Every month Fire and Rescue teams up and down the country deal with a wide range of incidents. Some fires are started accidently, others on purpose, some affect homes, others commercial or public buildings, but all have the potential to cause considerable harm.
As a couple of examples, the London Fire and Rescue service was called to a blaze on the Renshaw Industrial estate in December. The fire started in one unit, but spread to those on either side. Twenty fire engines and crew fought the blaze and ensured the safe evacuation of residents living close to the site. The fire resulted in considerable damage to a number of units on the estate, which is devastating for those business owners and employees.
London Fire crews were also called to Denmark Hill Station in South London, when a train caught fire. The train driver was able to get to the station and let passengers off the train, as carriages began filling with smoke. No one was hurt, but there was damage to the train including its breaking mechanism and the incident caused major network delays.
Fire Safety Plan
Whether you are at home, at work or in a public space, it is worth considering the options in case of a fire. In public buildings including hotels, restaurants, theatres and libraries, you should be able to easily spot Fire Exit signs. These will direct you out of the building via the most direct route. The majority of buildings will have alternative exit routes in case one is blocked by flames or smoke.
Residential property is unlikely to have marked exit routes, but it is worth being aware of the options. How could you escape a fire in your home if the stairs were alight? This is a particular issue for people living in flats, especially high rise buildings. With many people living within one building there is an increased likelihood of a fire breaking out and yet many residents have not given a thought of what they would do if a fire did ignite.
Whilst businesses have to comply with a number of fire measures in order to meet health and safety regulations, there are no such requirements for home owners. Whether you are a business or a home owner, taking fire risks seriously can be a wise investment.
In addition to planning exit routes, all property can benefit from the professional installation of fire safety equipment. These can not only be life saving, but can also minimise the damage and destruction that is caused to property and belongings.
In December the London Fire and Rescue service attended a kitchen fire in the fifth floor kitchen of a flat in Westminster. The flat had been fitted with a smoke alarm and when this activated it alerted the resident and her young daughter to the fire. They were able to escape the property and raise the alarm. The Fire crew escorted neighbours out of the property and put out the fire. Whilst there was significant damage to the kitchen and smoke damage in other areas of the flat, the story could have been far worse if the smoke alarm wasn’t fitted.
In another incident on the 25th floor of a Park Lane Hotel, 100 guests were evacuated when a fire broke out. Fortunately, the hotel had installed a sprinkler system, which was activated. As a result, the blaze had been put out before the fire crew arrived at the scene, minimising the damage caused.
If you would like support with your company’s fire safety plan and a professional team to recommend and fit suitable fire safety equipment such as sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire alarms, London and surrounding areas are served by Surrey Fire and Safety