It’s a Tinder out there as warnings are out for Wildfires

This wonderful sunny weather means that the outdoor life is a breeze right now … and the heatwave is set to last for the time-being. But times are more challenging for landowners and those responsible for spaces when the weather is so dry. Warnings have gone out that visitors must be extra vigilant when enjoying their activities outside, and to keep alert for any flashes of wildfire.

Large blazes have already been tackled on Saddleworth Moor in the Pennines and Wishaw, Birmingham. In the West firefighters have been stretched in fighting various fires around the region, including an 800 metre fire on Brendon Common near Lynton, and a blaze on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, where locals were advised to keep their windows shut as the smoke drifted.

Wildfires start for various reasons. But it is worth remembering that permissions must be sought from landowners before lighting barbecues or starting camp fires, and usually these are only in designated areas. Always be responsible when smoking and ensure that cigarettes are fully extinguished before responsibly disposing them, and never throw cigarette ends from a vehicle, they may start a fire. After a visit to the countryside, always take your rubbish home and particularly never leave any glass as this might act as a magnifying source to start a blaze. It’s a tinder out there with dry bracken, grass, heat and wall to wall sunshine.

If you do see a wildfire out of control report it immediately. For all your fire safety needs including fire alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our staff at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

World Cup – Saudi Team in Plane Fire Drama

As the excitement builds around the twists and turns of the World Cup, things for the Saudi Team got a bit frantic as footage from the plane they were flying into Russia showed flames coming out of one of the engines. The entire team were flying into Rostov airport on a Russian plane when it would appear that one of the engines was struck by a bird, and the plane had to make an emergency landing. The shocked team clearly were relieved to reach terra-firmer in anticipation for their match with Uruguay on Wednesday.

Modern planes are designed to fly through all types of weather and obstacles. A fire is never good news, but onboard there are well-rehearsed methods and systems to extinguish it. Outside the aircraft is a different matter. A bird flying into one engine may sound pretty scary but as planes are designed to fly on just one engine, a pilot can continue flying without too much drama. Its bad news for the bird though as the impact is likely to cause disintegration. The pilot may not even notice that a bird has struck, sometimes it takes a landing inspection to realise that this has happened. Although rare, a fire on a wing however is a more serious matter. Most modern planes have fuel tanks on their wings and any sort of fire will mean that an emergency landing evacuation is the only solution.

For all your fire safety needs including fire alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our staff at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

Fire Safety in North Korea – What’s it like?

On a day when history was made in Singapore between the Donald Trump from the USA and Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a spotlight could be shone on what it must be like to live in this most secretive of countries.   The history of North Korea goes back to its connections with Japan.  After the second World War, and a defeated Japan, a unified Korea was divided with South Korea eventually becoming an entirely separate country and the north becoming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Unhappy neighbours, the Koreans viewed each other with suspicion.  Whilst South Korea embraced the western way of life, North Korea struggled to allow freedom, it became isolated and secretive, relying on its neighbours Russia and China for support.  The border between North and South Korea became an area of 24-hour guards, furtive binoculars and outward pointing missiles.  South Korea had reason to be worried, it was rumoured that North Korea had a growing arsenal of weapons, capable of destroying the south.

 

In Seoul, South Korea, bomb shelters became well-known landmarks and emergency rappelling kits (containing sling, pulley and handy instructions) a feature for many a skyscraper hotel rooms, along with a personal fire extinguisher issued to all guests.  But what was life like for fire security in North Korea?  As the photograph shows the first obstacle to what we take for granted in the west is that at night most of North Korea is plunged into darkness.  The lack of night lighting alone would make tackling an emergency much more difficult.  In addition, the isolation of North Korea economically means that their buying power for fire safety equipment is severely limited.  Russia donated a number of fire engines to the country in 2014 and online there is a film of this ceremony which was clearly very important to North Korea.  Further than that, there are reports that a fatal fire swept through a hotel in Wonsan-Kalma maritime tourist zone in May which killed an unknown number of workers, deeply asleep after hours of back-breaking work allegedly to meet deadlines of construction.  Apart from this it is very difficult to gauge what life is really like for the fire service industry in North Korea, approved visitors are permitted with close supervision, but cameras are strictly controlled.

 

For all your fire safety needs including fire alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our staff at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

Hate exams? Don’t do this … especially if you are the Teacher

It’s the beginning of June and the exam season is in full flow. GCSEs started in May and many youngsters are burning the midnight oil reading, memorising and badgering parents to test their knowledge in rehearsal for the big day.

But for one school it all went a bit awry. The headteacher of this Bedfordshire establishment was so enthusiastic to push her students to try their best that she would bribe them with hamburgers and chicken nuggets if they would just show up to the exam and at least stay to the end. Further than that, she persuaded one teacher to go through the exam answers BEFORE it happened, just so the pupils were in no doubt as to the correct procedure … and the solutions.

And then, just as all was in place and the exam was in progress, nerves got to the school head. The fire alarm was set off without reason and the exam had to be abandoned. As the children streamed out of the hall to a muster station in confusion it was clear that this was a step too far. Setting off a fire alarm during an exam is annoying for all concerned and means that the inevitable remains just that. And did you also know that deliberately tampering with a fire alarm is illegal and liable to a criminal punishment? Exams can be fraught with tension. From those strategically placed desks in the gym hall, the silence, the absence of the umbilical cords we call our phones, the frantic scribbling, the watched clock, the heartbeat reverberating as questions are frantically read and comprehended. Time passes. In the end, those papers should be covered in sweat, a tear or two, hope and … relief that after a few hours in the day the thing is over, knowledge has been extracted, noted, collated in plain brown envelopes and whisked away to a desk of an unknown expert. Summer is on its way.

Best of luck to those who are taking exams, stay calm, prepare well and do the best you can do. For all your fire safety needs including fire alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our qualified staff at Bath & West Fire & Safety.