1st Fire Safety Ltd

Helping businesses on a local and national basis call: 0121 6616464

1st Fire Safety Ltd  - Helping businesses on a local and national basis call: 0121 6616464

E-Cigarettes! How dangerous are these?

Happy New Year everyone, I thought I would share this article as I feel it is very important and is seriously being overlooked.

E-cig fire hazard that must be addressed as soon as possible.

By November 2014, e-cigarettes were starting one fire per week. Those charged with health and safety management are overlooking the risks associated with e-cigarettes, because current British no-smoking legislation does not include them, making them seem harmless.
‘Responsible Persons’ charged with overseeing health and safety practice are
to consider e-cigarettes as part of their fire risk assessment.

Whilst there were only eight blazes caused by e-cigarettes in 2012, there were 43 in 2013 and 62 in 2014. These figures are most probably highly conservative, as many fires caused by e-cigarettes go unreported.

There have already been two deaths in fires caused by e-cigarettes and serious incidents in August 2015 (house fire in Newport and fire in a locker at offices in Sutton Coldfield) and October 2015 (blaze at a student house in Bangor and a fire in hand luggage on board a Boeing 737).

Over two million Brits now use e-cigarettes and UK vaping sales are more than three times those of nicotine replacement sales. The UK is the second largest market for vaping devices in the world and latest figures show domestic vaping sales increased by 75 percent in the UK (£459m)*.

The fire risk surrounding e-cigarettes is significant, causing the Chairman of the Local Government Association’s fire services management committee, Jeremy Hilton, to urge users to be “vigilant at all times.” (July 2015). This same vigilance needs to be applied in the workplace and shared properties,

Fires are occurring where:

* E-cigarettes are overcharged/left in the charger after charging
* Left unattended whilst charging
* A charger is plugged into a non-approved power source or transformer
* E-cig batteries have been damaged, dropped or struck
* E-cigarettes are not being charged in the original, manufacturer-approved charger, or are charged in a borrowed charger, or cheap replacement charger
* E-cigarettes are used when wet
* Atomisers have been over-tightened
* E-cigarettes are charged on a USB hub plugged into a computer (and not supplied by the manufacturer)
* E-cigarettes are not compliant with British equipment marks such as the CE Mark
* E-cigarettes are left charging on flammable surfaces
* E-cigarettes have switched themselves on within handbags and lockers
* E-cigarettes have exploded and ignited other materials, such as bedding, oxygen supplies and aerosols

E-cigarettes operate through a battery-operated heating coil that gently heats a nicotine liquid that then vaporises. The batteries that heat the coil are rechargeable lithium ion batteries that catch fire when overheated, damaged and defective.

Additionally, if you plug an e-cigarette, which doesn’t use much current, into a charger that uses a lot, the device will heat up and spurt harmful acid out of one end when the battery fails.

Alternative to Interlinked Smoke Alarms

Alternative To Interlinked Smoke Alarms

If you are a landlord it is an absolute must that you protect your tenants against the potential risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Statistics show that tenants and people living in shared accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire.

 

It can be expensive and disruptive to your property to have interlinked smoke detectors fitted as they need to be channelled  in, floorboards removed or have ugly plastic trunking fitted everywhere. If you don’t know what ionization and optical means (does your electrician know this?) then it can be confusing too.

This confusion attributes to false alarms, detectors being covered or even removed altogether by tenants.

Covered smoke detector

There are interlinked smoke alarm systems out there that can simplify choice and make installation of fire systems a whole lot easier without the disruption and mess of having the standard wired in systems. They use a technology called Thermoptek – the very latest in optical sensing and thermal enhancement providing fast reaction to both slow and fast burning fires.

These systems are up to the current fire regs standard and only need to be wired in to the lighting circuit once on each floor as the rest of detectors will link wirelessly with Wi safe 2 technology. Up to 50 detectors can be linked in one network.

Wi safe 2 technology

Each detector unit is fitted with a 10 yr sealed for life battery which will give you peace of mind knowing that all the alarms will work in the event of a power cut plus will also ensure empty properties are protected too.

This technologically advanced interlinked smoke alarm system will also save on energy as there is less power needed to run them thus saving you on your energy bills too.

Below are a couple of companies that provide this technology

http://www.sonasafety.com/

http://fireangel.co.uk/Wi-Safe/Products/WST-630.aspx

Fire Risk Assessment Review

 

 Fire Risk Assessment Review

I thought that I would start the new year with some advice on fire risk assessments and in particular ‘fire risk assessment review’

keepclear.jpg

 

Firstly I will tell a story of what happened when I carried out a fire risk assessment review on a large country home/hotel incorporating holiday lets. I was contacted just before Christmas by a health and safety company who I have carried out fire risk assessments for them in the past. They asked if I would do a review of one their own fire risk assessments which was carried out the year before by one of their consultants.

A review is where you check to see if the previous action plan has been actioned on and at what stage they are at, I also I need to put my fire risk assessment hat on too so if I spot something that wasn’t picked up before or has happened since the last fire risk assessment was carried out then I need to tell them about that too and include it in my report. It is not a full fire risk assessment.

However

Since the last time the fire risk assessment was carried out , I found the below deficiencies.

Two fire doors in the kitchen area had no intumescent strips (they had somehow fell out) , these help seal the door in a fire and help prevent the spread of smoke and fire.  Kitchens are a high risk area and any deficiencies in fire safety could put the premises and people at risk.

A fire door in one of the corridors didn’t close at all  – this compromised the protected route.

A recently installed fire door had been incorrectly fitted, the gap between the top of the door and the frame were well above the 3mm standard and was approaching nearly 7mm – the intumescent strips won’t work correctly if above 4mm which is the max permitted gap.

The electric cupboard had holes in the brickwork and ceiling where electrical cables pass through, these hadn’t been fire stopped still.

A completely new electric cupboard hadn’t been picked up from the previous fire risk assessment, inside this there was a stool and table – all electric cupboards/services should be free of any combustible materials.

 

What if this fire risk assessment review was done every two years instead of annually? Would the problems double? What about the paying public and staff safety?

How many companies review their fire risk assessments annually or if ever?

 

The Fire Safety Order states that you should review your fire risk assessment regularly however there is no specific time frame on this. It also states that you should also review your fire risk assessment when there have been:

 

  • Changes to work activities or the way that you organise them, including the introduction of new equipment;
  • Alterations to the building, including the internal layout;
  • Substantial changes to furniture and fixings;
  • The introduction, change of use or increase in the storage of hazardous substances
  • The failure of fire precautions, e.g. fire-detection systems and alarm systems,
  • Change of use, e.g. hotel to hostel or hall of residence to residential conference centre

 

My intention here isn’t to rubbish the previous fire risk assessment as there was nothing wrong with it.  It is to highlight what can happen if you don’t review your fire risk assessment regularly

 

So my question is: When was your last fire risk assessment review?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire? It will never happen to me!

Fire? It will never happen to me!

This is what is often said when it comes to fire. Yet those businesses who are unfortunate to have a fire, 95% of them fail to recover from such a tragedy.

building on fire

So what can we do to safeguard this from happening to us then?

Firstly a bit of history, In October 2005 the UK fire safety legislation was changed. The many different parts of fire law was either replaced, amended or simplified to form the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005.  Prior to this, it was the responsibility of the fire authority to visit premises, carry out fire risk assessments and issue fire certificates. The onus is now placed fully on the ‘responsible person’ to carry out their own fire risk assessments.

The fire service has the responsibility to police the RRO and have more power than the police to enter buildings as they do not require warrants to do this. Fire officers generally look for and ask for your fire risk assessment, emergency plan and fire records. They will also do an inspection of the building and if they feel there are insufficient fire safety measures in place they have the power to close it down.

The first thing we need is a fire risk assessment

So the first thing we must have in place then is a fire risk assessment. This is a legal requirement and should be documented should you employ five or more people however the fire law doesn’t stop there. You also require a documented fire risk assessment should you manage/own or are deemed the ‘responsible person’ on the following: shared houses, houses of multiple occupancy whether licensed or not, blocks of flats, hostels, small care homes, B&B’s, guest houses, holiday lets and hotels.

Are you competent enough?

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 (RRO) states that if you feel you are competent enough to carry out a fire risk assessment then you can do one yourself however there have been many cases of fines and prosecutions from the fire authorities for insufficient and poor fire risk assessments click here for an e.g. A lot of companies are getting theirs done by professionally qualified fire risk assessors not only is it saving them time and therefore money it could also save lives too.

What next?

Okay, so once you have had your fire risk assessment done. What next? You should then start to complete the action plan.  This part of the fire risk assessment has a list of prioritised jobs with a timeframe of when each task must be completed by. It is crucial getting this done as soon as possible and definitely before the suggested completion date as any kind of delay could jeopardise your fire safety and therefore your business.

Your fire risk assessment is a live document and should be reviewed regularly; there is no set time on how often you should get this done. Good practise is getting it reviewed on a yearly basis however should you have any changes in your workforce, work practices, have any internal/external work done to your workplace or have had a fire then this is also a time to re-examine it.

What else should I know and do?

Should you have fire extinguishers in your premises then by law they must be serviced annually by a ‘competent’ engineer. Fire alarms must be serviced every six months and emergency lighting every twelve. All details of servicing must be recorded in a fire log book and must be made available at any time for the fire authorities.  If you have fire extinguishers on site then you must be suitably trained to use these and have had training on basic fire awareness too. For larger premises you must have fire wardens and of course these must be trained too.

How can I get help?

If you need help with any of the above we can assist you in this as we offer a complete fire safety solution and are not only competitive but also offer excellent customer service just take a look at out testimonials.

 

 

Are your fire doors up to standard?

Are your fire doors up to standard?

Image of Fire Door safety week

Fire doors are an  important part of fire safety they save lives and property. They provide important protection within buildings such as protecting escape routes in staircases and corridors and making sure that smoke and fire are contained enough for people to escape.

Important facts about fire doors

  • Fire doors must work correctly to save lives
  • Fire doors must be fitted with the correct components suited to the door leaf and its purpose.
  • They should be maintained and installed by competent people.
  • Correct glazing and ironmongery must be used on fire doors
  • Alterations and adaptions must never be done whilst onsite.
  • A fire door’s performance should never be compromised
  • A Fire should never be wedged or propped open
  • Fire doors must be third party certified to BS 476 Part 22 or BS EN 1634 Part 1
  • Correct frames should always be used.
  • Intumescent strips should always be used.

 

 

Below is a video of how fire doors should be fitted and what happens when they are not!

 

DO’S & DON’TS

DO

  • Specify and use third-party certified fire doors and components
  • Buy fire doors, frames and components from certified companies
  • Check the certificate matches the door
  • Make sure you have the correct certification for the door’s intended use
  • Install and maintain fire doors using competent personnel
  • Make sure that ironmongery components are CE marked

 DON’T

  • Fit a fire door like any other door – it’s not, it’s an engineered safety device
  • Cut vision panels and other holes on site
  • Patch up a fire door
  • Take risks by reducing the specification
  • Disconnect a fire door closer
  • Prop or wedge open a fire door

 

Some Images Of Dodgy Fire Doors

Below is a video of how installing a fire door is NOT the same as installing normal doors.

I have experienced this first hand when I carried out a fire risk assessment on a property of a client of mine.  They used a construction company who have either never installed fire doors or have no idea how to,  as the gaps between the leaf and frame were well above 3mm,  they had cut too much off the doors, a lot of the doors wouldn’t close under there own weight plus there were only two hinges installed. The owner wasn’t very happy with this especially when I told him that all the fire doors need to rectified which undoubtedly meant replacement.

If you would like more information about fire doors please click here.

Thanks and credit for media goes to the B.W.F and the supporters of Fire Door Safety Week which can be found here.

 

Fire Extinguisher service cost

Fire Extinguisher Service Cost.

 

Gold Standard. 

Fire extinguisher service cost includes all consumable parts and the following benefits:

  • To re-fix any fire extinguishers that have come away from the wall or are found on the floor during annual free of charge.
  • To supply stands at cost
  • No charge to take away any old or used fire extinguishers found during annual service.
  • To supply and fit fire extinguisher ID signs (these are the hard rigid plastic photo luminescent type) free of charge  if they are found missing during the annual service.
  • To supply a fire extinguisher location plan free of charge (worth £147) including any changes.
  • Discharge tests are free of charge
  • Carbon dioxide  fire extinguishers replacements free of charge
  • All replacement fire extinguishers excluding carbon dioxide extinguishers  to be supplied at cost (the price we pay for them)
  • No call out charge
  • Exclusive membership to our fire safety advice centre.
  • Free fire safety survey

Total price for the above is £9.75 per fire extinguisher

 

Silver Standard. 

Fire extinguisher service cost includes all consumable parts and the following benefits:

  • To re-fix any fire extinguishers that have come away from the wall or are found on the floor during annual service free of charge.
  • To supply stands at 25% reduction off our standard price.
  • No charge to take away any old or used fire extinguishers found during annual service.
  • To supply and fit fire extinguisher ID signs (these are the hard rigid plastic photo luminescent type) at 50% reduction off our standard price  if they are found missing during the annual service.
  • To supply a fire extinguisher location plan with 50% reduction (worth £147)  including any changes.
  • Discharge tests are free of charge
  • Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers will not be replaced free of charge
  • All replacement fire extinguishers  to be supplied at 25% reduction off our standard prices
  • There may be a call out charge based on min value
  • Free fire safety survey
  • Exclusive membership to our fire safety advice centre.

Total price for the above is £6.47 per fire extinguisher.

 

Bronze Standard. 

Fire extinguisher service cost includes all consumable parts and the following benefits:

  • There will be a small charge to re-fix any fire extinguishers that have come away from the wall or are found on the floor during annual service.
  • To supply stands at our standard price.
  • There will be a charge to take away any old or used fire extinguishers found during annual service.
  • To supply and fit fire extinguisher ID signs (these are the hard rigid plastic photo luminescent type) at our standard price  if they are found missing during the annual service.
  • To supply a fire extinguisher location plan with 0% reduction (worth £147)  including any changes
  • Discharge tests are not free of charge
  • Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers will not be replaced free of charge
  • All replacement fire extinguishers excluding carbon dioxide extinguishers  to be supplied at our standard prices
  • Free fire safety survey
  • There is a min call out charge
  • Exclusive membership to our fire safety advice centre.

Total price for the above is £3.75 per fire extinguisher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Things You Need To Know About Fire Risk Assessments

7 things you need to know about fire risk assessments

A burnt out hmo

 

[Tweet “If you’re either a landlord or a letting agent you should read this, it could save you money”].

There seems to be some confusion or misleading information out there regarding fire risk assessments. Some landlords think that if the property is licensed then they require a fire risk assessment however this is not the case at all. Every property that has a “shared staircase” (common areas) requires a fire risk assessment this also includes holiday lets, B&Bs and guest houses too.

 

1, A chance visit by a friendly fire officer

fire officer

The fire service are visiting domestic homes and doing free fire safety checks at the moment and obviously they will call on a property by chance which could be a HMO. Once there they can then do an inspection of the property, they do not need a warrant of any sort – the fire service have more power than the police to enter buildings.

 

An example could be that one of your tenants is busy making dinner. When they hear the doorbell. They go to the door and find a fire officer standing there. They will introduce themselves show their ID and then explain they are in the area doing fire safety checks and educating people on fire and what to do in the event of fire. They then may ask who lives there etc. The tenant will most probably let the fire officer in as no one sees them as threats or nuances, after all they are good upstanding members of the community and generally people see them as heroes.

Once inside they will do a quick inspection and should it be a HMO or any other property with a shared staircase they will ask who the landlord is and whether they can see their fire risk assessment and fire log book. They will also ask the tenants what information they have been provided with from the landlord a fire should break out.

Example happened on a group I was posting too when the above situation happened to a landlord. A fire officer did a chance visit noticed deficiencies in fire safety found out who the landlord was and consequently checked the rest of their properties. Which cost the landlord money as the fire officer wanted the deficiencies rectified straight away or he would get the tenants removed.

2, You could lose money

Burniing money

Should the inspecting fire officer find insufficient fire safety measures in place he/she could get the tenants removed out of the HMO thus you the landlord losing money.

Or it could be you have had a small fire and your insurance company loss adjuster visits your premises. Should he or she see that your fire risk assessment is insufficient then they could remove the claim which means your insurance is null and void should you have no fire risk assessment in place?

3, You could get a large fine.

There will then be a further investigation and the landlord will be issued with an enforcement notice to get things rectified. Some give 3 months others are more stringent. They could even prosecute the landlords for breaches in the fire safety order and issue fines or worse – prison.

Here is an example of a large £80,000 fine being issued here

4, You feel you can do it yourself and save money

In the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 it states that should you feel that you are competent enough you can do your own however there have been examples of landlords doing their own and consequently getting fines for insufficient fire risk assessments. Here is another example:

1st August 2013, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Defendant – Gurpartap Singh Bhullar, Company Director of Bellforce Developments, owners of a Slough based House of Multiple Occupation
Charged with multiple fire safety failures, including failure to conduct a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment, failure to take general life precautions for persons sleeping on the premises, failure to provide adequate means of detection and giving warning in the event of a fire.
Bhullar received a fine of £6,750, and Bellforce Developments received a fine of £13,500.  Additionally, they were ordered to pay court costs of £21,732.62 to the fire authority.

In this I must be blunt: the average person is not competent enough in fire safety to undertake a fire risk assessment anywhere near adequate for what is required. Indeed I have seven years of fire safety experience and even so I felt that I should be credited under a recognised institute for carrying out fire risk assessments which is the Institute of Fire Safety Managers and Institute of Fire Engineering.

5, I will get my mate to do it he/she knows a bit about fire safety

Would you have an unqualified solicitor represent you in a court of law?

So why “risk” your life or freedom by getting a fire risk assessment done by an unqualified fire risk assessor.A fire risk assessment is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Can you be sure it was done by a competent person with appropriate qualifications and accreditation?

After all you are putting your lives and freedom in their hands, there are many cowboy companies out there who say they can do fire risk assessments and unfortunately these unscrupulous companies are very busy as they are not doing it correctly,  therefore they can charge cheaper rates for their services.

These fire risk assessments are not worth the paper they are written on, there have been many examples of fire risk assessors and owners being prosecuted for incorrect fire measures.

Fire risk assessor prosecuted here

6,You could download a guide from the internet 

Again this is possible and many people do this however what if you got something wrong or missed something or disregarded something as you thought not being important – it could come back to haunt you. After all they are just guides. So many businesses try and save money by doing it themselves through downloading guides etc. However most fire service prosecutions always seem to have  ‘fire risk assessment not sufficient or correct’.

Fire Risk Assessment template

7, Okay, You now have a sufficient fire risk assessment done. What now?

Well done you have a fire risk assessment done by an accredited fire risk assessor and have been sent the document. What now?

There should be an action plan to follow which you must complete within the time frame using appropriate contractors who know what they are doing.

Most electricians don’t know how to put in fire systems with fire control panels,  call points and detectors. They think they do and some will do there best to try and fit them. Unless they have had appropriate fire alarm training with certificates showing this, if not then use a proper fire alarm install company.

Remember whoever you employ to carry out work from the fire risk assessment action plan and should something go wrong you as the ‘Responsible person‘ will be held liable. The same applies to fire doors etc. Make sure your contractors know what they are doing and they have suitable qualifications.

I recently did a fire risk assessment on a HMO and noticed that the newly installed fire doors only had two hinges which should have been three. Things like the above example are extremely important regarding fire doors as they will not hold back the fire or smoke for 30 mins to allow for safe evacuation.

7,Review and Update

The fire safety order states that you should review your fire risk assessment on a regular basis. However with many recent changes to legislation and best practise it is advisable to get this done every 12 months – This will ensure that your property is safe and therefore safeguard your future pension.

Should you use a powder extinguisher indoors?

Should you use a powder extinguisher indoors?

Powder extinguisher cloud

Probably the most common fire extinguisher sold in the UK is the dry powder fire extinguisher. They are multi-purpose and can be used on solid, liquids, gasses and electrical fires.

They are seen as a cost saving fire extinguisher (e.g. why have two extinguishers when you can have just one?)

The powder fire extinguisher is very good at what it does. It is great on fuels and especially running fuels, it has a very fast knock-down effect to quickly extinguish flames and remove the oxygen from the fire. It is safe to use on electrical fires and is unique at tackling gas fires such as propane.

However I find it incredible that these extinguishers are found in areas such as kitchens, offices, clothing establishments and even healthcare centres. They can contaminate food, destroy electrical equipment such as computers, ruin clothing and cause difficulty in breathing as seen above in the image.

Mess from an expelled powder extinguisher

One of the major disadvantages powder fire extinguishers can cause is poor visibility. When set off, a hanging cloud quickly develops and inhibits breathing and visibility.

In many cases it’s probably best to use either a foam extinguisher or CO2 extinguisher as these do a very good job at tackling fires but do so without the mess and problems that powder extinguishers can cause.

Ideally powder extinguishers should only be installed in factory type buildings, outside or areas that are open. They should only be installed should your fire risk assessment deem it necessary.

Fire Warden Training and What you need to know

 

Everything you need to know about fire warden training!

Fire Warden Training

 

 

 

 

What makes the best fire warden training?

Here are some questions commonly asked by some businesses  and here are our answers about fire warden training.

 

Who can deliver fire warden training?

Anyone who has sufficient knowledge, training and expertise, however you may have an individual who works at your organisation and is able to provide in house fire warden training. If not, you will need to look for a suitable fire trainer.

Does our fire warden training need to be accredited?

No. There is no requirement for accredited fire warden courses or training.

Should I pick the fire service to carry out my fire warden training / fire marshal training?

Some companies  prefer to have their training done by the fire service.They can  be more expensive than other trainers ( i.e. some charge £1695 + vat for a full day fire marshal course using retired fire officers).

Click here for our price.

Many fire services use retired fire officers to do their training (make sure the instructors have sufficient workplace fire safety knowledge or carry out CPD (Continuing Professional development) if you decide to choose fire service trainers)

How often should you carry out fire warden training?

For most places, training should be carried out annually, however there may be a case for less frequent training in some workplaces.

Your fire emergency plan or fire risk assessment should give you the necessary information on how often you should have fire warden training. It is generally determined by the risk,hazards and type of activities carried out at your workplace.

What should fire warden training cover?

Government guidance details the type of information that fire wardens will need to be trained in, but this will vary from workplace to workplace.

Topics will include:

  1.  Knowledge of the fire safety strategy and evacuation plans for the building
  2.  Human behaviour in a fire / building
  3. How and when to direct and encourage persons to use a safe exit from the building
  4. How to search areas safely and recognise when it is not safe to enter rooms or areas
  5. Disability procedures and PEEPS
  6. How to use fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment
  7. Reporting and fault finding.

What fire training companies can you recommend?

Ourselves!! As we have many years fire safety experience we are qualified fire risk assessors under the IFSM (Institute of Fire Safety Managers) and have provided fire warden training/ fire risk assessments for companies from doctors surgeries, jewellers, bakeries to large facility management companies.

Click here for our prices on fire warden training/fire marshal training

Image credits
keep calm
 

Service Fire Extinguishers to BS 5306 On A Bike! Is it Possible?

Service Fire Extinguishers to BS 5306 On A Bike! Is it Possible?

Sounds Crazy? Read On

I watched “No Impact Man” on Netflix the other week. For those of you who haven’t seen this film it is about a family who decide to leave their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle behind and try to live a year while making no environmental impact.
This got me thinking. What could I do to help the environment?
So I decided to leave the vehicle on its drive and plan a day of how I could help the environment.

earth
How did I go about doing this?
The Problem
I needed to have some fire extinguishers delivered and serviced plus I needed to do visit some new customers on the way too and visit some clients without using a vehicle or public transport.
The round trip was about 24 miles all within the Birmingham area – Too far to walk
So I decided to use my trusted steed, my mountain bike.

hardrock sport

 

However I still had the problem of getting fire extinguishers to my customers.

BS 5306 Serviced foam fire extinguishers

Obviously there were way too many to carry, besides one 6 ltr foam extinguisher can weigh up to 10 kg, way too much to carry on my bike.

So I called my supplier who said it would only cost me £10 to get my order delivered.
Great, problem solved.

Equipment
Here is a list of equipment needed to fuel my body service fire extinguishers to BS 5306:

  • Ruck sack
  • Tools for servicing : Adjustable spanner, gauge tester, tamper tags, scales, service labels, rag
  • Puncture repair kit
  • First aid kit
  • Multitool for my bike
  • 2 litres of water
  • Nuts for energy and protein

Body fuel

The journey
Now came the difficult bit as I wasn’t using a vehicle I had to get from A to B without using any motorways or dual carriage ways. I didn’t really fancy using the Birmingham canal paths as I wanted to be clean and presentable looking when I arrived at my customers.
So I used the  google maps app on my phone set it for bike journeys only and planned my route. I also made sure I had enough charge on my phone otherwise I could easily get lost should my battery die on me.

By plugging an ear piece into my phone I could hear the directions rather than trying to watch them as I would in a van or car, this worked surprisingly well, I only got lost once or twice for about 5-10 mins at a time.

google-map-logo
When I arrived at one of my customers, which is a doctor’s surgery. The senior partner was quite shocked to see me on my bike especially when I told him that I had done about 14 miles up to that point.
I serviced the fire extinguishers that had been delivered and placed them in the appropriate positions as defined by BS 5306 pt 8 2012. Got back on my bike and carried on visiting my other customers.

The whole day I visited 3 customers and 3 potential customers all done on my bike which resulted in helping the environment . I did around 24 miles and burnt around 1800 calories.

Would I do it again?
Most definitely, I felt an enormous amount of happiness that I was doing my bit for the environment. Although it was only me making a difference for one day, this got me thinking again, what if I did it for a week, a month or even a year?. Not only would I be helping the environment I would also be helping my health too.

 
May be we should all decide for one day a week to leave the car or whatever vehicle you drive on the drive/road/garage and do our business/work by pedal power.
What kind of difference would that make?

 

What would you do to help?