If you manage a business and you employ more than five members of staff, fire safety training is essential. The law states that fire risk assessments should be carried out by a Responsible Person and these assessments should include how businesses can reduce or where possible eliminate the risk of fire. In 2005 The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order was introduced which placed a legal obligation
on all businesses to carry out risk assessments. Part of this legislation requires employers to provide employees with adequate information to maintain the highest safety standards and if a fire does break out, employees should know what to do.
Fire Safety Training Explained :
All workplaces present a risk in terms of fire with some workplaces being more hazardous than others due to the nature of the work. If a fire does break out at work, the main priority should be to evacuate the building as quickly as possible. No matter how many times it has been practiced, the steps of what to do in an emergency can soon be overlooked. In an emergency situation employees can panic if they are not sufficiently trained and the emergency situation is something unfamiliar and uncertain. Good fire safety training combined with the right knowledge and practical experience can improve fire safety if it is ever needed. This would involve preparing all employees for what to do in the event of a fire.
Workplace Hazards :
As mentioned above, some industries have a higher risk than others. Employees should be made aware through relevant fire safety training to reduce fire risk. The risk of fire may be higher for those businesses that:
- Store combustible materials such as gases or flammable liquids
- Fail to maintain equipment
- Have areas that are open to the public
- Use processes that generate heat
- Have poor housekeeping practices
Fire safety training should look specifically at the equipment require to detect and prevent fire including:
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire alarms and detectors
- Escape routes
- Maintenance and testing of fire equipment
Good Practice :
All businesses should implement comprehensive fire safety protocols and training. The detail of fire safety training will vary depending on the business. Training should cover things such as:
- Keeping combustible materials away from ignition sources
- Regularly removing combustible waste including dust accumulations
- Once equipment is shutdown at the end of each day, all windows and doors should be closed, and the equipment switched off
Emergency planning and training is very important to ensure that employees understand the evacuation process. Staff should be made aware of company policy and fire precautions such as no-smoking and procedures for handling certain materials.
Fire Safety Training :
Most fire safety training courses combine a blend of classroom based learning and practical experience, although an increasing number of businesses are opting for e-learning as a convenient and cost effective way to deliver training. This training will cover a variety of topics such as the action to take in the event of a fire, how to use fire protection equipment, the different types of fire and how they can start and the best way to combat these fires. The training will guide students through the basics such as how a fire starts to more advanced topics including what fire equipment should be used and when. Good training will also include how employees can identify the safest route of evacuation, how they can help vulnerable people to evacuate safely and how to cope with panic.
Fire can present a serious risk to business which is why good training and effective awareness are so important in all workplaces even if the risk of fire is only small.
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