Alarms, Extinguishers & Other Fire Safety Devices

The fire door is an integral aspect of fire safety, but so are other devices such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and sprinklers. Let’s run through their utility and how to use them.

If a fire starts in your building, the safest option is always to call 000 and evacuate. However, with sufficient fire safety training and the right tools at your disposal, it’s possible to distinguish a fire before it becomes an emergency. Today, we’re running through those tools and how (and when) to use them.

A word of caution – if you are not adequately trained or practised in these procedures, don’t be a hero! Evacuate and call triple 0. Approach this post as an educational tool – reading alone is not substantial enough to ignore standard protocol.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms are a passive form of fire protection that quickly alert everyone in the near vicinity of a potential fire threat. One of the most important ways to keep smoke alarms effective is by installing them in the right places. For example, smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or high on the wall as hot air rises.

Installing a smoke alarm within 3 metres of any cooking appliance is a must. Unsurprisingly, most fires begin in the kitchen, so it’s crucial to make sure your smoke alarm is active and functional there.

A few final pointers:

  • Smoke Alarms should be tested once a month
  • Avoid installing alarms near windows (drafts can set them off unneccesarrily)
  • If you have more than one smoke alarm, interconnect them.
Image: StayWise

Fire Extinguishers

According to FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trades Association), fire extinguishers put out approximately 80% of fires. That’s no small achievement! So it’s well worth learning how to operate them now, rather than during a fire.

Pull the pin – At the top of the extinguisher, there’s a pin. Pulling it will break the seal. Now, the handle can be pushed down to release the water. But before you do, you must be aiming correctly. You need to combat the fire from a safe distance and point the nozzle right at the base of the fire – that’s the most effective place for elimination.

Once you’re squeezing the handle and releasing water, aim from left to right, ensuring all corners of the fire are covered.

Sprinkler Systems

This active fire protection method is a fantastic tool for fire safety and should be an essential installation for any environment with increased flammable risk.

Sprinkler Systems have a design that allows them to release water automatically as soon as fire becomes prevalent. Each sprinkler contains a bulb filled with alcohol-based liquid, purposely designed to smash the glass from expansion. Expansion occurs when the room becomes hot, triggering a release of water.

Talk to a verified sprinkler installer to ensure a safe, reliable installation that triggers only when necessary.

Have a fire door related enquiry? We’re happy to help. Contact Fire Safe Doors at [email protected] or call (02) 9070 0732, and we’ll work through a plan for your needs.