31 July 2014
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Fire training

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In the United Kingdom it is a legal requirement for employees of a organization to receive basic fire training relating to their place of work. This helps ensure their safety in the unfortunate event of a fire breaking out at say their office or shop.

On this page we will attempt to explain to you the different aspects of fire training, such as using fire extinguishers to put out a blaze. Any training you provide your staff should be relevant to the job title and job role, for instance in showing them how to extinguish small fires. Learning about certain hazardous chemicals and substances that can help fires to spread quickly. Or techniques about fire prevention, and also fire drills and how to get staff out of an office building through evacuation procedures.

About fire training UK courses and providers
As you can imagine this training is a very specialised area, and there are many ways to be trained, either in house or by specialist companies that provide tutors for either on-site or classroom based health and safety training. The last thing you need in an emergency is for untrained people to attempting to use equipment they are not familiar with. Any courses you attend should include information from fire safety inspector regarding current regulations and legislation, as per the Fire Safety Order 2005, FSO. If you do go on a course, make sure you receive a certificate once you have completed it and passed any examinations.

 

Some training providers will try to educate their students by demonstrating live fire fighting scenarios, although this would only be done in a controlled environment with experienced trainers.

Fire wardens
If your company has a fire warden then they will have various duties like putting up fire notices and regular fire checks etc in your company. They will also be responsible for record keeping, maintenance of fire alarms and liaising with the local fire service. All their procedures must be up to the standard of the Institute of Fire Engineers . Fire marshals are also responsible for doing a fire risk assessment of your work environment and knowing the telephone number of your nearest fire department.
If any of your companies staff has held any fire service jobs, i.e. a fireman in the past then that would be very advantageous.
Other tasks would include making sure the sprinkler systems works, and testing it regularly. They should also be able to train other staff in safety procedures and fire prevention, as well as have first aid skills.

In large office blocks like for instance a public sector organization each floor or department will have their own warden to safeguard the staff.

Fire doors
These are important in help stop the spread of fires and also smoke. They are generally heavy set doors, usually made of wood, but also sometimes metal. Some fire resistant doors may have a small special thick glass window in them allowing you to see through it, when buying them ensure that they are fire safety UK compliant. These are important in delaying the spread of a blaze by providing a solid barrier. They should be well designed and heavy with sealed edges, but should be light enough for people to open them with having to use a lot of force. They are effective in stopping poisonous fumes from spreading around a building quickly. Most of these doors will have a label on them to identify them. They should also be inspected and maintained regularly to make sure they close fully and are not obstructed.
Deciding the locations and where to put your fire extinguishers in your workplace is important, as well as keeping fire doors closed.

The assembly point
Its is important that all employees know exactly where the designated assembly point is in the event of an emergency. When deciding on a location you should always consider the number of people who will be assembling there, and pick a location that can accommodate everyone. You should ensure the point is some distance from the evacuated building. As a additional resource you may want to have signs pointing to the designated assembly area.
Once at the pre determined assembly point a roll call should be taken of all those present to see if any staff are accounted for and none are missing. Ensure that he point is not in the way of the emergency services when they arrive.

Fire escape drills
This when a test emergency drill is done and all staff go through a simulated fire drill, to ensure all staff are compliant with the evacuation procedure. An important point to remember is to always review the drill afterwards to see if any problems were encountered and to draw recommendations. Drills should be held regularly throughout the year.

These are also known as a fire emergency evacuation plan or FEEP, it should be written on a piece of paper and posted on notice boards giving clear instructions for all staff to become familiar with.

Other related topics you may be interested in
Fire regulations
Fire risk assessment

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