Before Fire Alarms – there was … FIRE!

In this year of 2018 you can be assured that Bath & West Fire & Safety will provide you with the most up-to-date fire safety systems, including our resident fire safety alarm specialist. But if you cast your mind back before electricity was installed in every building, what did people do if they spotted a fire and needed to raise an alarm?

They shouted. The effectiveness depended on how loud you could holler. And upon hearing that someone grabbed a whistle or rang a bell to alert everyone in the vicinity that there was a fire. Tragically sometimes fire was not detected until the smoke had choked its way around a building, and then there was a scramble to find water, beaters or sand and crowds of helpers to try and put it out. But after the discovery of electricity at the beginning of the century, in around 1850 the first known fire alarm system was invented in the USA. It received a muted response, mostly because for some reason the inventor was keen to keep the design to himself, and the alarm became the curiosity of the rich and powerful. But in 1902 English Inventor George Andrew Darby (pictured) created a more practical fire alarm but it was so large it was only suitable for very large factories and other industrial buildings.

But all was set to change in the 1940s when a Swiss boffin invented the smoke detector which detected particles of smoke, and developments continued into the 1970s when detections became more intricate. However, it wasn’t until the 21st century that the fire alarm reached its true sophistication with the benefits of a wireless system and sensitive detectors.

The right fire alarm for you depends on your unique requirements, but please contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety for expert advice. Your local friendly fire safety experts. Please vote for us in the Bradford-on-Avon Business Awards .

Hero of the Night – its Prince Ozzy

When searching for a new home, black cats prove to be the least popular. Why this is the case is a subject of much debate, some even think that in this age of the ‘selfie’ a black cat is the least photogenic. But the black cat can be a lucky talisman, especially if the bond between owner and pet is strong and affectionate.

Prince Ozzy, a black kitty named after the Prince of Darkness Osborne is a very special cat. His owner, Sharon Kane, was suffering with a chest infection, when after taking strong medication fell into a deep sleep. But her slumber was disturbed by Ozzy’s constant pawing at her face which at first, she found irritating and drowsily she batted him away. But Ozzy wasn’t having any of it and he persisted until Sharon woke from her slumber to find that the room had filled with smoke from a fire in the flat below which was now ripping through the entire building. Grabbing her trusty feline Sharon raced out coughing and spluttering, but alive to tell the tale of her hero moggy.

The charity Cats Protection recognised him with an Award for a Hero cat. Prince Ozzy might have proved to be a life-saving cat, but please don’t rely on your pet to be a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should be fitted in all buildings … and properly maintained. Vital time can be saved with the sensitivity of a fully functional smoke alarm. For all your fire safety needs including installation and maintenance of fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our own people at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

Irreparable and Devastating – the fire damage at the Yellow Palace

Brazil’s oldest and most important historical and scientific museum known as the Yellow Palace has been devastated by fire, with 90% of its archive of 20 million items is believed to have been destroyed.

The fire at Rio de Janeiro’s 200-year-old National Museum started after it was shut to the public on Sunday and raged into the night. There were no reports of injuries, but the loss to Brazilian science, history and culture was incalculable, one of its vice-directors said.

“It is an unbearable catastrophe. It is 200 years of this country’s heritage. It is 200 years of memory. It is 200 years of science. It is 200 years of culture, of education.” Said Luiz Darte.

There were strong rumours that some firefighters did not have enough water to battle the blaze. Rio’s fire chief Colonel said two hydrants at the museum were dry. “The two nearest hydrants had no supplies,” he said. Water trucks were brought in and water used from a nearby lake. “This is an old building,” he said, “with a lot of flammable material, lots of wood and the documents and the archive itself.”

Brazil has other troubles as it battles terrifying levels of violent crime and the effects of a recession that has left more than 12 million residents unemployed. People became concerned that the museum had fallen into disrepair and essential services were not maintained. Investigations into the cause and path of the fire at the Yellow Palace continue.

For all your fire safety needs including installation and maintenance of fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our own specialist people at Bath & West Fire & Safety.