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2.5 Million pounds worth of fire safety breaches

Drax have compiled a list of top ten recent breaches of the Regulatory Reform (fire safety) order 2005. Quite a scary prospect for the responsible person to read but fear not as here at Drax we constantly seek innovative ways to keep you compliant, save you money and more importantly keep your people and premises safe from fire. Do not hesitate to contact us for a complimentary site survey and quotation to manage your fire alarm maintenance or any installation work you may require. Call sales on 0345 4592300.

1) Fined £570,000 in March 2017 - Southwark Council over a string of fire safety offences at Lakanal House 
2) Fined £460,000 in April 2017 - First Port Ltd pleaded guilty after the tragic death of an elderly resident
3) Fined £400,000 in March 2017 - Care Home Operator of Donwell House in Tyne and Wear for 5 separate breaches 
4) Fined £300,000 in March 2017 - Bosses of Shisha Bar in Manchester flouted fire safety rules repeatedly in 2013
5) Fined £162,000 in November 2016 - Landlord Mr Abbas Rasul left tennants without fire doors, smoke detectors or alarms   
6) Fined £155,000 in January 2017 - Mr Robert Singh Director of Student Lettings for failure to comply with a prohibition notice 
7) Fined £150,000 in May 2016 - Landlord Mr Idris Raza of TISHK Ltd and Hanasa Ltd for his 'reckless behaviour'
8) Fined £143,000 in November 2016 - UK Wood Recycling over Teeside wood piles
9) Fined £100,000 in August 2016 - J G Hale Construction Ltd for fire safety breaches
10) Fined £100,000 in April 2017 West Country Almondsbury Care Home after fire doors and escape routes were blocked

Social Media Increases Fire Threat

Recent examples of which can be seen at a Red Hot Chilli Pipers Gig in South Ayrshire. A fire alarm went off during a packed festive fanfare with an evacuation procedure that took an estimated 15 minutes to complete.

Revellers described the process as “organised chaos”; alarms could not be heard over the band playing and once the crowds did start to vacate they gathered on the street outside resulting in doorway blockages which slowed others attempting to get out.

Potentially a disastrous scenario, the incident is now being investigated by the local council.

Thankfully this was a false alarm and no one was hurt but serves to exemplify that large gatherings of people equal severe health and safety threats, even when ‘properly’ co-ordinated.

What if an event is not ‘properly’ organised or the scale and volume of people has not been considered?

This is where Social Media plays a part. Only a handful of weeks ago, we saw the full scale of catastrophe which can take place within a building, further afield in Oakland. A total of 36 people tragically lost their lives when a warehouse being used as a large-scale dwelling caught fire. National Fire Protection Association President Jim Pauley said in a statement at the time.

"In Oakland, the changing occupancy of that building may have only been known to those who lived or worked there, not to the fire service or other officials," he said. "This is likely a scenario happening in other places around the country.

The ability to attract large numbers of people to an unknown venue is easy through new ways of social media. Couple that with the rate of speed, things can go from bad to worse when there are blocked or not enough exits and lots of combustibles."

Landlords, business owners, building managers, facilities and estates directors are all accountable when it comes to life safety in their premises. It is essential you remain compliant and know the true risk attached to your building.David Burns of South Ayrshire Council echoes this when he commented on the Red Hot Chilli Pipers gig, ‘Although the event organisers are ultimately responsible for health and safety during their event, we need to ensure that our facilities remain fit for purpose’.

Reducing false alarms and managing real ones correctly is essential. Social media being used to attract larger numbers to an event should simply be positive. Make sure this is the case. Keep your business premises compliant and ready for the unexpected.

If anything within this article resonates with you or you simply require reassurance that your building is in safe hands. Do not hesitate to give us a call 0345 4592300 or email

Drax Services have been successfully providing independent alarm management supply and maintenance solutions for the last twenty years.

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Gain control, save money and reduce false alarms with your Gent system

Back in July Gent by Honeywell announced the introduction of their ViginSite tool. What does this mean for Facilities Managers?

Basically, with the ViginSite tool you are able to quickly identify how old each different piece of fire safety equipment is. This allows more control over budgets and planning with less likelihood of unexpected costs. More importantly you maintain control over compliance, essential to every business.
This is always about life safety. Too often we read yet another news story of a business with a hefty fine for non-compliance that has greater consequences far beyond what you read in the news and tragically these news stories don’t always have such a positive outcome of a simple £75000 fine.

According to Simon Foulkes, Gent Product Manager, ‘There are many thousands of Gent legacy systems all over the UK and Ireland and some will inevitably contain devices that, due to their age, are no longer fit for purpose. These products can cause high numbers of unwanted alarms or, more importantly, fail to detect fire in its early stages.’

Drax recognise if you are reading this you are one of many outstanding facilities managers who feel passionately about their role and what they give to their fellow colleagues by maintaining safe, suitable and secure buildings.
This is why we constantly seek to thank, reward and make your job easier. The VigInSite tool from Gent does exactly this.

Gent first undertook an extensive research programme into the lifespan of their products and components and found these range from 7 years for a Carbon Monoxide detector, 14 years for a smoke scatter light emitting diod and 20 years for equipment such as control panels, interfaces and other field devices.

As a Gent 24 Approved Systems Integrator, Drax can now plug ViginSite directly into a Vigilon control panel and allow its advanced software to identify the age of each device.

You then receive an inventory which uses a traffic light system to provide instant visual guides as to what action should be taken.

This saves time and money and gives you the peace of mind which should be taken for granted dealing with safety within your buildings.

Call the team at Drax 0345 4592300 to book a free visit or email Kelly on for further details.

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Does your business have the correct fire extinguishers

When it comes to ensuring your business is safe from fire and compliant with fire safety regulations, there are a number of factors you need to consider. One of the most important aspects for business owners is having the correct fire extinguishers on their premises. There are a number of different extinguishers available, and it’s crucial the correct type of unit is present to deal with the risks that exist in your particular workplace.

Before understanding the different extinguishers, it’s important to recognise the types of fire so the responsible person knows how to safely deal with the situation.

Different Types of Fires

Class A: A fire involving ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, straw, and plastics.
Class B: Fires which involve flammable liquids such as gasoline, petroleum oil and paint. Class B fires can also include flammable gases like propane and butane.
Class C: Fires involving electrical equipment such as motors, transformers and appliances. If the power is removed, though, a Class C fire changes to one of the other classes.
Class D: Fires in combustible metals like potassium, sodium, aluminium and magnesium.
Class F: Fires involving cooking oils and greases such as animal and vegetable fats

Different Type of Extinguishers

There are five main types of fire extinguisher you should be aware of, each designed to cope with a specific fire hazard, with some capable of being used on more than one type of fire.  
Water: A water fire extinguisher is used for the most common Class A fires. These extinguishers are NOT suitable for any fires where either liquid or electricity is involved. 
Foam: A foam extinguisher can be used on fires where wood, straw or paper is involved as well as tackling fires started by flammable liquid. While not recommended for electrical fires, foam is safer than water if accidently coming into contact with live electrical apparatus.
CO2: Carbon dioxide extinguishers are often found where electrical fires could occur, also capable of tackling flammable liquids and other Class B fires.
Powder: A powder extinguisher is suitable for a number of different types of fires making it ideal for premises where a range of fires could start, from flammable liquids to gas or electric, as well as Class A fires.
Wet Chemical: A wet chemical extinguisher is designed specifically for fires involving cooking oil and fat, but it is also effective with Class A fires.
For more information about fire extinguishers and which ones your business should have, contact the team at Drax on 0345 459 2300 or email

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