Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants



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Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Content of Fire Training - Part 13

Posted by LWF: 13/09/2018 12:45

In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for Fire Safety, we have been looking at the necessity for staff training and fire drills. In part 12 we looked at the implications of committing to fire safety training in a business or organisation in terms of time commitment. In part 13, the necessary content of the fire safety training sessions is outlined. 

All comprehensive and relevant fire safety training should include information which is specific to the organisation and building in question, such as fire prevention practices, fire precautions relating to particular equipment or working processes and smoking policies and areas.

Additionally, there are certain elements which are common to all and should be covered universally. 

Means of Escape – All employees must be made aware of all means of escape from the building in which they work. This means that they should be particularly familiarised with those escape routes differing from their normal entrances and exits from the building, in case a safer or quicker exit is possible in a fire situation. Each employee must be familiar with operating any exit devices such as panic bars and override devices fitted to doors with electronic locking.

Fire Actions – Each person should be made aware of what actions they should take in the event of a fire. Some staff may have special duties, such as those given to Fire Wardens and these individuals should receive further training relating to their role. Procedures for the evacuation of people with disabilities or mobility issues should be outlined with all employees.

Raising the Alarm – Every person should be familiarised with the means of raising the fire alarm. This is normally by operating a manual call point. As manual call points can vary in style between the older versions where the glass breaks into pieces and the more modern versions where it doesn’t, it is important that the exact method of successful operation is demonstrated. A member of staff should be allowed to operate a call point on each occasion that a fire drill is held. The locations of manual call points should also be demonstrated to staff members.

Calling the Fire Service – All employees should be trained to call the Fire Service for assistance in any instance of fire on the premises. Although it may seem obvious, the procedure for calling 999 must be explained. The process, including going through the operator should be laid out. In a stressful situation, callers sometimes forget that they must speak to an operator and choose the service they require before connecting to the Fire Service themselves. Where an organisation has allocated a position within the company to have responsibility for calling the Fire Service, it may be that a rehearsal call can be arranged by contacting the Fire Service in advance. 

In part 14 of this series, LWF will continue discussing the content of fire safety training in the workplace by looking at what action should be taken on hearing the fire alarm. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF's publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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