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Fire training, why is it necessary in the workplace?

image shows firefighters responding to a large fireThe possibility of a fire breaking out at work often seems too remote to warrant much attention, and as a result many businesses tend to give insufficient thought to workplace fire safety. In fact, many employees are quite clueless as to what to do to prevent fires and how to react should a fire break out. Other than the odd fire drill, most workplaces place little to no emphasis on fire safety. While workplace fires are in fact not extremely common, the consequences of a fire can be staggering. Just as insurance offers protection in the event of an unlikely but devastating occurrence, putting in place a sound workplace fire safety plan and educating all employees on the correct procedures to take can go a long way towards preventing the devastation of a fire-related accident. Here are some steps that should be taken at all workplaces.

Train employees to identify the severity of a fire

There is no one correct way to deal with a fire. While a smaller fire may be combated with a fire extinguisher, a more severe fire may require immediate evacuation. Dealing with a fire in an inappropriate manner can have terrible consequences, for instance when a building is evacuated due to a small fire that could have been easily extinguished. The first response to a fire is vitally important to a positive outcome. Before they can know what steps to take to deal with a fire, employees need to be trained to identify the severity of a fire. Only then will they be able to identify and apply the appropriate response to the fire. Videos on workplace fire safety can be shown to employees in order to give everyone involved a deeper understanding of how to analyse and deal with fires.

Train employees to use fire extinguishers

While it goes without saying that any workplace must be equipped with fire extinguishers, they are of little use if nobody on the premises is able to effectively use them. Employees should be trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers so they are able to swiftly deal with small fires. Videos and practical demonstrations allowing hands-on participation can equip employees with the necessary knowledge to safely and effectively use a fire extinguisher.

Evacuation drills

Should a fire break out, it is crucial that all employees be able to make use of evacuation routes to get out of the building as fast as possible. All evacuation routes should be posted on signboards or notice boards and displayed prominently on the premises, and all employees should be made to familiarise themselves with them. Evacuation drills should be carried out regularly to ensure that employees are able to effectively use evacuation routes should the need arise.

Fire wardens

It is advisable to ensure that there are trained fire wardens on the premises at all times. Trained fire wardens are able to respond to a fire in a rapid and effective manner, whether an evacuation is being carried out or fire fighting is needed to combat a fire. Having a fire warden on the premises ensures that fire safety is optimised at all times and can provide considerable peace of mind.

Fire prevention

While all employees must definitely be trained to deal with a fire, it is equally as important to ensure that employees are trained to prevent fires in the first place. Prevention is the best medicine, and all employees need in particular to ensure they are educated on the proper ways to use and store flammable materials. If you have flammable substances on the premises, it is crucial that everyone at your workplace undergo adequate fire safety training.

Being diligent about workplace fire safety can save lives and property. Because so much is at stake, every business needs to ensure that enough emphasis is placed on workplace fire safety. The staff members of a business, in particular, have the ability to greatly influence the outcome of an emergency. As such, it is to a business’s benefit if all employees are adequately trained to respond in the best manner possible in the event of a fire.

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