Thames Town Fireworks cancelled because whale may get upset

The people of Gravesham are in for a few silent nights over this firework season because their town of Gravesend has been visited by a beluga whale. The whale, named by locals as Benny, is usually a resident nearer Greenland, but it would appear that Benny has become lost on his way home. Gravesham Borough lies south of the River Thames approximately 29 miles east of London and this is where Benny has decided he wants to be for the moment. Various sightings have been recorded in this area along the Thames Estuary and Benny has become somewhat a celebrity.

The local council have decided to cancel the fireworks event planned for the 2nd November, and have also asked the good people of the area to refrain from holding private firework parties for the time-being, in case the noise upsets Benny. Residents of Gravesham are bound to be a little disappointed that this fireworks seasons will lack the usual bang and sparkle, but, hey! They are bound to have a whale of a time with Benny the beluga whale as their local celebrity bringing visitors in far and wide to catch a glimpse of this star.

Please stay safe this firework season, and remember that for animals it can be anything but fun, so make sure they are comfortable and securely tucked up somewhere quiet and calm before your party. For all your fire safety needs including fire extinguisher hire, risk assessments, installation and maintenance of fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets and fire safety training for your staff contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

It’s all thanks to you!

After winning the BoA Business Awards last year, we felt very honoured to be shortlisted again as Best Professional Service business in our beautiful town of Bradford-on-Avon, and it was with much delight that last at the Awards Ceremony last Thursday we won this category again! Thank you for voting for us. We were one nominee amongst 129, with 19 categories, and over 3,500 people voted.

Congratulations also to all the other fantastic business ventures in the Bradford-on-Avon area, you are all stars!

The smoke and mirrors of reflections on a stairway can be lethal

Ever walked into a room which appears huge, only to realise that there are walls of mirrors which have given the illusion of space and light? The dead giveaway is that your own reflection is repeated in all directions, a myriad of you disappears into infinity. Mirrors can amaze and entertain on deception. A House of Mirrors at a fun fair amuses us as distorted images stare back at us, convex and concave short bodies under tall heads, long feet, grimaces which make us all chortle and marvel at the comic illusions of us.

For most people though a mirror is a tool to see a true reflection, if only in the opposite, and light up surroundings, and the most likely place to find a mirror is in a dwelling. A mirror in the bathroom is the most likely, followed by the bedroom. The practical use being to use it in assistance with grooming and make-up. The bedroom may have two mirrors, one a full-length to check over clothes and a further reflection so the back can be inspected as well as the front.

In a drawing room a mirror above a mantlepiece can be an addition to make the room appear a lot larger and brighter with reflected light. In a dance hall a mirrored ball can be suspended from the ceiling so that when the light hits it, thousands of sparkling diamonds can be reflected from it as it spins slowly and shines onto the dancers below creating a complex pattern of changing light.

When thinking about a fire escape route though, the placement of a mirror needs careful consideration. A staircase may be difficult to navigate in the best of times, but with the mirrored illusion of up when down or confusion as to reflection a person coming or going or where a fire is most dangerous, and can mean a panic in an emergency evacuation. A fire escape should be a clear pathway to a safe place and any sort of mirror should never be placed on a stairway or to confuse a fire exit or location of fire. Smoke with mirrors can be a lethal combination, no illusion.

Did you know that we offer bespoke fire risk assessments for your property? For all your fire safety needs including fire risk assessments, installation and maintenance of fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets and fire safety training for your staff contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

The Ring of Fire that surrounds Indonesia

The tsunami and earthquakes that have rocked Indonesia recently have created misery and panic for this country’s inhabitants and the rest of the world has witnessed as the rescue services have battled against the force of nature.

But for the Indonesians these recent events should have come as no surprise. Indonesia is situated at the meeting of three continental plates: Pacific, the Eurasian and the Indo-Australian, and the much smaller Philippine plate, which means that as far as risks go, Indonesia is the most likely to be affected by the violent movement of the earth’s plates, in fact, around 90% of earthquakes occur within this area called ‘the ring of fire’.

One of the most notorious islands in Indonesia’s some 18,000 archipelago is the island of Krakatoa, famous for one of the most violent volcanic eruption recorded in history in 1883 which claimed over 37,000 lives in the eruption and resulting tsunami. The volcano today has an active life where clouds of smoke can be witnessed, as well as more dramatic rumbles and showers of fire. The last being very recently and on over 40 occasions in 2018, the area is under constant monitor by scientists.

The Indonesians have challenges to live with, and in these times, whenever a natural disaster occurs this creates its own problems. The infrastructure of urban living means that electrical cables can become firelighters, the water system can become a deadly river, motorways collapse as well as buildings which can be a nightmare for the rescue services and logistics in terms of rescue and aid.

Airports and seaports are given priority for repair, and slowly systems will be re-built to give these wonderful islands the recovery they need. 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 us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

There’s no place like …

Bradford-on-Avon, the original broad field upon the River Avon, is a town very much on the map of Wiltshire. Close to Bath, and dating from Roman origins, the town thrived through the wool trade. Blessed to be on the River Avon, and surrounded by sheep, wool, and the wealthy merchants selling the cloth via the elegant houses which made up the centre of the town, Bradford-on-Avon became a town of many contrasts with rows of tiny terraced houses and narrow passageways weaving through the town to make up its character.

The town has been a magnet to tourists and residents over the years. Now in 2018 it is home to pubs and bed and breakfasts, restaurants and cafes, shops and virtual business centres. A friendly railway station is a welcome landmark in the centre. Bradford-on-Avon has moved with the times yet retains its welcome.

Innovation continues to thrive in Bradford-on-Avon. The rubber factory has closed, and so has the mushroom farm, along with the wool trade which brought the town its character. But now there is the Moulton Bicycle Company, canal and narrowboats, a thriving high street, with shops, tea rooms, beauty parlours, and creative spaces, start-ups and long established and much-loved businesses … and visitors, all keen to see the beauty of the town.

Our business, Bath & West Fire & Safety, your local fire safety expert has been here for over 25 years, serving the town of Bradford-on-Avon, as well as far and wide in the South of England. Please vote for us as your favourite business in our town. Voting closes this Sunday!

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.

Isle of Wight Ferry Fire puts a dampener on the Bank Holiday Weekend

Over 100 passengers were evacuated after a fire broke out on a Wightlink Ferry over the weekend. The ferry, a shuttle from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight to Lymington, Hampshire was suspended upon its arrival on the Isle of Wight, all passengers disembarked safely.

The fire, it would appear, started in the engine room where crew knew exactly what to do and an extinguishing system was deployed. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been told about the fire and Wightlink said its engineers would also carry out an investigation.

After an apology from the ferry company, Whitelink, the transportation service resumed on Monday morning.

Five miles of water divide the Isle of Wight from the mainland. A popular destination for old and young alike, attractions include Queen Victoria’s Osborne House, the sands at Alum Bay and Blackgang Chine. Hopefully the delayed ferry passengers weren’t put out too much when they had extra time on the island whilst they awaited their ferry back to the mainland.

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

Get up and go! … but don’t forget this

With the bank holiday just around the corner many of us are making the most of the long weekend to pack our bags and head for the country or the seaside. If you are lucky enough to own a caravan trailer or campervan you can literally pack the kitchen sink, along with washing up liquid and tea-towels, as well as the raw ingredients to make a slap-up supper everyone can enjoy.

But when you are making your list for things to pack, don’t forget to tick the box for a fire extinguisher and fire blanket. You also need to test the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in the vehicle before you set off. There has been a spate of holiday caravan fires in the West Country this summer. Dorset, Devon and Cornwall firefighters have all been on high alert after caravan fires have been reported on campsites and beauty spots.

When cooking in your caravan, take special care, watch children and never leave a stove unattended. Never block air vents and keep your gas cylinders outside your caravan. Turn off all appliances before going to bed … and never use a cooker whilst your caravan is moving

It is vital to remember that should a fire start in a caravan the most important rule is to get everyone out before attempting to tackle any fire. For all your fire safety needs including fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for your staff contact our specialist staff at Bath & West Fire & Safety.