Technology for Optimists

As the world continues to be gripped by unprecedented heatwaves and wildfires, the race is on to keep cool and moist in the face of such challenging conditions. In Japan temperatures have soared to a rip roaring 41 degrees, and a natural disaster has been announced as the Japanese fight to keep their cool under solar powered fountains and miniature fans. In Greece and Sweden wildfires have claimed lives as numerous wildfire tragedies have unfolded.

Technology has its part to play in the detection and management of fire in the nature and spread of such fires. Sometimes originating in remote and barren areas, patrolling terrain by car or even helicopter to analyse for fire can be dangerous and slow. Drones have been adapted to fly in such conditions, and operated by trained fire control experts, analysis can be swiftly made using infra-red detection to detect and analyse the fire. Drones can also be used to assist in assessing the safety of a damaged building. A drone was recently flown around the remains of the Glasgow School of Art remains to do just this, the drone being able to convey detailed images for the experts below as to the extent of the damage.

It is worth noting that amateur use of drones near a fire may impede the firefighters at the scene. So, what can we do? Keep wearing cotton and pray for drizzle, drizzle, drizzle. 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.

It’s a Cease Fire for the Troops on Salisbury Plain

As this unprecedented dry weather continues and our green and pleasant land turns to brown and crunchy, the troops based on Salisbury Plain have had to change their training schedule. There have been several fires reported on the Plain after live fire training drills, so for the moment gas will replace live fire in a bid to keep sparks to a minimum.

The armed services have been based in the Warminster area since 1898. Salisbury Plain stretches on a chalk plateau on an area covering 300 miles and is home to one of the most famous landmarks in the world – Stonehenge. But around half of The Plain is used by the military though and is closed to the public for safety reasons. The military areas on Salisbury Plain create difficulties for fire control. Many of it is inaccessible for the fire safety services to put out any fires and even spraying water from the air can be fraught with difficulties. After several weeks of smoke emanating from The Plain and with the local population frustrated at having to keep their doors and windows closed during some of the hottest days this year so far, now with the absence of live fire the townsfolk are bound to be breathing a collective fresh air sigh of relief.

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 – the fire-lighting water bottle and other bizarre souvenirs

With all the World Cup excitement and England still very much in the running (yay), the Russians have propelled themselves forward as winners in hosting this great event. Russian business has also cashed in from this fervour and the race is on for the most original and bizarre souvenir.

The first contender has to be the football shaped water bottle. Created especially for the World Cup, the manufacturers came upon the idea to mould the clear plastic drinking water bottle into the sphere of a football … yes, that’s pretty original. Trouble is, well there are a couple of obstacles. The round shape of the bottle makes it very difficult to carry around, it doesn’t fit into the average jeans pocket for instance and has to be swung around in an unwieldly manner. But more importantly, the bottle when left in the sunshine, turns into a magnifying ball of fire induction which will burn anything flammable underneath it. Several fires have been reported, with ants being the main unfortunate casualty. We don’t know whether the igniting football water bottle has been withdrawn from sale or whether it is still kicking around … but at least if the fire starts there is a handy supply of water in the bottle to put it out.

If plastic bottles are off your shopping list, and you are feeling a bit peckish, the Russians have got it covered. Why not try a World Cup special pickled cucumber lollipop, marinated in beer; or football shaped sausages, coloured in authentic and sharp black and white so they really DO look like footballs. Or, if you are feeling flush, you might consider a Faberge style egg which opens to reveal a replica of the World Cup, just seen it on Ebay for under £20, or football dangly earrings that bounce about every time you move, or a t-shirt depicting a snarling World Cup 2018 mascot wielding a baseball bat, nice. Finally, for the authentic Russian gift, there are the matryoshka dolls, the ones that fit inside each other, in various guises. One even featuring a stern President Mr Putin blowing on a bright red whistle – full time! No penalties please.

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.

Peat’s Problem as fires in Saddleworth persist

The fires on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester are refusing to quell despite the valiant efforts of firefighters. The fires took hold around 10 days ago and steps were taken to get them under control. But these blazes have problems of their own. In these days of unprecedented dry and hot weather the moorland has become an arid landscape of parched grass and bushes, and these coupled with the windy conditions have made a fire from a spark almost inevitable.

Firefighters have had a punishing workload working in shifts of over 17 hours each. Appeals have gone out for support from the public in the form of donations of sun-cream, energy food and most importantly a constant supply of bottled drinking water to keep the fire-fighting mission from collapse.

The peat-based terrain is also a challenge for this moorland fire. Peat is made up of decayed vegetation and other organic matter, and is very valuable to the ecology of the moorland. Not only that, peat is used as a source of fuel for warmth, it burns very well in the grate. And that’s a problem for this particular fire. The peat burns very well. A wild peat fire can look like nothing else in that the only indication there is a fire is the cloud of smoke emanating from the ground. If you look around the edges you might witness a bright red line, something like a row of bloody teeth biting into the earth, this is the edge of the fire where there is oxygen aplenty, the fire is really underneath, and this is very difficult to put out and takes a lot of physical effort. Beating it out is exhausting. A massive rainfall is prayed for, but in the meantime, firefighters continue to toil day and night to keep the fire under control.

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.