Ensuring that your employees know how to act in the event of a fire and that they understand the precautions and procedures needed to prevent fires is vital for all businesses.
Basic Fire Awareness Training
Basic fire awareness training teaches your employees basic safety and survival protocols in the event of a fire in the building. Your staff will learn about the legislation covering the fire safety protocols, the potential result of a fire breaking out in the building, chemical substances that are generated by combustion, the factors that determine fires, and proficient methods of evacuating the premises. It will also teach your employees about the best ways to react to a fire and the proper method to select an appropriate extinguisher.
Fire safety training is something that should be continuous in order to keep everyone up to date and safe. Existing staff should be given regular refresher courses to ensure the information remains fresh in their minds and new members of staff should also be trained as soon as possible. Additionally, if something changes that affects the fire safety risks in your building, you may also need to re-train your staff to ensure they are aware of any new hazards or procedures.
Fire Marshal / Fire Warden Training
In addition to all staff members having basic fire awareness training, employees who are designated to undertake the role of Fire Marshal or Warden will need to complete a more advanced course, incorporating all of the aforementioned training, but also a great deal more. Considering that it will be the job of these employees to provide assistance with evacuation, fire mitigation and ensuring the safety of critical staff members, their training will be considerably more complex.
The good news is that not all employees of a company have to be trained as Fire Wardens or Fire Marshals. In general, the number of staff who require this advanced course depends on the total number of people on the premises. To put it simply, you will normally have to designate a ‘reasonable’ amount of Fire Wardens/Fire Marshals according to your employee total. However, additional factors should also be taken into account, including the propensity of work-related fire accidents, the dimensions of the building, and the number of regular visitors etc.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen If Our Employees Aren’t Adequately Trained?
The implications of your employees not being adequately trained in fire safety are huge. Aside from the obvious threat to life and property it can also invalidate your insurance, land the company with hefty fines and even see responsible individuals sent to prison.
Senior managers and staff have a duty of care to ensure that fire safety rules and procedures are being followed safely and correctly. The general definition of corporate responsibility is that it is a duty to take general fire precautions to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable the safety of employees and there is a corresponding duty under the Health and Safety Act discussing health and safety duties owed to employees and non-employees.
Under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, should an individual or senior manager commit a health and safety offence by way of consent, connivance or attributable neglect, the individual as well as the organisation could be guilty. Regardless of whether it’s in your job description or not, it’s about what you do day-to-day. If you have influence over decision-making in your business, you manage finances, you supervise people or you are responsible for projects, you could be placed in that very category as a senior manager. Which means you in your individual capacity could be investigated for fire safety breaches, and in the worst-case scenario be prosecuted.
At FireCare Security & Electrical we carry out fire safety awareness and fire marshal training for our clients all over the South Coast and London. We’re based in Eastleigh, perfectly placed close to the M3 to look after our clients. We also have engineers positioned in different counties, providing the relevant cover and service to our clients throughout Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, London, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.