Everyone knows that fires are dangerous, yet not everyone has adequate fire safety training, equipment and procedures in place to prevent fire risks and protect themselves from the dangers of fire.
A fire can destroy properties, cause injuries, and even result in death. So, why would anyone let the standard of their fire safety drop?
Here are 6 facts about fires that may be a surprise to you and are sure to remind you of the importance of keeping your fire safety standards at an all-time high:
1. Fire-related fatalities have increased
In fire and rescue GOV.UK reports, it was reported that the number of fire-related fatalities has increased within a year; in 2016/17 there were 261 fire-related fatalities compared to in 2017/18 where there were 334 in total.
Fire fatalities are obviously the worst-case scenario, so the fact that this figure has increased over the last year is quite concerning. As the years go on, fire safety equipment advances, as does the level of training available for fire safety, so being able to protect your property and the people on your premises is within possibility.
2. Kitchen appliances have the highest ignition rate
Kitchen appliances were found to be the most common source of ignition of fires, accounting of up to 48% of fires.
This is definitely something to bear in mind for workplaces with a lot of kitchen appliances, such as hotels and restaurants. Knowing how to spot any fire hazards to lessen the risk of fires igniting from kitchen appliances is crucial, so having the right person to be able to do this with a fire risk assessment is important.
3. Smokers’ materials cause the largest share of fire-related deaths
Smokers’ materials (lighters, cigarettes etc.) aren’t the most common source of ignition of fires (7%), however, fires caused by smokers’ materials have the highest fatality rate with 20%.
Although these fires aren’t necessarily common, when they do occur, they clearly cause the most damage. So, knowing what to do in the event of a fire caused by smokers’ materials is vital, as well as having the right equipment (such as smoke detectors) to be able to alert you when there is smoke in your premises when there shouldn’t be.
4. Most businesses never recover from a fire
Yet another reason why fire safety should be taken seriously is that the cost of a fire is extremely hard to recover from, and many businesses don’t.
The Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) estimated that 60% of private businesses never recover from a fire. And that’s a big risk to take as a business owner if your fire safety is not up to the standard it should be. Moreover, following a fire, every building is checked to see if it was complying with the relevant guidelines. If this test is failed, the business owning said building may not be eligible for insurance payments.
5. Arson is a big problem
Arson is the act of deliberately setting fire to property, including buildings and vehicles and it is one of the most common causes of fires.
In an average week in England, the stats for arson are:
• 1500+ deliberately set primary fires
• 50+ injuries
• 1 or 2 deaths
These stats show just how common arson is and how serious the consequences from these attacks are. Being able to protect your premises from arson attacks is important, as well as having the correct equipment, training and procedures in place if an arson attack does occur.
6. Smoke inhalation is a silent killer
Smoke inhalation is a bigger killer than the actual flames of a fire. A fire can suck out all of the oxygen from a room and replace it with poisonous smoke and gases before the flames even reach a room. This causes people to die from asphyxiation (lack of oxygen).
According to eMedicineHealth, the number one cause of death related to fires is smoke inhalation. An estimated 50-80% of fire-related deaths are the result of smoke inhalation injuries rather than burns.
Because of this ‘silent’ killer, it’s important that fire is dealt with as soon as it’s noticed. Having the right equipment to be able to detect smoke is the best solution for this, as you may not even know a fire has broken out.
Know the risks & stay safe
We hope these fire facts have given you more insight into the dangers of fires that can occur from poor fire safety in your premises.
Now it’s in your hands to ensure that the right fire safety equipment and procedures are in place to keep yourself, and everyone in your premises, safe from a fire.
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