Managers should place fire safety training for their entire workforce high on their priority list.
News and warnings about fire risks have pervade the media. Yet despite its devastating potential, the relatively day-to-day nature of fire damage is rarely valued. In truth, fire is a constant and very real hazard to UK and Irish organisations.
Home Office figures show that in the reporting period 2018/19, the UK’s fire and rescue services attended 15,005 ‘primary fires’ in non-dwelling buildings. That’s more than 280 per week; and those incidents caused 17 deaths, plus a further 1,061 non-fatal casualties.
Fire can also be disastrous in terms of operations, productivity and financial loss. Worldwide, fire and explosions cause the largest losses for businesses. Around 70% of businesses fail within three years of a major fire.
Thus, when it comes to fire, prevention is clearly much better than treatment. But it’s impossible to predict when, where and why a fire may break out. Therefore, a culture of fire prevention must occur throughout the organisation, from top to bottom.
Employers are legally required to train each of their employees in fire prevention under the Fire Safety Order 2005 and Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Yet, how can managers be sure their entire workforce is taking fire safety seriously?
The dangers of fire
Workplace fires can happen due to a range of causes. These include:
- faulty equipment (electrical equipment; kettles and ovens)
- clutter (combustible materials like paper, wood, furniture etc.)
- poor standards of cleaning (when grease or oil is allowed to build up on equipment, or dirt and dust cause machines to overheat)
- human error (misuse of equipment, failure to implement safety practices or report malfunctioning machinery etc.)
- and arson.
The good news is that fire is frequently preventable. It is notable that according to the Home Office figures mentioned earlier, 75% of the non-dwelling fires in 2018/19 were accidental and could probably have been avoided.
How can managers ensure their organisation is fire safety aware?
In the UK, employers have a legal duty to prevent fire. This includes a duty to train all staff in fire prevention. And it can be hard to decide the best approach.
Fire Warden training can help organisations to overcome many of the barriers to fire safety. Training with us removes many of the challenges and inconveniences traditionally associated with workplace training and enhances the learning process and outcomes, while making it easy for organisations to demonstrate compliance.
Our Fire Awareness (1 hour) course suits the needs of each industrial sector to provide delegates with all round knowledge of what to do in the event of a fire.
Fire Warden (inc. Extinguisher) is a 3 hour training course to suit the needs of various different occupational sectors, providing specialist training to nominated staff who will assume the role and responsibility of being a Fire Warden/Marshal within their respective department or workplace.
Training can be delivered from our Newry, Belfast or Dublin training centres. Alternatively, we can deliver in your workplace or any suitable venue in Northern Ireland (NI), Republic of Ireland or Great Britain. Contact our friendly and professional customer service team for a non-committal quotation.