Fire is a hazardous element if not appropriately handled. A tiny spark can turn into a life-threatening blaze in a matter of minutes in the absence of proper fire suppression equipment.
Workplace spaces and buildings are quite vulnerable to fire hazards and damage. It can cause property damage and compromise the safety of human lives working on the office premises.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure proper fire training to the employees to protect the workplace from fire hazards. A safe work environment is the responsibility of both management and employees. They will all need to learn all the vital techniques and knowledge required to handle fire emergencies.
Fire Safety Training and its Different Components
There are various aspects to workplace fire safety training. According to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the person in charge of the business or responsible for maintaining the workspace must bring in professionals for comprehensive fire safety training for the employees.
The first step of workplace safety is the “Duty of Care” towards the staff and other occupants of the office. The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 state that the management must take all necessary steps to establish proper fire safety protocol within the business premises for staff safety.
All commercial buildings must have installed basic fire control and suppressant equipment for optimum safety. These tools are considered the first line of defence if a fire breaks out. There are two main aspects of fire safety training:
- Evacuation Safety
- Fire Fighting Knowledge
Why is Fire Safety Training Essential for Workplaces?
Below are the key reasons why fire training is essential for all major and minor workplaces:
Identifying Fire Hazards:
One of the primary steps of fire training is locating and identifying the elements deemed as a fire hazard or a fire risk. Fire experts will train your employees to identify such risk factors quickly and decide how to prevent them from becoming major disasters.
A fire can start when a heat source comes in contact with anything flammable. So the fire training professionals will teach your staff about all the issues that need to be taken care of to prevent fire breakouts. These issues include:
- Identifying high-risk areas of the workplace
- Employees who will be at the highest risk in case a fire breaks out
- Inflammable elements or materials inside the workspace
- Improving the existing fire safety precautions
Handling Fire Safety Tools and Equipment
During workplace fire training, your employees will be taught how to use fire suppressant tools like extinguishers. Many fire safety services also give a practical demo of using these extinguishers on controlled fires.
There are various types of fire extinguishers available in the market. The experts will also train your employees to identify the type of fire extinguisher, determine when to use it, and what kind of fire.
Fire Warden Training:
Fire training is not limited to office employees but extends to chief wardens and floor wardens of multistorey commercial buildings. Since they are responsible for the overall welfare of the building, fire experts impart leadership and communication training during an emergency.
With the help of this specialized training, the chief and floor wardens can smoothly and safely evacuate people from the building during fire hazards and emergencies. The training also includes the management and mobility of differently-abled people or those who require special assistance.
Evacuation Plan and Drill:
According to Safe Work Australia, all business premises must have a documented evacuation plan at the site, specifying the emergency exits. This evacuation plan must be placed throughout the office, and the employees must be trained to carry it out effectively during a fire hazard.
Fire safety training experts ensure not only to create a comprehensive evacuation plan for your office but also to train your staff on the same for their safety. In case it is deemed that the fire is out of control and cannot be suppressed by any means, the safest option is to evacuate the building.
Several things need to be considered if the management decides to evacuate the office:
- Procedure to alert all employees and instruct them to evacuate in a proper manner
- Informing fire and ambulance services
- Gathering everyone at the designated assembly point as mentioned in the evacuation plan
Through proper evacuation drills, fire safety courses ensure that all the above points are carried out promptly and correctly.
Fire safety training is not only for complying with the government’s rules and regulations. It ensures the safety of your employees, who are the backbone of your business.