Electricians are essential for everyday living, whether they are fitting electrical vehicle charging points, rewiring buildings, or keeping us safe with their inspections.
However, perhaps the most important job they will do is installing fire alarms and emergency lighting, which allows people to see a safe exit route when they are trying to escape a burning building.
By completing this task successfully, they could save the lives of many people, as the fire will set the alarm off, warning those inside the building to get out as quickly as possible.
This, coupled with the lighting, can make a huge difference to inhabitants, staff, clients and visitors, as it means they have a higher chance of exiting before the fire spreads.
Although much more is known about fire safety these days, it is still a huge problem in the UK.
In fact, there has been a rise in the number of incidents recently, with fire and rescue services (FRS) having attended 7.8 per cent more in the 12 months leading to March 2023 than they did the year before.
Out of the 622,173 fires they were called to, 178,737 were fires, which amounts to 29 per cent of incidents.
This was a significant 17 per cent rise in the number of fires from the previous year at 152,639.
This demonstrates that people are becoming complacent with health and safety measures in their buildings.
According to government figures, the increase was mainly caused by a 26 per cent rise in secondary fires and a 45 per cent growth in outdoor primary fires, which could have been the result of the dry summer in 2022.
Having to attend more callouts means there is growing pressure on FRS, as demand for their services is increasing.
This could have an impact on how quickly they are able to attend an incident, and recent figures show that average response times to primary fires are already getting longer.
In the year ending March 2023, it was nine minutes and 13 seconds, which is 23 seconds more than it was during the previous 12-month period. This was predominantly down to an increase in drive time, which rose from five minutes and 55 seconds to six minutes and 14 seconds.
The response time to secondary fires rose even more, increasing by 34 seconds from the preceding year. This means it took FRS an average of nine minutes and 47 seconds to attend a secondary fire in the year leading to March 2023.
Although this is still a rapid time from being called out to arriving at the scene, a lot can happen in just a few minutes.
In fact, a small flame can break out into a major fire in just 30 seconds. Just minutes later, a house could be covered in flames or filled with black smoke.
Even without touching the flames, a building fire can have devastating consequences. Room temperatures can reach up to 315C when standing up and 38C at ground level. This heat can burn airways and lungs, disintegrate clothes, and melt skin.
Smoke caused by fire is also incredibly dangerous, as it can produce toxic gases. These can not only fill your lungs, but causes drowsiness, making it harder for people trapped in a burning building to escape.
In 2021/22, 334 people died in fire-related circumstances, showing just how important it is for electricians to fit fire alarms and electrical lighting correctly.