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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 communications@draxuk.com.

 
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Why your business needs to consider Emergency Lighting

When it comes to ensuring your business premises are compliant with fire safety regulations, emergency lighting can often be overlooked. Installing emergency lighting is a crucial aspect of keeping staff and visitors safe when inside your premises. As well as being a moral obligation, the installation of emergency lighting is also a legal one; with the Government setting extremely tight guidelines regarding commercial premises.

What qualifies as Emergency Lighting?
Exit Signs – Fire exit signs are placed at specified locations throughout a building, signalling where emergency exits are located and ensuring they remain visible even in the event of a power outage.
Emergency Escape Lighting – Emergency escape lighting is there to provide illumination for anybody attempting to evacuate your premises in the event of a fire or any other emergency.
Standby Lighting – This backup lighting acts as part of the overall emergency lighting system, providing basic and low-level lighting that ensures people inside the building avoid being left in complete darkness so they can make a safe evacuation.
Escape Route Lighting – Escape route lighting clearly illuminates the safest and quickest route to the nearest exit and safety.

Meeting protocol
The team at Drax understand the legal obligations your premises has to meet, and all our work is done in accordance with British Standard BS EN 5266; which defines the requirements of your emergency lighting. Using extensive knowledge of these guidelines, our engineers can advise you on how to ensure you meet the required guidelines, as well as highlighting certain improvements that could be made to your current systems.

Not just for emergencies
Emergency lighting might be essential in order to help your staff or visitors reach safety in the event of a fire, but it’s also important in a number of everyday situations. Take a power outage, for example - emergency lighting will offer enough light to help staff access the fuse box, also potentially covering you should a circuit trip.

What Drax can do for you
Drax Services will ensure that your emergency lighting systems are maintained on a regular basis in accordance with BS EN 5266 standards, providing premises managers with the assurances they need that all six-monthly and annual testing is completed on a timely basis and meeting regulations.

Drax’s testing service includes a duration test of whole systems, including mains failure simulation, also offering a comprehensive range of maintenance and repairs services for all emergency lighting systems regardless of manufacturer. 
 
To talk to a member of the team at Drax about your emergency lighting options, call us on 0345 459 2300, or email us at communications@draxuk.com
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