Fire extinguisher

45 things you need to know about fire

Fire’s a necessity for modern day society. But it’s also incredibly dangerous. So, to help clue you up on some of its facts, stats and regulatory requirements, we’ve pulled together a list of 45 quick-fire (no pun intended!) things you need to know about.

  1. Fire requires oxygen, an ignition point and fuel to light – which is why the latter two should be stored far apart!
  2. The three most common types of fuel that lead to fire are coal, oil and wood
  3. Flames come in different colours – white, red, yellow, orange, green, blue, violet and peach, and each colour symbolises a different type of fire
  4. Flames from a candle alone typically burn at 1,000 degrees Celsius
  5. There are four different types of fire extinguishers – water, C02, foam and dry chemical, and different businesses may require different forms
  6. If you starve a fire of oxygen it‘ll go out by itself
  7. Alternatively, removing or exhausting the fuel source that caused the fire will put it out too
  8. Throwing water over most fires will put it out – but not if it’s an electrical or fat fire
  9. A typical house fire doubles in size every minute
  10. The more oxygen, the hotter the fire
  11. The hottest fire you’re likely to encounter is that of a welding torch, which burns at 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit
  12. If a fire has a low supply of oxygen it will be yellow
  13. High oxygen fires are blue
  14. If cotton’s attached to super glue, it’ll catch on fire
  15. Forest fires travel faster uphill than downhill
  16. Spontaneous combustion is a real thing, and it happens because some fuel sources create their own heat by rotting
  17. Most uncontrolled fires are caused by cigarettes or candles
  18. Flames don’t cast shadows
  19. Christmas is one of the worst times of the year for fires because of all the lights, candles and decorations that’re about
  20. It’s compulsory to have a means of alarm on every floor of your business
  21. Every building/business must have a suitable and up-to-date fire risk assessment in place
  22. Fire alarms should be tested every week to make sure they sound as they should
  23. As well as weekly checks, fire alarms should be maintained every six months
  24. Every single employee must receive fire safety training
  25. If you’re expecting visitors, they should be told about fire safety before entering your premises
  26. Fire drills should be conducted at least every six months
  27. You should have a special procedure in place for evacuating disabled visitors and employees (otherwise known as PEEPs)
  28. Some, but not all, incidents involving fire are reportable under RIDDOR
  29. You should regularly check the condition of your fire doors, because some last longer than others
  30. Fire alarms don’t always have to make a sound – some might have a light beacon, or it might be a vibrating pillow, for example
  31. Businesses that hold certain types and amounts of hazardous substances must complete a DSEAR assessment (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres) as well as a fire risk assessment
  32. In most cases, it takes less than 30 seconds for a fire to become difficult to control
  33. More people die from smoke inhalation than contact with the fire itself
  34. Most residential fires start in the kitchen
  35. In commercially operated buildings, arson’s the main driver behind fire deaths and injuries
  36. On average, one quarter of all household fire fatalities happen because people are trapped while asleep
  37. There are at least 20 irritant substances found in smoke, and the effects of these on people’s eyes, nose and throat can severely impair their ability to escape
  38. Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances
  39. In 2017 alone, the fire response service attended 563,527 fire incidents
  40. There were almost a quarter of a million (223,383) false alarms in 2017
  41. The number of fire-related fatalities has been on a downward trend since 1981-82
  42. In 2017, there were 321 fire-related fatalities – 71 of which were from Grenfell
  43. 3,264 is the number of non-fatal fire casualties that required hospital treatment in 2017
  44. The number of outdoor fires increased by 8% between 2016 and 2017
  45. Conversely, building fires decreased by 3% between 2016 and 2017.

Help is at hand

When it comes to keeping fire-safe, we’ve got you covered from every angle. Our industry-leading Fire Risk AssessmentsFire Alarm ServicingFire Extinguisher Servicing and Emergency Lighting Testing will provide you with peace of mind that your business, employees and visitors are safe, and that you’re on the right side of the law.

To find out more about what we have to offer, get in touch with our dedicated Additional Services Team on 0345 241 5250 or contact them using the form on this page. You can also contact our Health & Safety consultants for more advice. We provide Health & Safety support for Manchester businesses and SMEs across the UK.

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