With the recent chemical fire on Tollemache Road, Grantham residents saw first-hand the destruction that a large blaze can cause to properties. Though sometimes unavoidable, there’s certainly a lot of precautions you can take to both prevent fires and reduce the damage caused. In this blog, we will provide some helpful tips to protect yourself against the perils a fire can cause.
Inspect Your Property
As with all risk assessments, to find out what you need to improve, first you must find out the situation you are currently in. When it comes to fire you can’t go over the top with precautions, so if you’re concerned about your home or your business, it’s worth getting a professional in to do this for you. The main areas you’ll want them to look at are your electrics, plumbing, gas, heating and air conditioning.
In terms of electrics, you’ll want to ensure that plugs are grounded, fuse boxes aren’t overloaded and that you have no damaged and exposed wires. All three of these, as well as a multitude of other scenarios, can lead to devastating fires. An electrician will be able to identify any problems and help keep your home safe.
With gas and heating, the main area you’ll want to watch out for is leaking valves. A gas leak can be deadly, with 55,200 houses escaping deadly gas incidents in 2015 in Devon and Somerset. All it can take is a spark for a gas filled room to cause an explosion and these can be deadly and damaging to both you and your property. A plumber or gas engineer should be able to check these for you and ensure your house or your business is safe.
Close The Door Behind You
It may sound insignificant, but a closed door can take a fire 10-15 minutes to get through. This helps to contain the blaze for a limited period of time, providing you vital time to escape or the firefighters more time to put out the flames and protect your property and belongings.
Then of course, there’re fire doors which are specifically created to prevent the spreading and growth of fires inside the property. These doors will cost you more, but also provide far more time, with some variations able to provide between 30 and 60 minutes of added protection against fires. So it’s of vital importance you keep doors closed when possible, it could be a lifesaver.
Sensible Storage of Flammable Materials
As was the case with the recent chemical fire, sometimes you have to store flammable and dangerous materials in your business environment. Though, it’s crucial you follow storage guidelines for flammable materials to reduce the risk as much as possible. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) require businesses to reduce the quantities of such substances in the workplace to a minimum and protect against incidents as much as possible.
A lot of the guidelines are common sense, such as flammable liquids and materials should be kept away from items and technology that could cause it to set alight. Flammable liquids should be kept away from escape paths for employees and staff and the correct storage of liquids is absolutely necessary. If you have any concerns and would like to read the full guidelines, you can do so here http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/storageflammliquids.htm.
Be Wary With Electronics
To keep it simple, in best practice you should treat electric devices like you do when you go on holiday; ensuring you disconnect and turn off switches at the mains for devices that don’t need to be switched on. This is a good way to prevent electrics from being the cause of a fire inside your house or business.
Try not to rely on extension cords for a prolonged period of time, as these are less reliable than wall plugs and can be damaged via footfall or moving furniture easier than wall plugs can be. Devices that cause heat should always be unplugged when not in use, such as hair straighteners and curling tongs, to prevent these setting alight any material they come in contact with.
Ultimately, this again comes down to common sense and there’s a wealth of electricity do’s and don’ts that you should look to follow throughout your work and home life.
Correct Insurance Cover
If your fail-safes unfortunately fail, you could be facing a costly rebuild of your business or property in the event of a large scale fire. This is where it’s vital you have the correct home or business insurance cover. Ensuring the rebuild costs cover is up-to-date will mean you won’t be left out of pocket in a situation where you have to rebuild your entire house. Coversure Grantham can help with this, with our experience in the business and property market, we can help with your insurance cover so that you aren’t left out of pocket.
Need Any Assistance?
For any fire prevention advice, there are local talks providing free fire safety advice. For all your insurance needs we are here to help. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us on 01476 565 590, via email on email@example.com or click here.