Commercial fires cost the UK economy more than £2 billion per year – a staggering sum that has led to parliamentary calls urging British business to invest further in fire protection. Depending upon your workplace, there are many factors to consider when ensuring you’re fully-equipped to deal with fire, so below we’ve outlined a few things that different industries should be aware of.
Oil Rig Fires
Due to their location and resources, oil rigs are widely regarded as one of the most high risk workplaces in the world. Thanks to stringent health and safety procedures however, they’re actually one of the safest. The offshore installations (prevention of fire and explosion, emergency response) regulations 1995 set clear guidelines on how to tackle flames and all staff are required to undergo fire safety training. Additionally, flame retardant coveralls are issued and, in the event of evacuation, immersion suits should also be easily available.
Erratic summer heatwaves can lead to battles with forest fires, particularly in the dry heat of Australia or America. Professional firefighters use coordinated tactics to combat blazes; clearing woodland that’s at risk, preventing the fire’s ability to spread. Helicopters and planes are also drafted in to drop water and flame retardant material on affected areas, while crews on the ground wear flameproof clothing to tackle the inferno.
Engine fires are commonly caused by inflammable liquid coming into contact with very hot engine parts, usually due to a leakage or ruptured damage. Aeroplanes have inbuilt mechanisms to shut down and cut off the fuel flow, whereas car engine fires require the driver to take immediate action – namely stopping, turning off the engine and ensuring all passengers leave the vehicle. Emergency services should be called straight away.
Gas explosions can be lethal and all measures should be taken to prevent them. Pipelines should be regularly checked for leaks, corrosion, or damage, while carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed. At home, all gas appliances should be regularly maintained and checked by industry professionals. It’s advisable to familiarise yourself with whether your gas supply can be turned off (the valve is usually located next to the meter), allowing you to cut the flow if you smell gas.
Electrical fires account for 50% of all callouts in the UK, injuring approximately 350,000 people each year. The most common cause is misuse of electrical equipment – overloading sockets, exposed wiring – but there are many safety checklists available to download, helping ensure your fire protection is up to scratch.
No matter what industry you work in, fire poses a very serious danger. All fire safety guidelines should be adhered to and staff given sufficient training on your procedures. You can find our range of flame retardant protective clothing here.