Preventable fire hazards – what you need to know!
DUBLIN, IRELAND -
Blog written by William Ryan - General Manager, Ireland
Fire outbreaks can cause major disruption and catastrophic devastation if not brought quickly under control. Just last month we saw how a large fire at a coffin makers1 in Strabane, County Tyrone brought businesses in the local area to a standstill as members of the public were urged to stay indoors with all windows closed, whilst 80 firefighters tackled the blaze. The fire was reportedly caused by a lightning strike – one of a few unpreventable fire hazards. But, unlike weather hazards, thankfully most types of fires are preventable.
Looking after premises is a huge responsibility and involves far more than protecting the building and its assets alone. Safeguarding staff and visitors comes first and foremost for those responsible – in the event of a fire, preventative measures are essential to have in place to avoid injury and, in the worst case, loss of life.
Of these, you might be surprised to learn that cigarettes are in fact the most frequently occurring fire safety hazard. New data released by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service2 last year showed a dramatic rise in accidental house fires in Ireland caused by cigarettes since lockdown – up 87 percent, with call outs during the pandemic increasing from 327 in 2019 to 376.
And it’s a similar story in the workplace. Smoking is a common cause of workplace fires with over a third of deaths in non-domestic buildings being attributed to smokers’ materials.
In addition, the Fires Services Act (1981 and 2003) is another source of legislation in Ireland. This places a duty of care on all individuals who have control over a premises, where the public has access.
Armed with this information an employer can then take the appropriate action to control the fire risks; consideration must be given both to whether a risk is avoidable or where its not avoidable, how the risk can be reduced.
At Chubb, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of fire safety solutions designed to prevent, detect and contain a fire, and enable time to escape. From an initial fire risk assessment to the design and installation of the appropriate fire detection and suppression technologies, our range includes the most sophisticated detectors and alarms, through to fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and other essential products such as signage and emergency lighting.