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Essential fire safety escape equipment

09 July 2020

Reece Enterprise has provided information on some essential fire safety equipment that can help to prevent harm to workers during a fire evacuation.

It is paramount to ensure that your business premises has an effective fire evacuation procedure in place should such an emergency occur in order to protect those on site at the time.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are essential for controlling a blaze or extinguishing smaller fires that would otherwise cause serious harm and damage. There are several types of fire extinguishers and each is suitable for use on a different type of fire class. Water fire extinguishers have a class A rating and are suitable for fires involving solid combustibles such as wood, textiles, and paper – electrical equipment should be avoided when using a water extinguisher. Whereas AFFF foam extinguishers are suitable for use on class A and B fires and can be used on electrical fires safely. CO2, ABC power and water mist fire extinguishers are also suitable for use on electrical fire. It is important to ensure that there is always someone fully trained on the use of fire extinguishers on site in case of emergency.

Breathing apparatus

Breathing apparatus is essential to access breathable air while in the presence of fire and smoke. Other than being an essential piece of kit for fire emergencies, they are worn by rescue workers and firefighters. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) consists of three main components – a cylinder of compressed air, a back-plate that holds the cylinder and reduces the air from high pressure to medium pressure that supplies a face mask. SCBA allows the user to move freely as they are not attached to an airline, however the cylinder has a relatively short supply time of around half an hour. There are many different sizes of cylinders which can improve duration or manoeuvrability, but limitations will remain to some extent.

Escape equipment cabinets can be used to store breathing apparatus ad other escape equipment. These cases are large and brightly coloured to draw the attention in an emergency; Reece Enterprise supply strong, moulded, weatherproof cabinets for such needs with a neoprene seal making it suitable to be used outside.

Emergency fire escape ladders

Steel escape ladders are ideal to use in the event where escape from a window is necessary. These ladders are designed to attach securely to window openings and drop down to the ground, with several lengths available depending on the height of the building.

Lifehammer emergency escape hammer
In the event of a fire on coaches or buses, this is a common and effective emergency escape tool that is used for breaking windows in an emergency such as a fire. The tough double pointed hammerhead breaks the window, with the other end of the handle hiding a concealed knife for cutting through seatbelts if required.

Evacuation chairs
In the case of a fire, lifts cannot be used, so evacuation chairs are essential for people with mobility impairments. Evacuation chairs offer a much safer solution for evacuation, and are designed for descending locations with difficult access, such as staircases. These chairs have specially designed friction belts for a smooth decent while being able to move quickly without slipping or tipping over, so it is a vital piece of equipment to keep on site.

It is important to consider the different fire safety equipment for your premises and ensure members of staff are trained in fire evacuation procedures.