A recent news item reported on the tragic case of a young worker, just 21 years old, at a distillery who suffered twenty percent burns to his head, neck and hands after being engulfed in flames when ethyl acetate – a highly flammable liquid – was being transferred from a bulk storage tank into an intermediate bulk container.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found that the most likely source of ignition was a discharge of static electricity caused by the transfer of the liquid. In addition to the young mans injuries, the fire destroyed the warehouse and caused damaged to nearby cars and houses.
The HSE’s investigation discovered poor maintenance of pipework and associated valves, plus a failure to competently inspect the equipment or monitor the systems of work. Alcohols Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £270,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,009.
This caused some discussion here at FASS between those members of the team who carry out Fire Safety Assessments and Risk Assessments and the consensus of opinion was that many people believe that by having the mandatory number of fire extinguishers and fire alarms, they have done all that is reasonable possible to reduce the risk of fire.
Whilst we always please to hear when people are aware of the need for alarms and extinguishers, we would also encourage them to think beyond that and this is where using a company such as FASS will help. We will work with you to consider the additional items that you may not think about in terms of ignition points or dangers, plus also we have a whole range of fire detection and extinguishing products that are specific to industries.
For example, if you have a server or IT room in your office you may CO2 extinguishers in the corner of the room, ready to tackle a fire should one break out. But what if you weren’t in the room? What if the fire started whilst you were in the next room or grabbing a coffee? For situations like this we can offer a fully automated specialist fire suppression system that would react automatically and extinguish the fire faster that you could react.
Or, if you have machinery we have a solution for that, or a kitchen where a fat fire could spread rapidly… we have a suppression system and solution for that too. It’s not just fire suppression systems, we have a whole range of other items such as specific multi-chemical fire extinguishers for specific applications or fire safety training to help your staff understand the dangers and stay safe in the event of a fire or it could simply be some advice that we can offer with regards to maintenance and checks that need to be carried out to reduce a fire risk.
If you would like further information on any of our solutions, from fire alarms to extinguishers, fire risk assessments to fire safety training or even a fire risk assessment, please get in contact with us and we would be only too happy to help.