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DMS-The advantages of mass notification

DMS-The advantages of mass notification

As time goes on, more and more elements of everyday life depend on the use of technology and computers. There are always new forms of technology that help to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Could this include a new way to communicate in an emergency situation, that doesn’t solely depend on the sound of an alarm?

Digital Messaging Service (DMS) could be considered to be the “modern alarm”. Connected to a pre-existing alarm panel, DMS sends out emergency alert messages to an unlimited amount of subscribers. The text message can be tailored to whatever suits the business, for example information about the type of emergency, where to evacuate from or if it is a false alarm. To connect your phone to the DMS you just have to text the unit with a location number. DMS comes with stickers that can be displayed throughout a building to raise awareness of the service.

There are many benefits of having a DMS:

Versatility

DMS is compatible with a wide range of alarm systems, such as: fire alarms, intruder alarm notifications, temperature control monitors and flood alerts. Essentially, if there is an electrical process that includes a set of contacts, the people who are subscribed can be notified about any event.

Peace of mind

As long as you have connected your phone to the DMS, no matter where you are in the world you will receive an emergency alert if your alarm goes off. This allows you to know if there is an emergency going on, even if you are not at the premises. This means you can investigate and rectify the problem as soon as it happens. This could be beneficial, for example, if you are self-employed and have a business premises, or if you are a caretaker for a school. You will be instantly notified if there was a fire or even a break in. Knowing that you will get alerted in an emergency situation offers peace of mind that your business or place of work is safe.

More control

DMS can be used as a pre-alarm notification. This means you will receive a notification of the emergency and can investigate before the alarms go off throughout the whole building. The time period can be adjusted depending on location and safety regulations.This is good for busy locations such as airports or hotels as it minimises the high cost of false alarms. It is also beneficial for care homes as it will reduce the stress and disruption to vulnerable residents.

All inclusive

Approximately 1 in 7 people in the UK has a hearing problem*. Traditional fire alarms are not effective for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. However, if they are subscribed to DMS they will receive a message on their phone alerting them about the emergency situation. DMS is a way to ensure that every person can remain safe and alert in all situations. Having a DMS will help businesses comply with the Equality Act as it ensures that anyone can be included. This can be of high value to places such as a university

If you would like more information about DMS, please send an email to: contact@fireco.uk or call us on: 01273 320650 to speak to a member of our team. We’re here to make compliance easy.

Are you the “Responsible Person” for fire safety?

Are you the “Responsible Person” for fire safety?

What is a “Responsible Person”?

The Responsible Person is ultimately the person who has legal responsibility for the fire safety in the building. It is highly important that all companies have an appointed Responsible Person, as they are in charge of overseeing the safety of everyone in the business. If they are not ensuring that their company is taking sufficient action for fire safety, they can be fined or sent to prison for not meeting regulations. It is common for there to be more than one Responsible Person for a building. For example, if you work in an office block where there are different businesses on each floor, there should be a Responsible Person for each separate business. In this case, the Responsible Person from each company will need to communicate about fire safety concerning the whole building.

How can you find out who the Responsible Person is for your premises?

The Responsible Person is usually the person who is in control of a building or business. For example, in a workplace it could be the owner of the company. In a property, it could be the landlord or the managing agent. If you are unsure who the Responsible Person is, you should contact the owner or manager of the business/property. If you are the owner of the business or building, then it is likely that you are the Responsible Person.

What are the duties of the Responsible Person?

  • Carrying out and reviewing risk assessments on a regular basis and recording all findings.
  • Ensuring that any risks that have been identified and resolved have been shared with other members of staff or occupiers.
  • Communicating with other Responsible Persons for the building.
  • Preparing a plan to follow in the case of emergency.
  • Putting in place fire safety measures and precautions and ensure these are maintained.
  • Providing fire safety information and instructions to other people in the building.
  • If in a workplace, ensuring fire safety training is carried out by staff on a regular basis.

If the Responsible Person is unsure about any aspects of their role they can hire a fire safety expert, who can offer advice and carry out risk assessments.

What is the difference between a Responsible Person and a Fire Warden?

The Responsible Person has a legal responsibility to oversee fire safety for the whole business. However, some of these duties can be delegated on to the Fire Wardens. Fire Wardens assist the Responsible Person in emergency procedure planning and fire prevention. Not only this, the Fire Warden will also be in charge of helping people evacuate during a fire drill. For more in depth information about the role of a Fire Warden, click here.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities

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It only takes a minute for a fire to spread

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The most magical time of the year is approaching us and Christmas activities have begun. Christmas may be a time for festive fun but it is also a time to be extra vigilant, even in your own home. Christmas trees, lights and other decorations can be a potential high risk fire hazard.

From 2017-18, 963 fires were caused by candles.*

From 2017-18, 25 fires were caused by fairy lights, 11 of which were due to being faulty.*

From 2011-12, Christmas trees, decorations and cards caused 47 house fires.**

In 2008 there was a peak in injuries and deaths caused by accidental fires. ***

Recently on social media, there have been videos of how a wet tree vs a dry tree reacts when a fire breaks out. This is to highlight the importance of watering your tree throughout December. This is because an un-watered tree can go up in flames in a matter of seconds and this is what we call a flashover.

A flashover can happen in under one minute and once it has started it is very hard to get it under control. These flashovers are not just caused by unwatered trees, they can be caused by other decorations or household items in your home.

You can decrease the risk of fire in your home by taking a few simple steps:

  • Ensure you are regularly watering your real Christmas trees all throughout December.
  • Only buy your fairy lights from trusted retailers.
  • Turn off any fairy lights when you are not in the room.
  • Don’t overload your plug sockets.
  • Try LED candles instead of traditional candles.
  • If you use traditional candles, ensure they are monitored and kept away from any flammable materials.
  • Don’t hang decorations on lighting or heaters.
  • Ensure all fire doors in your building are kept closed.
  • Consider investing in fire blankets or extinguishers.

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Give the gift of safety this winter

Give the gift of safety this winter

Now that it is winter we are preparing ourselves for the drop in temperature and weather conditions! However, people tend to forget that it is not all about cosy fires and hot chocolate. There are many common items and behaviours during winter that are not often considered as being a fire hazard.

Electric blankets

A popular way to keep ourselves warm during the cold winter months. But, did you know that around 65 fires a year are caused by faulty electric blankets?*

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t use hot water bottles whilst using electric blankets.
  • Don’t keep your blankets on all night unless there is a thermostat control.
  • Do buy your electric blanket from a trusted retailer to ensure you are using a safe product.
  • Do check your blanket for faults regularly.
  • Do store your blanket rolled instead of folded to prevent wire damage.

Open fires

When picturing winter we all think of a warm, crackling fire. In England, there is an average of 7700 chimney fires every year*, most of which are avoidable.

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t leave an open fire unattended.
  • Don’t throw flammable materials on to the fire.
  • Do ensure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to sleep.
  • Do keep flammable materials/ liquids away from the fire.
  • Do clean your chimney annually.
  • Do keep a guard around your fire.

These tips can also be applied to the use of candles, which can be considered a potential high risk fire hazard.

Portable heaters

A quick and easy way to add extra heat to a specific area in your home. Two fires a day are caused by portable heaters*. Whether its an electric heater or powered by gas/ paraffin, there are safety precautions you need to consider before and during use.

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t use your heater in a crowded space.
  • Don’t use portable heaters beyond their manufacturing use (e.g. drying clothes)
  • Don’t keep your heaters close to objects that can overheat/ catch on fire.
  • Do get your electrical heaters tested for faults.
  • Do keep your room well ventilated, especially using gas/paraffin heaters.

Cooking

Statistics found by the Red Cross report that In America, cooking related fires are the main cause of residence fires! Leaving items in the oven or on the stove is all the more tempting during the winter months in order to seek warmth or return to hosting duties. However the risks need to be considered, especially when a gas oven is being used.

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t leave the oven unattended when in use.
  • Don’t over use flammable ingredients (e.g. alcohol, oils).
  • Don’t overfill trays, pots and pans.
  • Do consider buying a fire blanket or extinguisher.

Keep your home and family safe this winter by following these fire prevention tips and enjoy winter, risk free.

*https://www.gov.uk

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