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Today's Best Fire Prevention Tools And Techniques

Aug 17, 2007
Although knowing how to fight fires and use fire extinguishers is important, the best tool to fight fires is fire prevention. If you can take adequate steps to avoid the dangers of fire and detect the signs early then you are much less likely to be involved in a serious incident.

Fire prevention ranges from knowing how to install smoke alarms to dialling emergency services and knowing emergency numbers. It also includes knowing where particular fire hazards are located and how to minimise these hazards so that fires can be prevented.

Here is a guide to the best fire prevention tools and techniques to protect your home and your workplace.

Smoke Alarms And Smoke Detectors

Smoke alarms (or smoke detectors) are one of the best ways to detect fires early, thereby preventing serious fires from occurring. They are particularly good for fires that might occur at night, which can be silent killers with smoke and deadly gases.

Make sure you have smoke detectors installed on every floor in your home and in regular places at work in accordance with the accepted national safety standards (BS 5839 in the UK).

You should also install a carbon monoxide detector, which can detect the deadly gas produced by fires and hidden electrical burning and, more commonly, gas leaks from boilers and equipment.

All detectors should be tested regularly to make sure they work and the batteries in the cheaper standard detectors should be replaced once a year. Better still would be mains-operated or 10-year lithium battery detectors.

Kitchens And Garages

Although you might think smoke alarms should be in the places where fires are likely to start such as kitchens, it is actually a bad idea to have "smoke" alarms in the kitchen or garage, as they can easily be triggered by cooking and fumes from car exhausts.
Instead, fit heat detectors in these two areas as they respond to fast temperature rises and will stop nuisance alarms.

Always make sure you can hear the alarms where you sleep - if you cannot, install more of them and use interconnectable ones. Also, fit the alarms on the ceiling away from any wall or apex, as those on walls will not properly detect smoke or fumes.

Keep Flammable Materials And Products Secure

Keeping dangerous or flammable materials secure is extremely important, especially when children are around. Matches and lighters should be completely out of the reach of children, and flammable liquids or materials should not be near open flames or places where heat could cause them to catch fire.

Also, never leave appliances on whilst you are out of the house, such as cookers, stove or space heaters, as these could potentially create a fire.

Fire prevention is an ongoing concern, and you should remain vigilant for potential fire hazards around your home or at work. If you see something that might be a risk, sort it out immediately, as you never know when that potential hazard could become a real problem.

As long as you remain aware of the potential dangers, you will help prevent fires from occurring and keep people safe.

Have All The Necessary Fire Equipment

Not all fire prevention is about stopping fires before they start. Fire prevention can also mean dealing with problems quickly before they become major incidents. With this in mind, it is important to have a range of fire fighting equipment to use.

This includes fire extinguishers as well as fire blankets and also having an escape plan so that people can get to safety and call for help from the emergency services before things get out of hand.

And, when considering fire extinguishers, do you really think that businesses need big ones and homes need tiny ones? Get real and get as big as you can afford and make sure they are on all floors.

Fire prevention is perhaps even more important than fire fighting, especially within the home setting. If you can prevent serious fires from occurring in the first place by having adequate detection devices and remaining vigilant, then your home or workplace will remain safe for all those who occupy it.
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