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  9. NEBOSH General Certificate or the Fire Certificate for Fire Training?

NEBOSH General Certificate or the Fire Certificate for Fire Training?

Introduction

A fire in the workplace image with an emergency exit sign

Fires are one of the most common risks to health and safety, as they can occur in pretty much any place of work no matter what industry the company is engaged in or their activities. The combination of being such a common occurrence with the potential devastation they can cause, for both life and property, means that fire training is often high up on the list of health and safety training course priorities.

One of the main problems that an individual or the manager of a company has with regards to fire training is determining how much detail and depth of knowledge is required. Options range from short online fire training courses, to an element in the NEBOSH General Certificate course, right up to a dedicated fire qualification in the form of the NEBOSH Fire Certificate.

Whilst the NEBOSH General Certificate will provide course attendees with a good, sound level of information regarding fire safety such as sources of ignition, importance of emergency planning and procedures, principles of fire risk assessments and fire fighting equipment for a typical workplace, the NEBOSH Fire Certificate will cover these issues in much more detail as well as other relevant fire topics.

So for those who wish to specialise specifically in fire safety the NEBOSH Fire Certificate will be the most suitable option, whereas the NEBOSH General Certificate may be enough for those who only require a general overview of fire safety topics.



Why is Fire Training So Important?

As mentioned at the start, fires can happen in pretty much every place of work. This means that unlike other health and safety risks which may only be applicable to employees at workplaces in certain industries, the risk of fire is a danger which everyone needs to be aware of.

All workers are likely to have some knowledge about fire damage and certain precautions to take, but this is likely to be based primarily on common sense regarding obvious factors. Whilst this will help, it will not be comprehensive enough, particularly in workplaces which have a multitude of potential fire dangers through employee actions or inaction, and could lead to catastrophic fire-related disasters.

Comprehensive fire training will provide employees with enough knowledge to greatly reduce the likelihood of a fire taking place, and all of the negative consequences this would bring. Not only is it a legal requirement in many countries across the world, but managers also have a moral duty to keep their workers safe from harm, as well as wanting to prevent damage to their contents and buildings of course!



The Damage and Dangers Caused by Fires


Burning

Probably the most obvious danger which needs little explanation. Whether biological or inorganic, the hot flames of a fire will burn a lot of the material in its path and leave little behind.


Smoke Damage and Inhalation

The smoke given off by the fire often causes more of an issue than the flames themselves, as more people are killed by smoke than burning from the flames. A lack of oxygen and a production of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide can quickly lead to unconsciousness and death.

As well as the health and safety issues, smoke can also cause a lot of damage to stock and furnishings. Smoke damaged items will need to be thrown away and replaced, which can prove extremely expensive for a company, so much so that some may not be able to recover.


Weakening Structures

Fires can also weaken structures and supports of buildings, potentially leading to collapse. It is imperative to wait for the all clear from the fire department or qualified structural engineer before re-entering a premises that has been damaged by fire.


Explosions

An explosion can be triggered which can cause injury and damage to anything near the scene of the fire. Along with flying debris, it could also provide a way for the fire to spread and jump to other buildings if burning material were to land on flammable material. The explosion could also be caused by a rupture to a gas pipe, leading to the release of gas which is poisonous and therefore harmful to anyone breathing it in.


Contaminated Run-Off

When a building is going up in flames, and particularly when it poses a risk to life, for most people the overriding thinking will be to extinguish the blaze. Unfortunately the mad dash to release water or foam onto the fire can lead to lasting and far-reaching devastating effects upon the local environment.

Although the extent will depend on a number of factors such as the materials on the site, amount of extinguisher used etc, this run-off can contaminate the groundwater and seep into nearby watercourse, killing a great deal of plant and animal life. It is for this reason that firefighters take the environment into consideration as well as bravely tackling fires.



Alternatives to NEBOSH Courses to Learn Information About Fire Safety

Whilst the NEBOSH Fire Certificate will obviously cover fire safety in great detail, and the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus contains a module on it, both of these may still be too comprehensive depending upon your job role. Whilst everyone needs to have an understanding of fire safety, your level of responsibility within the company may mean that, although it would be useful, you do not require such an in-depth health and safety qualification as the NEBOSH Fire or General.

If this is the case, an ideal option is to complete one or more online fire safety training courses.

Our online fire safety training courses include fire marshal courses, fire extinguisher training and basic fire awareness. Taking between 30 mins and 4 hours depending on the course, they provide a good overview of the main points regarding fire safety. They can be completed in your own time to fit around work commitments and your personal life, and can be taken wherever you have an internet connection.

With multiple purchase discounts and subscription packages available, they are an idea choice for organisations who want to provide fire safety training to a large number of employees, without having to pay for them all to study a time-consuming NEBOSH qualification.

For more information on these and our other online health and safety courses, please click here to visit our online courses section.




NEBOSH General Certificate Articles

Please see below for some articles related to the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification which you may be interested in:

Articles related to the NEBOSH General Certificate course

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