UK Fire Safety News

Kent Fire & Rescue Significant Fall in False Alarms

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has seen a significant fall in the number of false automatic fire alarms (AFAs) it responds to, since changing its policies for attendance. In the past three months, the fire brigade has stopped attending AFAs between the hours of 6am and 6pm unless confirmation of fire or signs of a fire is received.

Subsequently, daytime callouts for KFRS have fallen by 63 per cent. It estimates that the new policy has already saved fire crews from attending 450 false alarms, meaning that they are able to devote resources to genuine emergencies instead.

What's more, AFA calls to the service have also dropped by ten per cent in the period.

Fire in Addiewell Prison West Lothian

An inmate required medical treatment for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at a prison in Scotland during the early hours of Thursday morning. The blaze took hold in a cell at Addiewell Prison, in West Lothian, at approximately 4.30am. While Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that one man was involved in the incident, a spokesperson for the local ambulance service said he did not require hospitalisation.

With the requirement that prisoners are locked securely in their cells at night, it is crucial that a rigorous fire risk assessment is conducted regularly so that they are not in danger if an incident occurs. It is of paramount importance that all staff know exactly what to do in the event that a fire breaks out, either in a cell or in a communal area, and that automatic detection systems are regularly tested. According to a spokesperson for the UK's Prison Service, "robust measures" are in place to deal with the risk of fires in prisons and each prison carries out regular assessments to ensure that prisoners, staff and visitors are as safe as possible.

Fire at RAF base in Lincolnshire

A welder working on a bus sparked a blaze at a hanger in a former RAF base in Lincolnshire on Monday (July 9th).

Lincolnshire Fire And Rescue Service crews were called to Manby showground, near Louth, at about 5pm following sightings of smoke billowing from the building.

A police spokesman revealed that there had been several "small explosions" during the incident, with reports suggesting that gas canisters were inside the hangar. No-one was injured in the blaze. The building, which is owned by Winchester Marines, suffered severe external and internal damage but remains standing thanks to the actions of firefighters, who eventually left the scene at 1pm on Tuesday.

Takeaway Fire in Croydon

A takeaway in London has been damaged after a fire broke out in the premises over the weekend.Fire crews were called to the Tasty Jerk Chicken outlet in Woodside, Croydon, at around 12.45am on Saturday (7th July) after a passer-by reported smoke billowing from the building.

Two fires broke out in the restaurant's ventilation system, which caused damage to around two-fifths of the building. Firefighters spent took about ten minutes extinguishing the flames.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment must be conducted on all commercial properties in England and Wales. In accordance with legislation these are subject to a fire risk assessment review periodically.

Landlord Guilty of Eight Fire Safety Offences

A pub landlord has pleaded guilty to eight fire safety offences after failing to understand he had become responsible for fire safety after his lease changed. Appearing at Manchester City Magistrates' Court on July 3rd, Robert Vincent Ashton, of Swinton, was given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 towards Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's (GMFRS) costs for the offences.

The case was brought against Mr Ashton, the owner of the Duke of York pub in Eccles, Salford, after an investigation revealed several fire safety failings. These included faulty fire alarms, lack of adequate fire resistance between floors, unacceptable fire escapes and failure to carry out a fire risk assessment.Upon sentencing Mr Ashton, magistrates took into account that he did not understand that he was responsible for fire safety after singing a new lease in 2008.

Assistant chief officer Peter O'Reilly, director of prevention and protection at GMFRS, said: "The decision of the magistrates recognises that Ashton did not seek to put profit over safety but rather failed to understand his responsibilities."I hope that this case will encourage people setting up or entering businesses to ensure they research their legal responsibilities. Anyone entering into a lease arrangement must ensure they fully understand their obligations and the legal implications.”

London Maisonette Fire - Spaghetti Can

A fire which damaged a north London maisonette was probably caused by a toaster being used to heat a tin of spaghetti. Two men escaped the fire in Upper Holloway, on Monday night, said a spokesperson for London Fire Brigade. It appears that the two men had wedged the toaster on and were cooking a tin of spaghetti on top of it.

Four fire engines and about 20 firefighters attended the blaze.