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Fires can happen at any time, anywhere – but this was certainly unexpected.

This first-person blog was written by the director of Altta. Health and safety risks can happen every day, and the question is – are we fully prepared for them?
It was a sunny day so I went to see my mum. She lives in the same house I grew up in all those years ago. The street has about 90percent of the same people and everyone knows each other and their habits.
As I drove down the street, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, I parked my car gathered my things and got out to walk to mum’s side gate.
As I locked my car, I could smell burning. I had a quick look over my shoulder but saw nothing at all. As I approached mum’s gate, I could smell it even stronger. I looked over my shoulder and there was the fire.
A rubbish box under the window, of a neighbours house. As soon as I saw it, I run over to the plastic box, bashed on the windows to alert the neighbours and pulled the box from under the window to the middle of the drive.
When they opened their door, they seemed shocked there was a 3ft flame ablaze on the drive. They got some water and the fire was extinguished. No harm done.
smoking cigarette on black background.

If, buts and maybes

If I had been held up in traffic or not left until later, the window seal which is wood and plastic would have caught fire. Inside there are net curtains, maybe they would have too. Then what???? Who knows.

How did it start?

One of the owners of the property is a smoker, they stand in the same spot several times a day and smoke. They have a little pot for the dog ends. This has been like this for years. Regular as clockwork everyday year in year out, smoke put dog end in the pot. Today, however, he missed the pot. Guess where the rubbish was stored. Yep, you got it, next to his pot.

Just because you have done something for years, does not make it right. This is no different in the workplace.

When was the last time you checked your fire procedures, do you do a daily fire marshal check of your working environment? What is your housekeeping like? Poor housekeeping is a real danger when it comes to fire.

A fire needs three ingredients, oxygen, fuel and ignition/heat. Poor housekeeping can give plenty of fuel. All we need is the ignition.

Altta Group Limited offers health and safety audits, fire audits, risk assessment writing and policy writing. 

Just because you have done it for years, does not make it right or safe. Today, they were lucky, but tomorrow who knows.

For more information, please call 01733 237115 or email 

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