WES Blog

Focus on Fire Safety

As the leading UK manufacturer of wireless fire alarm systems, our product range includes an extensive collection of mobile firefighting solutions and products incorporating our WES wireless call points and detectors.

We offer an extensive range of stands, trollies, signage and fire accessories for construction sites. Each provide a ‘one-stop solution’ fire safety assemblies for on-site fire protection.

We know that being able to tackle a small fire on a construction site safely and effectively can improve the outcome on site and increase the opportunity for staff to evacuate safely. Here, we look at some of the common fire safety questions asked by customers in the construction sector and the solutions we offer.

WES Fire Safety

What are the best ways of improving fire safety on site?

We would always recommend ensuring that the site has an EN 54 compliant wireless fire alarm system in place to enable the early detection of a fire. In addition to this, deploying the right type of fire extinguishers means that small fires can be brought under control quickly with minimal risk to workers.

Our WES React wireless fire alarm can incorporate automatic heat/smoke detectors. These can activate a site-wide alarm, allowing rescue teams to be alerted and / or an appropriate extinguisher to be deployed.

What kind of fire extinguisher do I need?

Our UK manufactured Jactone fire extinguishers are designed to tackle specific types of fire. There are a number of classes of fire, split by the different types of fuel they burn:

Class A – solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles.

Class B – flammable liquids such as petrol, turpentine, diesel or oils.

Class C – gases such as hydrogen, methane and butane.

Class D – metals such as aluminium or magnesium.

Class F – involving cooking oils such as chip pans fires

There are also electrical fires although these don’t have a ‘class’. That’s because the electrical equipment is often the cause of the fire rather than it being the ‘fuel’. However, electrical fires are sometimes referred to as ‘Class E’ fires.

There are five main types of fire extinguisher and these are designed to put out the Classes of Fire A-F listed earlier.

Water extinguishers – Class A fires

Water mist extinguishers – Class A, F, B and electrical fires (Class E)

Foam extinguishers – Class A and B fires

Dry powder extinguishers – Class A, B, C and electrical fires

Wet chemical extinguishers – Class B fires

Carbon Dioxide extinguishers – Class B and electrical fires

When using any water mist extinguishers it should have been tested and approved for use on live electrical equipment up to 1000v in accordance with BS EN3.

You also need to check that you specify the right size of fire extinguisher.

To protect against general fire risk, extinguishers should be positioned by exits on all floors, near to fire alarm call points.

In addition to the general risks, specialised fire extinguishers should be located so that they are easy accessible to the specific fire hazard identified, for example electrical equipment, hot works or when using highly combustible materials.

Our new portable watermist extinguishers are a broad spectrum device and are growing in popularity on construction sites because they can tackle general fires as well as other classes of fire (Class A, F, B and electrical fires (Class E), some of which are notoriously difficult to extinguish. As a result, construction sites can reduce the number of different types of fire extinguishers they hold because the ultrafine mist on our WES+ water-mist extinguisher tackles more types of fires. Its ease of use and straightforward nature – and its ability to deal with all general types of fires – also reduces training requirements.

To ensure your site has the best possible protection from fire, whilst fully complying with EN 54,  call us on 0115 822 3424 to speak to one of our experts.