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How to Reduce the Risks from Fire

A fire can be dangerous not only for the health and well-being of people but can also be extremely damaging to stock and buildings. This means that as well has being a legal requirement, it is also in a company's best interests to limit the potential damage that a fire could cause, and preferably to reduce the chances of one starting in the first place. A comprehensive fire risk assessment needs to be undertaken by a competent person to identify risks and take the appropriate action. When it is impractical to totally remove a risk then suitable protective measures need to be introduced.

In terms of prevention, which is more preferable to dealing with the aftermath of a fire, there are a number of steps which can be taken. One of the primary ways of preventing the outbreak of a fire is to take away a source of ignition. Examples of sources of ignition include hot surfaces, faulty electrical wiring, discarded cigarettes, arson etc.

Whilst some sources of ignition can be removed or made safe, for others it will be impractical, and in this case where they remain they should be kept away from potential sources of fuel. This fuel for a fire is anything that burns, and steps can be taken including replacing flammable materials with fire-resistant ones if possible and not storing flammable materials near sources of heat. Fire doors should also be kept closed to slow or prevent the spread of fire, and the installation of a ceiling sprinkler system can help to extinguish any fire which starts in the building.

Along with fire training health and safety courses and qualifications such as the NEBOSH Fire Certificate, the introduction of procedures such as a hot permit to work system can help to prevent fires and reduce the chances of a fire-related accident or incident. This will however rely on workers understanding the permit to work system and following it correctly.

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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