Common causes of fire to business

Neglect and misuse of wiring and electrical appliances

Accumulating in work/storage areas

Discarded cigarettes, matches, inadequate ashtrays.

Portable heaters can be knocked over, poorly sited or inadequately guarded. All heaters could overheat if obstructed.

Hazardous goods
Includes materials such as paints, adhesives or other chemicals.

By mischievous children and adult fire raisers, facilitated by ineffectively secured buildings.

Specific hazards
Machinery in dusty environments, heated equipment (e.g. soldering irons), blow lamps, cutting and welding equipment, flammable liquids.

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Gas and Carbon Monoxide detectors

Gas Detectors

are fixed point devices generally installed to monitor the level of gas produced from a cooker, boiler or gas fire.

This type of detector is ideal for all households that use mains or bottled gas.

These sensors are Catalytic and Infrared (IR)

Carbon Monoxide Sensor

A sensor measures CO gas concentration in the atmosphere and when the sensor detects dangerous levels it sets off the alarm.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms should be in every room with a solid fuel source.

CO detectors is only one step in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. Other important steps include:

Have furnaces and chimneys inspected every year and serviced as required. Be sure to open the flue before lighting the fire.

Have gas burning appliances installed only by a qualified professional. Follow all manufacturers instructions carefully

Use tools that burn fuel only in well ventilated areas.

Make sure furnace, water heaters and dryer vents are kept clear of leaves, debris and snow.

Repair or replace any fuel burning tools like lawnmowers, chainsaws that are not working properly.

Have your car exhaust system inspected for leaks and never idle your car in the garage.

Never use an oven or grill as a heat source in your home.

Never use generators indoors.

Test your carbon monoxide detector once a month.

There are several types of sensor.


Metal Oxide Semiconductor

Electromechanical Sensor

Electromechanical Instant Detection & Response

M R Fire Protection Recommend carbon monoxide detectors in several locations:

Outside sleeping areas

On each floor of the home

Anywhere else required by law.

New Smoke Alarm/Carbon Monoxide Legislation

Landlords are now required to put smoke alarms on every floor of their property and Carbon monoxide Alarms in every room with a solid fuel source.

How Sensors Work

Overview of Sensors

Smoke alarms are available with many types of sensor, each one detecting smoke or fire using a different method. This guide is designed to help highlight the differences between each sensor type, show how each sensor works, show the advantages and disadvantages of each sensor type and also highlight where each type of sensor is best suited throughout your home.

How Optical Smoke Alarms Work

Optical smoke alarms are particularly good at detecting slow smouldering fires such as soft furnishings or electrical wiring.

How Heat Alarms Work

Heat alarms are ideal for smokey and dusty environments, they react to heat instead of smoke so are less likely to give false alarms.

How Ionisation Smoke Alarms Work

Ionisation smoke alarms react quickly to fast flaming fires by detecting the change in ionised properties of air through smoke.

Benefits of Combined Sensor Alarms

Combined alarms with multiple sensors contain two separate sensing elements – optical and heat allowing them to monitor two different by-products of fire

Smoke Alarm Advice

Smoke Alarm Advice

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. 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 costs 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 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.

Where can I buy them?

We recommend you buy your smoke alarms from M R Fire Protection.


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

Candle Safety for Valentines Day


• Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be sure the wick ember is no longer glowing

• Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.

• Keep burning candles out of the reach of children and pets.

• Trim candlewicks to 1⁄4 inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause
uneven burning and dripping.

• Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.

• Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This can help prevent heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from breaking.

• Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.

• Always read and follow the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions carefully. Don’t burn
a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends.

• Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.

• Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.

• Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or 1⁄2 inch if in a container.

• Never touch or move a burning candle or container candle when the wax is liquid.

• Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might
scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.

• Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This helps ensure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts to cause improper burning.

• Use a snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax splatters.

• Never extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might
cause a glass container to break.

• Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure.

• Extinguish a candle if it repeatedly smokes, flickers, or the flame becomes too high. The candle isn’t burning properly. Cool, trim the wick, then check for drafts before relighting.

• Never use a candle as a night light.

A Fire Survival Guide

A Fire Survival Guide

Every year the fire brigade is called out to over 60,000 fires in the home. And every year around 500 people die in these fires and over 10,000 are injured. If a fire occurs in your home, your chances of survival will depend on how quickly and safely you are able to get out. This advice on how to protect yourself should one occur.

Planning your escape route

If 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 if you have already planned your escape route and know where to go. Make 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.
If 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 need assistance to make your escape, it is vital that you have some means of summoning help by your bed, such as a buzzer, intercom or telephone.
There are also systems available which 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.

What to do if a fire breaks out

We 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 furnishings. You will only have a short time to get out. Use it wisely and try not to panic.
If you can safely do so, close the door of the room where the fire has started and close all other doors behind you. This will help delay the spread of smoke.
Before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch it. Don’t open it if it feels warm – the fire may be on the other side.
Get everyone out as quickly as possible. Don’t try to pick up valuables or possessions. Make your way out as safely as possible and try not to panic.
Never go back into your home until a fire officer has told you it is safe.
It will help if you have planned your escape route rather than waiting until there is a fire. Telephone the fire brigade on 999 from a neighbours house or a telephone box. Clearly state the address of the fire.
What to do if you’re cut off by fire
It’s not easy, but try to remain calm. Save your energy to help you survive
If you are prevented from getting out because of flames or smoke, close the door nearest to the fire and use towels or sheets to block any gaps. This will help stop smoke spreading into the room.
Go to the window. If the room becomes smoky, go down to floor level – it’s easier to breathe because the smoke will rise upwards.
Open the window, try to attract the attention of others who can alert the fire brigade. Wait for the fire brigade, they should arrive in a matter of minutes.
If 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.
Get out feet first and lower yourself to the full length of your arms before dropping.

Bedtime Routine

Many fires in the home start at night. Make sure you have a bedtime fire safety routine to help keep you and your family safe. Here are a few simple things you should do every night:
Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances not designed to stay on. (There are specially designed plugs available which can be very easily inserted and removed. Details of these devices are available from the Disabled Living Foundation.
Make sure no cigarettes or pipes are still burning. Never smoke in bed.
Before emptying ashtrays make sure the contents are cold.
Switch off portable heaters.
Close the doors of all rooms.

Christmas Tree Safety

How to Stay Safe at Christmas

Christmas is a special time for celebration and should not end in tragedy because of the extra hazards that are present at this time of year.

Fairy Lights

• Check the fuses are the right type (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use.
• If bulbs blow, replace them.
• Don’t leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to sleep.
• Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper.
• Don’t overload sockets.

• Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily.
• Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
• Don’t put them immediately above or around the fireplace.
• Keep them away from candles.

Christmas Trees
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.

Selecting a Tree for Christmas
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling centre or having it taken away by a community pickup service.

Bonfire Safety


Do you really need a bonfire?  It is much better to manage without one. If you must have a bonfire, ensure you follow these points:

Organise it properly

Should be at least 18 metres (60 feet) away from houses, trees, hedges, fences or sheds
Before lighting, check for animals and children
Use domestic firelighters
Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids
Never put used fireworks, aerosols, foam-filled furniture, batteries, tins of paint or tyres on a bonfire.

Pets on bonfire night

Pets hate bangs and flashes and get very frightened on fireworks night. So keep all your pets indoors and close all the curtains to make things calmer. Remember it’s not just your own fireworks that cause distress, so you may need to have your pets indoors on several nights when other displays are taking place.

Alcohol and fireworks safety

People drink alcohol at 90% of fireworks parties in back gardens. In a survey, 84% of respondents said that people setting off fireworks had drunk at least 2-3 units of alcohol. This increases the risk of injury and makes adults less able to supervise children properly during the display.
Never drink alcohol if you are setting off fireworks or attending a bonfire.
Nominate people who are not drinking alcohol to take charge of late-night fireworks displays.
Keep guests who are drinking alcohol well away from fireworks and the bonfire.
Consider limiting the availability of alcohol until after the fireworks display.
Do not carry fireworks in your pocket to street parties or celebrations.
The clear message is that alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Fireworks Safety

Before your firework display

Check the fireworks you buy are suitable for the size of the garden and conform to British Standards (BS 7114; 1988)
Ensure your display area is free from hazards
Do not tamper with fireworks
Read the instructions in daylight
Warn neighbours, especially the elderly and those with animals, about your display
One person – clearly identified – should be responsible for fireworks

Firework safety: ensure you have the following
Metal box, with a lid for storage of fireworks
Torch for checking instructions
Bucket of water
Protective hat, eye protection and gloves
First aid kit
Bucket of soft earth to stick fireworks in
A board for flat-bottomed fireworks
Suitable supports for catherine wheels
Proper launchers for rockets

Safety during the firework display
Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper
Stand well back
Never go back to a lit firework
Keep storage box closed between uses
Keep children under control
Never put a firework in your pocket – it is stupid and dangerous
Throwing a firework is stupid and dangerous and illegal: it’s a criminal offence to do so in a street or other public place, with a maximum penalty of a £5000 fine

Safety after the firework display
Use tongs or gloves to collect spent fireworks
Next morning, check again and remove firework debris 
The Fireworks Code
Young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance and follow the safety rules for using sparklers. Only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. They should also take care of the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used.

Barbecue Safety

Barbecue safety
All you need to know to barbecue safely

When the sun comes out or it’s dry for a while, most people love to fire up their barbecues and cook outdoors.
Marinating your chicken and making sure your sausages don’t burn isn’t the only thing you need to be thinking about. If you follow our tips you’ll be able to barbecue safely until your heart’s content.

What chefs need to know

• Never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony

• Make sure barbecues are placed on level ground where they will not tip over
• Keep barbecues away from your home, sheds, fences, garden furniture, trees, shrubs and tents

• Don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue

• Don’t put the barbecue where people have to squeeze past it

• Keep children, pets and garden games well away from the cooking area

• Never leave the barbecue unattended

• Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues

• Only use approved barbecue fuel or fire lighters – never use petrol or paraffin

After you’ve cooked

• When you have finished cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before you try to move it

• Empty the cold ash onto bare garden soil – never put it in the dustbin

• Where possible, keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies

Tips for gas barbecues

• Take extra care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off

• Make sure the controls and the gas cylinder valve are turned off before you change the cylinder

• Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure

• Change the gas cylinder in the open air

• When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbecue controls; this makes sure any leftover gas in the pipe is used up

• Store your gas cylinders outside and protected from frost and sunlight

• Never store gas cylinders under the stairs- if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route

• If you think there might be a leak in the gas cylinder connections or pipe, brush soapy water over all of the joints and watch out for bubbles

• If you have a leaky joint, try to tighten it (but don’t over tighten it) and test for bubbles again. If unsure do not use the barbecue – seek specialist advice