Fire Safety, Fire Risk Assessments and Fire Safety Training Courses
The term 'fire safety' encompasses a broad range of issues, covering both the prevention of fire, as well as what to do in the event of fire in order to limit the consequences.
Creating a safe place to work will ideally start at the design phase of the building, although changes can be made afterwards through further construction work. A sufficient number of fire exits should be incorporated into the building, which are suitably located so that a person will be close to at least one exit no matter where they are in the building. Ideally, they would be able to get to two at opposite directions so if the route to one was blocked by fire or debris, they could evacuate through the other. Fire extinguishers and fire alarm activation points should also be located throughout the building and be easy to reach.
A fire safety risk assessment should be performed both at the start of the premises occupation, and at regular intervals (typically once every year). In fact, these are so important that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that it is now compulsory for organisations to conduct a fire risk assessment. This fire risk assessment will form part of the organisation's overall health and safety policy, which should also be reviewed regularly as changes to the firm's working practices, use of rooms etc will alter the safety procedures.
The Difference Between Fire Safety in the Workplace and Fire Safety in the Home
Fire safety in an organisation will to a large extent follow the same prevention and remedies as a fire in the home. In terms of prevention, this includes not having naked flames near flammable materials, not having water near electrical points etc. Dealing with the fire also follows similar lines, in that the alarm should be raised when a fire is discovered to warn others in the building. It should then be tackled if it is safe to do so and means of escape is still assured, otherwise evacuation is the priority with the fire being left for the fire brigade to deal with.
One way in which fire safety in the workplace differs from the home is in the fact that there will usually be a large number of people in the building who can be affected by the fire, and procedures will already need to have been planned and implemented with regards to a pre-arranged fire assembly area which is a safe distance from the building. A role call should be performed in order to account for everyone who was in the building. For this to work, an effective signing in/out system needs to be operated, and needs to be strictly adhered to in order for the role call to work. Lives can be put at risk if rescuers go searching for someone in the building who had already left, or somebody who did not sign in could be left in the building if they are unable to evacuate and nobody knows they are in there.
Although the home can contain a number of hazards such as petrol in containers, a workplace is likely to contain a greater number of dangerous substances. This will vary hugely depending upon the type of organisation and their activities. For example, a fire at an oil refinery or a nuclear power station is likely to be much more of a risk than a fire in an office, although the size of the blaze will to a large extent be the main issue, as a fire which engulfs the entire office and threatens neighbouring buildings is more serious than a small fire in the cigarette disposal bin at the oil refinery. But in general terms, a fire which gets out of control is more dangerous at the oil refinery due to the products and chemicals which are on the premises that have flammable and explosive properties.
Fire Safety Training
A positive commitment to health and safety training and fire safety training in particular can play a huge part in both the prevention and response to a fire. Fire safety and other related health and safety training courses will give workers a sound understanding of relevant fire safety regulations, how to reduce the chances of a fire occurring and what to do in the event of a fire.
The most comprehensive of these courses is the NEBOSH Fire Certificate. It is intended primarily for managers and supervisors who are responsible for fire safety within their organisation, as well as the compliance with applicable fire safety legislation. It aims to give delegates the knowledge to conduct and review fire risk assessments, along with fire prevention and protective measures within most workplaces. We offer the NEBOSH Fire Certificate both as the full course and a conversion course. The conversion course is for those who have already passed the NEBOSH General Certificate within the last five years and so have obtained the NGC1 unit. This unit makes up the first week of the full NEBOSH Fire Certificate course, so those who already have it do not need to repeat it.
We also offer a number of other fire safety training courses which focus on specific areas of fire safety. Our Fire Safety course gives those attending a basic awareness of fire safety issues. This course is perfect for workers in organisations of any size, and can be tailored to the exact working practices and specific fire hazards that they face whilst working in your building. Lasting just half a day, it also means they are not away from their work duties for too long when the training is done in-house at your premises.
Our 2-day Fire Risk Assessment course has been designed to help you comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and is aimed at facilities managers, health and safety professionals and fire officers responsible for conducting effective fire risk assessments and the practical implementation of the Fire Safety Order within their organisation.
For those who are an active fire officer within their organisation, our 1-day Fire Officer/Incident Controller course introduces delegates to the relevant legal framework and current HSE recommended best practice, as well as giving those with fire officer/incident controller responsibility a sound footing in the process and procedures required. Similarly, we also offer a Fire Warden/Fire Marshall course which covers the legal requirements, fire evacuation and reporting procedures for those with a fire marshall responsibility. When delivered as an in-house fire safety course, they can be tailored to suit your particular organisation and evacuation procedures.
If you would like more information regarding fire safety training and how we can assist you and your organisation with its fire safety requirements, please call one of our expert health and safety consultants on 0844 800 3295 or contact us online by clicking on the "Contact" tab at the top of the page.