Safety infrastructure in the home and safety infrastructure at work both have the same goal – protecting you. Nevertheless, it is often curious just how much the two can differ. Safety in the workplace typically has to deal with different hazards, protect more people and, in turn, conform to all manner of legal regulations.
You can think of it this way: it is highly unlikely that an accident in the home will result in a lawsuit. In the case of safety negligence in the workplace however, this is exactly what can happen. For this reason, places of work often feature all sorts of safety installations. This can range from general essentials like fire alarms right down to specifics like the asset labels, which the more meticulous among us would like to cover every item of workplace equipment with.
The home is somewhat different. It is a place of comfort and of relaxation, the type of space you do not want covered with hazard signage and fire equipment. Yet, in precisely this area (fire safety), negligence in the home can be every bit as lethal as negligence in the workplace.
Indeed, the sad fact is that fires breaking out in homes far outnumber those that break out in places of work (although workplace fires are typically more severe). So what’s the solution? Do you need to do your home up like a safety-checked office in order to avoid flaming curtains bringing the house down? Of course not. The home is and can remain a place of comfort, but there are a few tips you can follow to massively reduce the chances of a house fire.
Combining the aesthetic concerns of a home with a robust fire safety infrastructure is actually a balance that has long since been struck, and with much success. It is perfectly possible to have a fire safety infrastructure that is at once effective and discreet.
And with fire safety being a major area of technological innovation, new products and technologies are only making that even easier. Read on then for a list of helpful tips and products that can ensure a home stays both beautiful and fire safe. You can have your cake and eat it too.
Smoke Alarms and Heat Detectors
Smoke alarms and heat detectors are a ubiquitous item of fire safety that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. The relevant data shows that the vast majority of house fires start when people are cooking and therefore also occur most commonly in the kitchen. Smoke and heat alarms are thankfully not the most intrusive of devices and can actually be installed with success in a discrete location within the home. Nevertheless, they are less discrete when it comes to the noise they make, and this can actually turn out to be a major problem.
Seeing as there is simply no getting rid of the noise that smoke or heat alarms make (there’s not much point in a quiet alarm), the problem revolves around sensitivity and how to stop them going off when there isn’t actually a fire. For a long time, it was actually over- (and not under-) sensitivity that made for a serious safety hazard. Tired of alarms being triggered by everything from cigarette smoke to the heat from cooking, people would often disconnect their alarms entirely, which is of course incredibly hazardous.
Thankfully, it is now possible to purchase much more advanced smoke alarms that can actually detect smoke particle size. This allows for the alarm to distinguish between hazardous and non-hazardous smoke. If you want an unobtrusive yet effective fire safety device in your home, buying one of these next-generation smoke or heat alarms is the obvious choice.
Arrange a Fire Safety Home Visit
Nearly all fire services operate some sort of home visit scheme, which are designed to ascertain whether a property meets national fire safety standards or if changes need to be made to ensure that everything is up to scratch. The great thing about this (very often free) service is that it provides a means of checking whether your home is actually safe, something that can be very useful if you’ve been trying to arrange your fire safety infrastructure with home aesthetics in mind and would like to do just enough and no more.
And in the event that your home does not meet standards, you can be advised on precisely what is needed in order for it to do so. This allows you to properly plan how to integrate your home fire safety infrastructure into your home while maintaining the comforts and aesthetic concerns that you require. It is simply a case of knowing what is needed; a fire safety home visit will give you that information.
High Tech Solutions
We have already mentioned how the advance of fire safety technology has allowed the humble fire and heat alarm to become more of a (sonically) discrete appliance. It should be no surprise then that new technology in fact offers all sorts of home fire safety solutions, some of which are to come, some of which are a reality now.
Whatever various technologies – from mist sprinklers to alarms that can contact the fire service automatically – are set to become commonplace, it cannot be too long before the “smart building” unites them all in a unique fire safety package. Smart buildings are a concept derived from the much-touted Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT involves the integration of home appliances (which could include fire safety devices) across the internet, connecting them also to an advanced data collecting sensor system.
When various fire safety devices are connected in such a way, it becomes possible for a fire to be tackled automatically, comprehensively and – ultimately – more efficiently. It could work like this: heat sensors could be used to collect data that ascertains both the intensity and location of a fire. This could in turn activate a sprinkler system in only the area where the fire is spreading. Such a combination of technological integration and data collection could also see fire doors automatically closed to contain fires, as well as detailed information about a fire and the building sent to fire service so they know what they are dealing with before they even arrive.
The future certainly looks promising for those who wish to maximise the fire safety provided within their home without making the place look like a hazard-strewn place of work. Things are only moving one way.