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Fire Safety Training for Employees. How Often Should It Be Carried Out?

Fire safety training for employees

Everything You Need to Know About Fire Safety Training for Employees

As a business owner, you have a duty of care towards anyone who uses your premises, including all of your employees. And part of that duty revolves around fire safety. Providing fire safety training for employees is not only the morally right thing to do, giving your team the best possible chance of escape should a fire break out. But it is also a legal obligation.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that employers ‘must ensure… employees are provided with adequate safety training at the time when they are first employed; and on their being exposed to new or increased risks.’

So, what does this mean for your business? And what can you do to ensure that your employees receive the fire safety training that they are entitled to?

 

How often should fire safety training for employees be conducted?

Regardless of your business type, every employee should receive fire safety training on their first day of employment. And this includes all staff members, managers, contractors, and volunteers.

But fire safety training should never be a one-off event. All employees need to receive a regular fire safety refresher – at least once a year – to ensure that they remain as safe as possible.

Additional fire safety training should also be provided, should there be any structural or process changes within your business. Those that bring additional risk, such as the introduction of new equipment. And those that impact your existing fire safety and evacuation processes. Including relocating to new premises.

 

fire training onsite

Do all employees require the same amount of fire safety training?

Employees with a higher degree of responsibility, including managers and fire wardens, should receive refresher training every six months. And this is also true for any employee responsible for vulnerable people, or those who work in high fire risk positions. Nightshift workers will also benefit from additional training.

 

What fire safety training do you need to provide for employees?

Every business, every workspace, and every employee is different. So, there can be no single blanket answer to that question. But fire safety training for employees can be split into four broad categories.

Fire alarms

All employees need to know where your fire alarm activation points are situated. So, should a fire break out, they know how to sound the alert. But key team members – all managers, as well as your fire warden – will also need to know how to report a fire incident. This includes small fires, accidental alarm activation, and false alarms, as well as significant events. And how to test the functionality of your fire alarm system.

Fire prevention, regulations, and your business’ specific fire rules

This includes the emergency evacuation plan for your business. The fire safety rules that you expect all employees to adhere to, including your company smoking policy. Housekeeping and risk awareness, and basic fire prevention information relating to your business – this might be the common sense issues relating to your staff kitchen, or important niche precautions specific to your business, such as the correct storage of chemicals or equipment.

Fire prevention equipment

Should a small fire break out, it could make a massive difference to the outcome if your team members know:

  1. Where your firefighting equipment is stored.
  2. Which equipment to use for which fire type – fire blanket, or the different types of fire extinguisher.
  3. And how to use the relevant equipment safely.

 

It’s also imperative that all team members understand the importance of the correct storage and treatment of firefighting equipment – so, no using fire extinguishers as door stops, no matter how hot the weather is! You know who you are!

 

exiting building fire alarm

What to do in the event of a fire

This section covers what to do if an employee discovers a fire: how to sound the alarm, how to safely exit the building – including all escape routes –and where to go. Some businesses will need a strategy for evacuating customers. Others, including care homes, hospitals, and schools, will require all staff to be aware of your strategy for assisting vulnerable people in the event of a fire. Senior team members and fire wardens will also need to have a protocol for alerting the fire brigade.

Do I need to keep a record of fire safety training for employees?

For your indemnity, it is always a good idea to keep a record of all employee fire safety training. It can protect you against potential damages claims should a fire break out. As with your fire risk assessment, fire drills, and alarm tests, you should keep a note of all training in your fire log book.

If you are working with a third party fire safety training provider, such as 1st Class Fire Protection, you should also obtain a fire safety training completion certificate for all employees.

 

Fire Training on Premises

Where should fire safety training be conducted?

Fire safety training can be conducted on or off site, depending on your preference. If you are providing your own training, it’s probably easier to do it all on site. If you are working with a professional provider, you will usually be given a choice of locations. At 1st Class Fire Protection, we offer a range of services, including hands-on fire extinguisher training, and training designed for more senior staff members and fire wardens, conducted either on-site at your business or off-site at a specialised location.

 

Fire safety training should be an integral part of any business. Not just because it is required by law. But because it makes sense for your business. It goes without saying that fires are dangerous. They can destroy property, businesses, and lives. In providing the best possible fire safety training for your team, you are providing the best possible protection for your business. It also means that, should the worst ever happen, you can be confident that you have done all you can to keep your employees safe.

 

If your business is based in Norfolk, Suffolk, or the surrounding areas of Cambridgeshire, and you would like to learn more about fire safety training with 1st Class Fire Protection, please get in touch with 1st Class Fire Protection today either on 01603 742741 or request a call back with our expert team.

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