Fire Misconceptions

Fire has the unique ability to give life and destroy it. It has been a part of our lives for millennia, but so have myths and misconceptions. How much do you know about staying safe in the event of a building fire? Here are some common misconceptions about fire:

1: Older properties are more susceptible to fires than newer ones

While it’s true that older properties might have things like outdated wiring and less fire safety attributes, any property can be affected by a fire, new or old. Newer properties tend to have more furnishings that contain synthetic materials which burn more easily.

2: Pets can get out of a fire on their own

Pets are just as vulnerable as people in a house fire, in fact even more so as they cannot access closed doors and windows on their own. With much smaller lungs, smoke will also cause damage at a faster rate than humans, rendering them helpless.

3: A smoke alarm is all you need

Yes, smoke alarms are vital to alert people to the presence of a fire but on their own, they are not sufficient. Combining a smoke alarm with a sprinkler system is more effective as a sprinkler will fight smoke, flames and heat. This gives people and animals a much better chance to escape the building and minimise damage until the fire brigade arrive.

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4: A sprinkler system will get activated throughout the whole building and ruin everything

Only a sprinkler closest to the source of a fire will activate. The other sprinklers will only activate if the fire begins to spread. The fact is you stand a much better chance of saving your belongings and buildings by installing an effective sprinkler system. For an experienced Fire Risk Assessor Gloucester, visit

5: Fires don’t spread fast

Don’t be fooled by this myth. A small candle flame can turn into a raging inferno in a few seconds. It’s also not just the fire you need to worry about. Heat, toxic fumes and smoke will harm and kill quicker than flames will.

6: People always panic in a fire

It is commonly assumed by the public and fire protection professionals that people will panic and be irrational in the event of a fire outbreak. Interestingly, research has shown that people act quite rationally during adverse events. Emergency procedures and evacuation advice should aim to provide good and efficient information, as people receiving this in the early stages of a fire will move safely and react appropriately. Research has shown that the stress and panic reaction is in response to a lack of information.

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