3 tips that prevent fires

Prevent the most common causes of fire, get CO and smoke detectors, and familiarize yourself with fire extinguishers.

This page was translated automatically. The City of Innsbruck assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the translation.

1: Prevent common causes of fire!

Cooking & Grilling:

  • Supervise your cooking sites when cooking or grilling. Fires occur time and time again due to unattended cooking areas.
  • Do not grill in high winds - danger of flying sparks.
  • Do not dispose of hot ashes in the trash. Use appropriate metal containers.

Electrical appliances:

  • When buying (especially from online retailers) electrical appliances (fairy lights, heaters, chargers, etc.), look for the CE mark.
  • Only use electrical appliances that do not have damaged insulation.
  • Do not use damaged battery-powered devices.

Christmas tree:

  • The Christmas tree always represents an increased fire hazard in the home. This increases very quickly in the days after Christmas, because the tree (intensified by heating) can dry out very strongly and quickly. Always keep appropriate extinguishers on hand and remove the tree early.
  • If the Christmas tree is decorated with candles, never leave the tree unattended while the candles are burning.
  • Watch out for your children and pets, as they too can start fires.

2. Save lives with CO & smoke detectors

Smoke detector

The damage caused by a fire is enormous and not only in a material sense. Irretrievable mementos are often lost. In addition, it is a great effort to recover all lost documents.

Where should I install smoke detectors?

You should install smoke detectors as centrally as possible in the room, at least in the following rooms:

  • Children's room
  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • Hallways
  • Staircases
Minimum equipment smoke detector

M = Minimum equipment: children's rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, corridors and staircases
E = Recommended equipment in addition to the minimum equipment: in basements, attics and offices

What should I look for when buying a smoke detector?

  • Smoke detectors must comply with the European product standard DIN EN 14604.
  • Look for the VDS test mark and the CE mark.
  • The fire department recommends smoke detectors with permanently installed batteries and a minimum service life of ten years.
  • For areas where the alarm may not be heard (garage, basement, etc.) the fire department recommends networkable smoke detectors. This way, the detectors that are not affected are also alerted and emit the acoustic alarm.

Since 2008, the installation of smoke detectors has been mandatory in newly constructed residential buildings in Tyrol. In the interest of safety, older apartments should also be equipped with smoke detectors. The Service Unit Deployment Prevention.. will be happy to advise you on which detectors you should install in which places.

How can I avoid false alarms?

The fact is, having a fire alarm is better than not installing one. Of course, false alarms can occur. However, many of them can be avoided.

In the private sector, it often helps to relocate the detector, for example, if the fire detector is installed above a place where steam is frequently generated (e.g. directly above the hob)

In the commercial sector, there are even more possibilities. The Service Unit Deployment Prevention will be happy to advise you.

CO detector

What makes carbon monoxide (CO) so dangerous?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that cannot be smelled, tasted or seen. It accumulates unnoticed in enclosed spaces and causes death within a short time. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector sounds the alarm when carbon monoxide is emitted during the use of fossil fuels. This can be due to leakage or a defect in a gas boiler, or a defective chimney, among other things

CO detectors are not a substitute for smoke detectors.

Who should install a CO detector?

If you have indoor fireplaces such as gas stoves, fireplaces or heaters, or a flue (chimney) that runs through your room, you should install a CO detector.

Carbon monoxide is about the same weight as air, so the gas spreads almost evenly through the room. That is why CO detectors are mounted on the ceiling or alternatively on the wall.

3. Get the right fire extinguishers!

What do I have to pay attention to with fire extinguishers?

  • Fire extinguishers must be approved according to ÖNORM EN3.
  • Portable fire extinguishers are the best known small extinguishers.
  • For different fires you need different extinguishers.

The Service Unit Deployment Prevention.. will be happy to advise you on which extinguishers to install in which places and in what quantity.

How do I learn how to use extinguishers properly?

The professional fire department offers training courses on how to use extinguishers. You can also find more information under "Behavior in an emergency"

The fire extinguisher 1x1

There are six types of extinguishers for five fire classes (A-F)

  • Water extinguisher W: (fire class A, with additives also B)
    • Extinguishing agent: water
    • Main extinguishing effect: Cooling
    • Suitable for: Fire fighting of solid, ember-forming fire materials such as wood, paper, straw, textiles, etc.
  • Foam extinguisher S: (fire class A, B)
    • Extinguishing agent: water-foam solution
    • Main extinguishing effects: Smothering and cooling
    • Suitable for: Firefighting of flammable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, oils and solid fire materials such as wood, paper, straw and textiles
  • Powder extinguisher: (fire classes A, B, C)
    • Extinguishing agent: two types of extinguishing powders: flame burning powder (BC powder) or ember burning powder (ABC powder).
    • Powder extinguishers cause strong visual obstruction and must therefore not be used in rooms with crowds of people (event venues, shopping centers, hotels, schools).
    • The professional fire department Innsbruck generally recommends (with a few exceptions) not to use powder extinguishers in closed rooms.
    • For "car extinguishers" the professional fire department recommends powder extinguishers with at least 2 kg filling quantity.
  • Carbon dioxide extinguisher K: (fire class B, C)
    • Extinguishing agent: CO2, are also called "CO2 extinguishers"
    • suitable for: Fire fighting in EDP systems, electrical systems (E-distributors, control rooms, relay cabinets, etc.), laboratories, commercial kitchens, paint shops, etc. They can also be used against liquid and gas fires. The extinguishing agent does not cause any contamination as carbon dioxide volatilizes without leaving any residue.
    • Main extinguishing effect: suffocation and displacement of air near the ground
    • CO2 extinguishers must not be used in low-lying or poorly ventilated rooms!
  • Metal fire powder extinguisher M: (fire class D)
    • suitable for: Metal fires
    • Main extinguishing effect: air exclusion
  • Grease fire extinguisher: (fire class A, B, F)
    • Suitable for: Fighting fat fires such as cooking fats, cooking oils, deep-frying oils

Attention when extinguishing gas fires (fire class C)! There is a saying among firefighters: Burning gas is safe gas. This means that you should not extinguish a gas flame, but only the affected secondary fires (other substances that were ignited by the gas flame). Otherwise the gas will escape uncontrolled and an explosive atmosphere can form very quickly. The best option is always to close the gas supply and call the fire department in good time.

Last updated 05.12.2022