Are You Using The Correct Charger?

Way back in 1831, British scientist, Michael Faraday, discovered electromagnetic induction.  This process is pretty much the same principle in respect of how we make use of electricity today.

Electricity is a reliable form of energy that’s essential in our modern and technology-filled lifestyles. It provides light, it cools our homes on hot summer days and heats them in winter.  And, where would we be in our digital world if we were unable to charge our devices.

Electricity can be hazardous and research states that two-thirds of all accidental house fires involve electricity. According to, in 2013-14, accidental dwelling fires caused by electrical appliances resulted in 680 non-fatal casualties and 18 deaths.  Cheap replacement chargers are a common source of fire in our homes mainly because they don’t conform to our strict safety standards.Mobile Phone Charger

Don’t be taken in by a cheap price. If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is. Criminals are clever. The chargers may look like the real thing but will be low in quality and the appliances will not have gone through the rigorous checks required to meet British safety standards. Not only could the appliance present a fire risk but there is also the chance of electrocution.

 Safety Checks To Keep You & Your Family Safe
  • Switch off all electrical items before you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Do not leave a charger on overnight.  You will you be wasting energy and the charger will overheat and this is where things can turn nasty.
  • There are visual checks you can make – make sure that all plugs, sockets and cables are in good condition.  Any concerns, unplug them immediately.   Before re-using, get a professional in to check out the problem.
  • Do not overload sockets.  Do not exceed the rating of 13A – any doubt, again, ask for professional advice.
  • Only use electrical appliances within the manufacturer’s guidelines.  Register your product with the manufacturer because, as with the recent tumble dryer scare, you will be advised of any product recalls in the event of a product defect.

What to do in the event of an electricity fire.  If there’s time and it’s safe to do so, turn off the electricity supply.  If you have a CO2 extinguisher then this is the extinguisher to use for electrical fires.  Powder fire extinguishers can also be used. The best and safest option, however, is to dial 999.

DB Fire Safety recommends that it’s best to prevent a fire in the first place by being responsible.

For more information on the history of electricity, please visit –

Law on smoking in residential care homes

In today’s blog, DB Fire Safety Ltd. would like to bring you up-to-date in respect of how the law affects residents who want to smoke in residential care Care Homeshomes.  As may already know, it is an individual’s right to continue to smoke when in care.

According to the law, residential care homes are exempt from the smoke-free legislation. Although it is not a legal requirement, designated indoor smoking rooms and/or bedrooms can be made available for use by those residents wishing to smoke indoors.  It is, however, not a legal requirement to provide a bedroom.

If a residential care home designates such a smoking room, the following requirements must be met.

  1. The manager/owner has to designate a room where smoking is permitted.
  2. The room must be completely enclosed apart, of course, from the doors and windows.
  3. The ventilation of the room should preferably be outside of the care home or to other designated ‘smoking rooms’ which have external ventilation.
  4. The doors must close either mechanically or with closers to prevent smoke drifting to smoke free rooms or corridors.
  5. The room should be clearly marked as a room where smoking is permitted.

There does, however, remain a ban on staff smoking within the Care Home and, therefore, a suitable outdoor area should be designated for staff and any visitors, wishing to smoke.

Fire risk assessments take precedence over the rights of a smoker and a risk assessment will have to be taken to ensure the safety of all the residents, care workers and visitors.

If you are unsure of the legislation, then please feel free to contact Peterborough-based DB Fire Safety Limited to arrange a free consultation – call 0800 772 0559


Fire Safety Concerns at Peterborough Hospital

DB Fire Safety was interested to read recently in that Peterborough City Hospital has still not Peterborough City Hospitalcomplied with instructions from the region’s fire service to make the hospital safe.

According to Peterborough Today, the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued an Enforcement Notice on the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after becoming aware that defects at the hospital are four times worse than previously found.

The Enforcement Notice was issued on the 22nd March.  There is remedial work to be carried out but, in the meantime, the fire service will work with the hospital managers to ensure that the risks are reduced as far as practicable.

The hospital was built in November 2010. It would now appear that problems in respect of ceiling voids have become apparent.  The structural issues of the hospital do not increase the risk of a fire but they could increase the risk of it spreading.

The work to rectify the situation will have to take place at the same time as the hospital continues to perform its duties to its patients.  With this in mind, the work will not be completed until February 2019.

You will be pleased to learn that the hospital has a fire detection system in place and its evacuation process has since been reviewed.







How Does A Fire Spread?

To enable DB Fire Safety to evaluate the risk to people in your premises, I thought you would be interested to hear the way fire can spread.

There are three ways this can happen; convention, conduction and radiation.


First of all, let’s cover convection which is the most dangerous and causes the most deaths and injuries. When a fireHouse Firestarts in an enclosed space. such as, for instance, a residential care home, the smoke rises and is trapped by the ceiling.  The smoke has to go somewhere and will spread in all directions.  An ever-deepening layer will form and eventually cover the entire room space. Smoke will pass through any holes or gaps in the walls, ceiling and floor leaching out into other parts of the building. As you can imagine, the heat from the fire then gets trapped in the building and the temperature rises.


Secondly, conduction. Certain materials are perfect conductors of heat.  Metal shutters and ducting, can absorb heat and transmit this heat to adjoining rooms and corridors.  There is the possibility that combustible items in contact with the heated material will also catch fire.


Last of all, we have radiation. Radiation heats the air very much in the same way as an electric bar heater heats a room.  Any close combustible material will absorb the heat, it will then start to smoulder and eventually burn.

Fire ExitAs a result of a building fire, we hear that the casualties have been taken to hospital because of smoke inhalation. You might be thinking that this isn’t so bad.  But this isn’t the case because smoke contains toxic gases which are injurious to people. A building with modern fittings and materials generates smoke that is thick and black.  The smoke will obscure vision and will cause great difficulty in breathing.

With vision impaired, it will be very difficult for people to find the escape routes.  For this reason, it’s essential that the means of escape, together with other fire precautions, are adequate to ensure that everyone can escape to a place of total safety before the fire and its effects take hold and trap them inside the building.

DB Fire Safety Contact

To arrange a fire risk assessment, please contact Peterborough based DB Fire Safety Limited

Residential Care Home Owners Fined £380k

As regular reader of the DB Fire Safety blog, you will be aware of the necessity to comply with the Fire Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005…..particularly if you are an owner of a residential care home.

Only recently, the owner of a residential care home in Washington, Tyne & Wear was sentenced following five breaches of Residential Care Homefire safety regulations.

The fire destroyed a bedroom and also caused damage to a corridor and smoke damage to other bedrooms and the laundry room.

It was reported that the fire started in a bedoom, but because the fire door had been wedged open, this resulted in the smoke and heat spreading to the communal corridor.  Another bedroom door had also been wedged open and the smoke and heat travelled into this bedroom too.

Because fires can spread extremely quickly (within minutes), the staff had trouble in sourcing where the fire had started.  An elderly lady, where the fire started, became trapped in her room.  Firefighters were, however, able to enter the building wearing breathing apparatus to rescue her safely through a first floor window.

Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service uncovered the following breaches of the Fire Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, as follows:

  • Two fire doors had been wedged open, when they should always be kept closed.
  • Almost half of the fire extinguishers had been condemned by the company’s appointed contractor.
  • The company failed to comply and carry out a number of requirements identifed in a fire risk assessment.  These requirements included installing electronic devices which would allow fire doors to be wedged open but, in the event of a fire, enabling them to close quickly in an emergency.

Fire can kill, and this particular residential care home owner was fortunate that no-one was seriously injured or killed. The £380k penalty is signficant but it sends out an important message in respect of the value of carrying out fire risk assessments and to comply with Fire Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

When Cooking – Keep Looking

DB Fire Safety has learnt this week that there have been five house fires across Lincolnshire recently.  Fire crews Kitchen Firehave been called out to properties in Gainsborough, Grantham, Lincoln and Sleaford. It was reported that one of the fires was caused by a man cooking some lamb chops which he left unattended.  Two more involved chip pans which had caught fire.

According to the Fire Safety Advice Centre, approximately two thirds of all domestic fires occur because of cooking.

Because of this statistic, the kitchen must surely be classed as the most dangerous place in your home.

This DB Fire Safety blog covers how to keep your kitchen safe whilst cooking which, in turn, will prevent you becoming one of the 7,000 people injured per year in a house fire.

  • Remember, that when cooking, never get distracted.  Distraction is how most fires occur when cooking is left unattended.  It’s so easy to do and, if truth be told, we have all been there. Perhaps the phone rings or there’s someone at the door.  If you have to leave your pans to answer the phone or door, take the pans off the heat entirely.
  • If you are called away, don’t leave young children unattended in the kitchen.
  • It’s also a timely reminder not to cook whilst under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs.
  • Saucepan handles can be very dangerous – keep them well away from where they can be knocked over and well away from another hot ring.
  • It might surprise you to learn but people do, on occasions, leave the oven door open.  Seems a very careless and dangerous thing to do, but it does happen.
  • Oven gloves and tea towels are another fire hazard when not stored correctly.  Keep them well away from hot rings.
  • Last, but by no means least, clean your grill pan after using it.

Don’t put your life at risk, or the lives of your loved ones.Arrange A Free Consultation

When cooking – keep looking and keep safe.









Residential Care Homes – Identifying People At Risk From Fire

As part of the Fire Risk Assessments carried out by DB Fire Safety, it’s important to identify the people in the Residential Care Home who may be at risk.

First of all, DB Fire Safety will identify where the residents’ rooms are situated, where the residents spend their days and where they eat their meals.  It’s also important to find out where the staff spend their time working within the Residential Care Home.  Last, but by no means least, where visitors and contractors are likely to be located within the building in the event of a fire.

Particular risk assessment attention is taken of:Residential Care Home

  • Employees who work alone in, say an office, or contractors who may be working in the roof space, etc.
  • Employees, for instance, care workers, cleaners, maintenance and security staff, all of which could be working during the night.
  • Particular attention is required regarding temporary or agency staff who might have no experience or understanding of the Residential Care Home’s layout or procedures.
  • Attention also needs to be taken into account of people visiting the Residential Care Home, for instance, relatives, doctors, hairdressers, chiropodists and entertainers.
  • But the most of all at risk are the residents.  These people may be unable to escape unaided and will not be able to vacate the premises quickly.
  • Something else that requires consideration is people who may well panic.  It may be advisable to put a plan in place for individual fire risk safety requirements for these individuals (PEEPS) for example, the resident’s medical conditions, sensory awareness and mobility.

It’s important to carry out a fire risk assessment in a systematic way and allocate enough time to carry out the assessment properly.Arrange A Free Consultation

Peterborough-based DB Fire Safety will visit your Residential Care Home and take the whole of the building into account  including the outdoors.



Identifying Fire Sources Of Ignition in Residential Care Homes

There are three things required for a fire to start.  Residential Care Homes

  1. A source of ignition
  2. Fuel
  3. Oxygen

In this blog, Peterborough-based DB Fire Safety will concentrate on identifying the potential sources of ignition.  During a fire risk assessment in a Residential Care Home, the assessor will be looking for possible sources of heat which could get hot enough to ignite material found in these premises.

The ignition sources could well include:

• smoking materials, e.g. cigarettes, matches and lighters;
• naked flames, e.g. candles or gas or liquid-fuelled open-flame equipment;
• electrical, gas or oil-fired heaters (fixed or portable);
• cooking equipment;
• faulty or misused electrical equipment;
• lighting equipment;
• equipment owned or used by residents;
• hot surfaces and obstruction of equipment ventilation, for example, photocopiers;
• hot processes, for example, welding by contractors;
• arson, deliberate ignition, vandalism etc..

It is also important to be aware that a resident could deliberately start a fire (with or without intent). Care should, therefore, always be taken to monitor and control access to matches and lighters. Special attention should also be given to residents that might smoke in their bedrooms.

Fire Risk Assessors will also check out any Indications of ‘near-misses’, such as scorch marks on furniture or fittings, discoloured and/or charred electrical plugs and sockets, cigarette burns etc.

Fire kills and fire costs money.  There are strict penaltes for not complying with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Fire safety training is a service Peterborough-based DB Fire Safety offers to assist Residential Care Home owners to  DB Fire Safety Contactcomply with the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

If, however, you would like more information, please visit –

Fire Awareness Training

Fire safety training for staff is a requirement of not only Fire Safety but also Health & Safety legislation.Training

It is an absolute requirement that all staff receive instruction in respect of how to raise a fire alarm and the evacuation procedures, including the location of all fire exits and the Safe Assembly Point.

It is generally recommended by Health & Safety, as well as Fire Safety Legislation, that all staff receive training in at the very least general fire safety awareness.

There may also be a requirement for some staff to be appointed as Fire Marshalls/Wardens, who, in turn, will be given particular responsibilities in the event of a fire emergency.

Fire safety training is a service Peterborough-based DB Fire Safety offers to assist business owners to comply with the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Employees could be fined up to £5,000 for minor penalities and for the more major penalities there could be unlimited fines or even a custodial sentence.

DB Fire Safety fire awareness training helps business owners to avoid falling victim of fires in the first place and to help them meet their legal obligations.

The training will make employees aware of the causes and the consequences of a fire to safeguard their workplace premises, their stock and, of course, their staff.

According to the Department For Communities & Local Government fire statistics:  “In 2013-14, there were 22,200 fires recorded in buildings that were not dwellings.  These fires have declined by more than half compared to that in 2003-04. The majority of these occurred in non -residential buildings (e.g. retails units, pubs, wine bars, cafés, take aways, private garage, private garden sheds and industrial manufacturing plants)” – for more information, please visit –

It’s of paramount importance that employees take into account the fire risk that may be present in their organisations and to make sure that their employees are aware of the causes and consequences.

DB Safety Limited’s training courses are usually held on client’s own premises in Peterborough, Northampton, Cambridge, Leicester and Bedford.

DB Fire Safety also offers e-learning courses that can be undertaken by staff at their leisure. See our website for details…

The courses include training in:Arrange A Free Consultation

  •     fire safety legislation
  •     what is fire
  •     fire precautions
  •     fire extinguishers and how to use them
  •     specific courses designed for Care Homes





Fire Risk Assessments for Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)

It was reported recently that a property landlord in Nottingham was fined over £3,000 because he was negligent in protecting his tenants from the risk of fire.  The amount of the fine is sending out a strong message to landlords the importance of protecting their tenants from these risks.

You may be thinking that the law is only in place for people runnng a business and renting out several properties.  You will be wrong in this assumption. The law also applies to private individuals looking to rent out their properties – all landlords have a duty of care to their Court Gaveltenants.

If you are a private individual looking to rent out a property, it can be helpful to employ a lettings agent.  Please be aware that even if you employ a lettings agent the responsibility still lies with you, the owner of the property, to comply with fire safety regulations.  You, as a landlord, must rely on your own understanding of the law because you will be leaving yourself wide open to prosecution if your chosen lettings agent is not fully up to speed and there is a fire in the property.

To comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, you as a landlord will be responsible for:

  • Making provision for an adequate means of escape.
  • For all properties build after June 1992, mains operated smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor
  • For older properties, battery-operated smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor
  • Furnishings, made after 1950 should meet fire resistance regulations.
  • All dangerous appliances should be removed.

If you are privately renting out just one property, then you will have to adhere to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which came into effect in October 2006   This law is not to “catch you out” but to protect your tenants.  The advice is not to put your profits above your tenants’ safety because all landlords have a duty of care to their tenants.

Remember, if you rent out your property as an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) or as a block of flats, you will require a fire risk assessment.

DB Fire Safety specialises in helping landlords meet their responsibilities under the Order aDB Fire Safety Contactnd carrying out fire risk assessments; serving Peterborough, Northampton, Cambridge, Leicester and Bedford.

To arrange a free consultation, please call David Black on 0800 772 0559