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Is Your Business Protected?
Fire Safety Training for employees is a legal requirement in the UK and the HSE suggests that it is carried out at least annually. Although it is a legal requirement, there are other equally important reasons for making sure that your staff are well trained and confident should the worst happen – even a minor fire can be life threatening, and this risk is increased if people are panicking or unsure how to respond. Nobody wants to think that the worst will happen, but failing to ensure that your employees are well versed in fire safety could end up in prosecution, or worse still, loss of life. So what do you, as an employer, need to do to protect your staff, your business and your customers?
Provide Induction and Refresher Fire Safety Training for employees
If you’ve just employed someone new, it’s tempting to just get them in and started on their new role. However, new employees are easily one of the most high risk groups in any business, particularly in an emergency situation. They are likely to be completely unfamiliar with the layout of your building, and should they need to evacuate for any reason it’s important that they are able to do so safely and quickly – it’s vital that you provide them with the training to allow them to do so. Although unfamiliarity with your building layout might not be a consideration for your more established personnel, your employees are still your front line when it comes to fire prevention. You need to know that they are confident and able to spot risks and report them as soon as possible – providing regular and high quality fire safety training will enable them to do so, and in turn, help protect your business.
Conduct Regular Fire Drills
We’ve all found ourselves standing outside in the rain after a fire drill at one time or another, and when that happens it’s easy to forget why they are such an essential part of your fire safety plan. Until you start conducting regular drills, the truth is that you have no guarantee that your evacuation procedure will work – or that your staff have absorbed what they have learned in theory. Having regular drills will allow you to look at your fire risk assessments and evacuation procedure and make changes or additions depending on how your staff respond and how efficiently they are able to exit the building – and later on, that could save lives.
Have Competent Fire Wardens
In the event of a fire, your fire wardens will be a key factor in minimising harm – they are there to assess whether the fire can be tackled with your existing equipment, call the fire brigade and marshal the evacuation. In order to do this, they will obviously need a higher level of training than the rest of your staff, and best practice is to ensure that this is provided by a qualified fire safety professional. They will also help you throughout the year by conducting routine visual checks on your in house equipment, ensuring that you are fully prepared in the event that disaster happens.
In summary, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of having well trained and confident staff in an emergency situation. It could, quite literally, be the difference between life and death.
One person in every organisation needs to be fire trained. At Assessed Risk we train organisations in being fire safe. To find out more about our fire safety training for employees and staff, click here and contact our team.