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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.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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