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Fun Friday fire quiz part three

Fun Friday fire quiz part three

Fun Friday Fire Quiz 3

The first two fun Friday fire quizzes were so red hot we’ve decided to rekindle our love for brain teasers. Are you a bright spark? Let’s get started!

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The reasons people ignore fire alarms

The reasons people ignore fire alarms

Are we desensitised to alarms?

We hear alarms all the time — fire drills, sirens, car alarms, bells, clocks. Have we stopped associating alarms with emergency?

What do people do when they hear the fire alarm?

It’s five and a half minutes before someone even gets up. 

Not what you were expecting? What would you do? Would you head for the nearest fire exit? Or sit and wait to be told what to do?

For years, it has been assumed that when the fire alarm sounds, people automatically evacuate. However this is not the case.

  • About a quarter would look to see what everyone else was doing before acting
  • 13% would just ignore it and carry on working
  • 4% would try and find the fire.

Some of these comments of why people ignore fire alarms are shocking:

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Common behaviour when a fire breaks out:

  1. People don’t like to stop what they’re doing: People will talk to each other, stand around and work out what’s going on. It usually takes more visible proof that there’s danger. People will leave when told to or when seeing everyone else is.
  2. People generally do not panic: It’s a myth that the public panics in an emergency. It’s actually fear that causes panic.
  3. Most people will try to exit through the door they entered: Even if the exit is well marked, people don’t want to walk through somewhere they don’t know where it leads.

The cost of complacency?

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In 1979, a horrific fire broke out on the second floor of the Manchester branch of Woolworths. Customers eating in the restaurant didn’t take notice of the alarm when it sounded. Evacuation expert Prof Ed Galea said “People who had purchased and paid for their meal… Even though they could see the smoke, they could smell the smoke, they could hear the alarms going off, they felt they had sufficient time to complete their meals before evacuating.”

10 people lost their lives that fateful day.

Different ways to evacuate

With modern technology, there are many emergency alert methods that don’t involve a noisy alarm. This is particularly useful for the one in six people in the UK that have a hearing impairment.

Deaf notification

For all those who can’t hear the alarm, there are systems that link to your fire panel and send automated text messages to the user’s own mobile phone. This is also a useful method if you need to notify people that are offsite.

Silent evacuation

We covered this method of evacuation in a previous blog, but silent evacuation is particularly useful in care settings. When an alarm is activated, staff are alerted with a pre-alarm notification system, either warning lights or a text message. They then have three to five minutes to check if there’s a fire. Benefits of this are that it cuts false alarms, avoids panic and avoids moving people unless needed.

Pre-alarm notification

Similar principle to the silent evacuation, this is common in larger facilities, especially where an evacuation is last resort due to the cost of disruption. Again, if an alarm is activated, certain staff will be notified, and they can check whether it’s a fire or a false alarm. If it’s a false alarm, they can reset the system and no one is disturbed. If there is a fire, an evacuation button is pressed and the alarm sounds for everyone to evacuate.

In this scenario, staff are involved so will tell people they need to evacuate. This avoids the problem of people ignoring the alarm, assuming it’s a false alarm.

When people only have a single stimulus, they don’t know what to do. It’s important that new alert and evacuation systems are considered in a world where people ignore alarms. Every second counts in an emergency. With an evacuation plan in place and methods to ensure quick evacuation, you can help save lives.

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Fire warden checklist

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It’s time to bring wireless fire safety into the modern world

It’s time to bring wireless fire safety into the modern world

Motorola invented the mobile phone in 1973. Since then, we have said goodbye to searching for change to use a telephone box, and dragging spirals of cords from beneath the living room door to get some privacy.

Living in a digital age, things move fast. We are busy, and time is precious, so we want things to be quick, easy and painless. Wireless fire safety solutions provide the answer.

We all use wireless products without even realising it.

How often do you:

Connect to Wi-Fi
We expect to have Wi-Fi everywhere we go — in the high street, making our way home on the underground, in the supermarket. When I walk into a coffee shop, I’ll have a coffee and a slice of bandwidth, thank you very much. We browse the internet without even thinking about it.

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Besides, how else are we going to upload that selfie to Facebook?

Use online banking
Gone are the days where we walk into the bank. Now we send our hard-earned cash spinning through the air to our accounts.

Man using credit card and smartphone for online shopping +++ Note for the inspector: credit card is fake +++

 

Listen to the radio
OK, maybe not so much these days, but did you know that we have depended on radio wireless communications since 1900?

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Stream music
Spotify, anyone?

Airwaves

 

You can even use an app to turn on the oven or change the temperature in your home.

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What’s better than having dinner ready for you by the time you get home from work?

Each new product breakthrough brings more battery-powered and wireless gadgets into our homes. So why hasn’t fire safety completely followed suit yet?

Dangerous web of wires

Two firefighters died when fighting fire in a high-rise block of flats in Southampton. Whilst tackling the fire, an intense blaze confronted the firefighters. The plastic supports holding the cables and wires in place above them started to melt. The cables then fell, trapping and burying the firefighters under a tangled web of wires and cables.

As this is not the first time this has happened, a new legal requirement states that fire resistant supports should be used to support wires rather than plastic. This will help prevent them collapsing in a fire.

Products that require lengthy wiring throughout the building are commonly seen to be more sturdy and reliable. But are they really? In the case of the firefighters who died, they would have survived if wireless systems were in place. With more technological advances, tangled messes of wires and cables will hopefully be a thing of the past.

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Wire-free fire door closers

The Department of Health recently issued an urgent notice to Fire Safety Managers and facilities teams about the dangers of fire doors closing too fast and without warning. An incident involving a hard-wired fire door retainer had resulted in the death of a patient.

During a storm, the hospital’s power supply failed. Fire doors released without warning as the patient was passing through. As the doors closed they struck the patient who sustained a serious head injury, which ultimately proved fatal. The problem was that the hard-wired door retainer was dependent on the power supply

wireless-fire-door-retainer

Fire doors are safety devices which contain a fire so you have time to escape. While they save lives and property, they are also heavy and can cause serious harm. Injuries sustained can range from bruising to broken bones.

In the case of the patient who died, this could have been prevented with a wire-free door retainer. As a battery powered unit, it doesn’t stop working when there is a power outage.

Benefits of a wireless product

  • No complicated wiring, so no mess
  • Aesthetically pleasing environment with no cables and wires
  • Cost effective as no lengthy installation costs
  • Convenient, as they are quick to install with minimal disturbance to the premises
  • Low maintenance
  • They carry on working even in a mains power outage
  • Drilling holes to allow cables to run through the building can lead to fire spreading faster and easier. Wireless doesn’t affect the fire resistance of your building.

Our lives are safer and easier if we can hold fire doors open to walk freely without potential injury.

Fitted inexpensively, wire-free door closers ensure a safe and accessible environment for everyone.

As the wireless revolution has progressed, so have fire safety solutions. They’re safe, easy to use and quick to install; like all the other wireless solutions that we use and rely on every day.

It’s clear to see why people still err on the side of caution with hard-wired compared to wireless. It’s often ingrained that hard-wired solutions are reliable, robust and dependable. Why? Is it because we’ve always done it that way? It’s important to remember that hard-wired is also messy, expensive, and disruptive and reliant on electricity.

Wireless isn’t.

The world has become wireless. It’s time fire safety followed suit.

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Do you know what to do when there’s a fire?

Do you know what to do when there’s a fire?

The alarm sounds. A fire has broken out and your residents are asleep.

Do you know what to do?

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Not the best advice!

It only takes two lungfuls of smoke to kill you, so it’s vital to have an evacuation plan in place.

Fire spreads fast; so there is not much time to think about your next action.

So what can you do?

  • Act quickly. Alert everyone, get together and take your planned route out
  • Don’t waste time saving valuables
  • Test to see if a door is warm with the back of your hand before opening, fire may be on the other side
  • Don’t investigate the fire unless trained to do so
  • If there’s smoke, keep as low as possible
  • Close any open doors behind you
  • If you’re trapped in a fire, get behind a fire door and block the bottom of the door with a towel, sheets or clothing to prevent smoke getting through.
  • Call 999
  • Don’t go back into the building.

These were a few examples of ways to help make evacuation easier. In general, there are lots of simple things you can do to help provide a safer environment. However it’s worth bearing in mind that without an evacuation plan in place, these won’t work.

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Workplace health and safety fails

Workplace health and safety fails

Health and safety in the workplace is essential. There is always the possibility of an accident. However, that risk can decrease if the correct preventative measures are put in place — and common sense is used! Here are a few safety workplace fails you would do well to avoid!

Make sure you use the correct ladder when reaching for objects high up to avoid any injuries from falling or slipping. Note the word ladder

As well as being a trip and fall hazard, loose and tangled wires are a fire risk.

 

This highlights an unfortunately common fire safety hazard — propping open a fire door. Wedging or propping open a fire door will allow a fire to spread rapidly through the building, endangering the building and its occupants.

 

How would your staff escape in an emergency? If the emergency exits are blocked during a fire or other crisis, lives are in danger and you will be breaching fire safety laws. It’s called an exit for a reason!

 

Words fail me, there is a lot of trust here!  But other than that, this would make health & safety officer’s hair turn white! This picture speaks for itself, don’t you think?

Compliance doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Keep an up-to-date risk assessment and follow our simple tips to make compliance easy.

 

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