The advantage is that you don’t have to replace the battery every year.

Mains-powered alarms have to be installed in all new buildings and after a major refurb. Make sure that the chosen mains powered alarm has a battery back-up. These can be alkaline batteries (need annual changing) or the alarm can be supplied with re-chargeable lithium batteries, which will last the lifetime of the alarm. Mains alarms need to be installed by a qualified electrician.

Some people find their alarms are frequently set off when they are cooking or when the toast burns. An alarm installed inside the kitchen must be a heat alarm rather than a smoke alarm. Just outside a kitchen (eg in hall or dining room) an optical smoke alarm or, even better, a combined smoke and heat alarm should be installed, as these are less sensitive to false alarm.

Alarms can also come with an escape light. When the alarm sounds, the light comes on. The light can help you see your way out, and it is good for alerting people whose hearing is not perfect.

In addition, for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, there are smoke alarm systems for the deaf. When the alarm goes off, a pad below the pillow vibrates (if you are asleep), and a strobe light flashes – alerting you or waking you up instantly.
Which smoke alarm should I choose?

The general rule is quite easy

Kitchen and Garage: Heat Alarms
Landings: Ionisation smoke alarms or combined optical smoke and heat alarms
Bedrooms, living rooms and hallway: Optical smoke alarms or combined optical smoke and heat alarms.

We recommend that you buy your smoke alarms from Safelincs as detailed at the bottom of this page. Always buy an alarm which has been certified to the British or European Standard.
How many should I fit in my home?

The number of smoke alarms to fit in your home depends on your particular circumstances. Fires can start anywhere, so the more that are fitted, the higher the level of protection.

For maximum protection an alarm should be fitted in every room (except bathrooms) You should choose the type most suited to the risk in each room. For minimum protection the number to be fitted will depend on the type of home you live in:

If your home is on one floor, one smoke alarm, preferably of the optical type, may be enough to provide you with early warning of a fire.

If your home has more than one floor, at least one alarm should be fitted on each level. In this case a combination of optical and ionisation alarms, preferably interconnected, will give the best protection.

Do not fit an alarm in the bathroom, as steam may trigger the alarm.
Where do I fit my smoke alarms?

Smoke alarms are usually screwed onto the ceilings, although specialist sticky pads can be used, and should be fitted as close to the centre of the room as possible, but at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting. You should always make sure that your alarm is fitted in a place where it can be heard throughout your home – particularly when you are asleep.

If your home is on one level, you should fit the alarm in the hallway between the living and sleeping areas. If you have only one smoke alarm and two floors, put it where you can hear it when you are asleep – on the ceiling at the top of the stairs leading to the bedrooms.
If you have a TV or other large electrical appliance in your bedroom, you should fit a smoke alarm there.
Looking after your smoke alarm

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions – smoke alarms need very little maintenance. A few minutes of your time during the year will ensure that your alarm is working and could help save your life and the lives of your family. You should:

Test your smoke alarm when the clocks are changed and vacuum it gently using the soft brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors
Once a year change the battery (unless it’s a ten-year alarm)
After 10 years it’s best to get a whole new alarm.

Do you keep forgetting to check your smoke alarms, help is at hand. Let us remind you to check them here.
Where can I buy them?

We recommend you buy your smoke alarms from a reputable company such as Safelincs who are able to cater for all your fire safety needs with their extensive range of products.

Buying and fitting smoke alarms, and ensuring they are carefully and properly maintained, could give you those precious few extra minutes in which to make your escape safely.

Plan an escape from your home in advance and talk about it with your family. If a fire occurs you may have to get out in the dark and difficult conditions. Escaping will be a lot easier it everyone knows where to go. Make sure your routes remain free of any obstructions and that there are no loose floor coverings that could trip you.

Always check the battery regularly, replacing it when necessary, and never remove it for other purposes.
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Stonecarver » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:42 pm

One sure sign of the decline of a civilisation is the inability to reproduce the technological achievments of its past

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Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by ukpreppergrrl » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:37 am

I particularly like the suggestion of testing your alarms when the clocks change. I can never remember when I last tested my alarms and that leads to a frantic spate of button pressing and the cat scarpering out of the house!
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Yorkshire Andy
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Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:34 pm

Well might as well share our homes precautions might give some members ideas likewise some might point my weeknesses.....

House is a "2 down 3 bed terrace" with small hallway and bathroom


Bsi 1m square fire blanket

2l afff class ABF (CHIP PAN) fire extinguisher

And a heat alarm

In the lounge there is a standard optical mains alarm with one on the landing upstairs which are interconnected


And in the hall there's a 1kg ABC powder
A smoke alarm with a bright led light and a key on a hook by the door which I've sprayed with glow in the dark paint...

Landing has the other interconnected alarm and a 1kg powder


Each bedroom has a mini optical alarm
Then the master bedroom is our RV at night if the alarms go off.....

Got a 3l afff foam unit which is kept upside down ;)
And a last resort tf we can't use the stairs ive had a tow rope out the window and swung on each bolt with no issue so 2 together is nice and secure :)

Then my mancave / shed

6kg powder and a 1.1 X 1.1m blanket plus a smoke alarm
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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Arwen Thebard
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Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Arwen Thebard » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:41 am

Arwen The Bard

"What did you learn today?"

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Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Arzosah » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:29 am

Arwen Thebard wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:41 am
Totes :shock: I thought I was good to have a fire blanket in the kitchen :oops:
Interesting about the shed - I keep all my first aid stuff upstairs, so if I needed it quickly because I did something stupid in the garden, I'd have to walk through the whole house (which isn't very big, but still). Thanks for that.

Yorkshire Andy
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:44 pm

Just to pad out what and where / why

The ABF kitchen extinguisher contains 2l of special AFFF foam which can be used on most fires including burning clothing / solids / flamable liquids eg petrol and (F) cooking fats it's also chapter 8 compliment (safe on live electrical equipment to 1000v as long as you don't stand in the puddle of foam)

Most of my extinguishers are small powder units powder makes a flipping mess but offers very quick knock down of flames enabling escape...

If a fire is much bigger than that (the alarms in each room should provide very early warning) it will be too big to safely tackle as the heat and smoke in the average room would make hanging about most uncomfortable ;)

The larger foam in the bedroom will offer a chance to fight our way out of the house if needed as it's got a Decent discharge time

The power in the shed as foam etc freezes

In my car I have a 1kg by the drivers seat and a 2l AFFF in the boot (in winter I swap for a 2kg powder )
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

Yorkshire Andy
Posts: 5260
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:15 pm

Might as well add this here.....

Another "new" extinguisher to the market is the multi foam fire extinguisher... My new favourite :lol:

Water mist is so last year :lol:

Whilst mist is good after much reading and a bit more use / experience with them and discussions with another service agent and a health and safety advisor they tick the insurance man's boxes but size wise they are big with a poor rating and a long discharge time a long discharge time might sound good but you want the fire out quickly minimising exposure to heat/ smike . . .
So take the 3l water mist it's physically as big as a 6ltr foam / water / powder...

On the official tests with a good preburn it's only got a 8a 13b 25f rating. .

Whereas the 3l multi foam is 13a 89b 40f and a lot smaller do easier to move it through the house especially if your not strong or as able bodied.... Speaking from experience the big industrial units are hard to run with (my shin bears the scars litterally when one took me off balance at work )

So effectively can tackle a class a fire twice as big as the mist extinguisher, a decent size class b fire eg petrol and a 40l ! Chip pan

This should explain the fire size ratings :

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... 7856298973
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by cbp125 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:42 am

I am very jelious, we recently moved and have not got around to fire preps yet but it is way overdue!

Thank you for the reminder to get stocking up

Yorkshire Andy
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: home fire safety advice....

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:11 am

cbp125 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:42 am
I am very jelious, we recently moved and have not got around to fire preps yet but it is way overdue!

Thank you for the reminder to get stocking up

No problem :) don't forget the carbon monoxide alarm ;)

My current favourite bits:

Alarm with a escape light runs on 2xaa batteries which are readily available and according to the book last 3 years!


Be very wary over cheap fire blankets....


As for extinguishers for the home the multi foam units cover nearly all bases at home ... £32 with a kite marked fire blanket...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/vod/FetchOrderDe ... 4940126008
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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