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Fire safety training is a legal requirement

Fire safety is the duty of everyone in a business, no matter how big or small the organisation is. While there will be one or two people that have overall responsibility, all staff need to know the basics – if a fire should break out, it could save their life.

Is fire safety training mandatory?

Fire safety training is a legal requirement and must be provided to all employees and anyone working on the premises, for example, contract cleaners.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 clearly states that all staff should be provided with adequate safety training when:

  • they are first employed, and if,
  • they are exposed to new or increased risks

This might be because they have changed roles, or there is a change in work equipment, technology, or a new system that might affect a person’s role.

What’s included in the training?

When an employee joins an organisation, you will no doubt tell them who the fire wardens are and show them the fire exits, but in the event of a fire, is this enough? Fire safety training goes beyond this, to give delegates a basic understanding of how to protect themselves and their colleagues in an emergency.

Vital Fire Solution’s online course in fire safety includes the following five modules.

  1. Chemistry of fire
  2. Common causes of fire
  3. Basic safety features in buildings
  4. Introduction to fire extinguishers
  5. What to do in cases of fire

Over 60 minutes, delegates are given life-saving information approved by RoSPA (The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) and the IFE (Institution of Fire Engineers).

The importance of a fire drill

Putting into practice what you’ve learnt, is crucial for checking understanding and can identify any gaps in knowledge, which can help shape training in the future.

How often you perform a fire drill is determined by your fire risk assessment, but the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service recommends at least once every year. If you have more than one building, you may need to repeat the fire drill, and it’s important to account for different shift patterns so all employees are covered.

After the drill has taken place, you should debrief with employees to get their feedback, and consider what could be done differently next time. You may need to update your evacuation procedures, if you identify anything that could be improved.

Who should do the training?

The reform fire safety order makes it clear that all employees should have ‘adequate training’ for their role, but for those people with additional responsibilities, they will need something more comprehensive. At Vital Fire Solutions, we offer training courses on:

  • how to use fire extinguishers
  • the role of fire marshal
  • fire safety in care homes

All employees should be given refresher training periodically, and as a business it’s up to you to decide when and how often. We recommend at least once a year or every two years, depending on the level of risk in your industry and your staff turnover.

For more information on fire safety training, contact us at Vital Fire Solutions.

Thank you for your time and interest in Vital Fire Solutions Ltd, part of the County Durham and Darlington Fire Authority’s service.