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 - Staff Training & Fire Drills - Part 12

Posted by LWF: 06/09/2018 11:10

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 staff training and fire drills. In part 11 of this series, methods of training were discussed and in part 12, we will continue from that point to discuss the practicalities of who should receive training and how it should be organised.

Adequate fire training should be given to all individuals who work in the building. If the organisation includes voluntary workers, they too should be trained as if they were paid employees. In addition, members of staff should be included even if they work only night shifts, like security personnel or are part-time, such as cleaners. Contracted and temporary staff, where used, should also undergo the training.

While the majority of employees will need the same level of training, those with special duties relating to a fire situation, such as fire wardens, must undergo special training which incorporates how their duties will be performed. The first training must occur when someone begins working at the building with refresher training once or twice a year thereafter.

Some organisations think that fire training is impractical because it might mean sending staff to off-site training at a specialist organisation, however this is mostly incorrect. While specialist courses may be necessary for those with special duties, the majority of staff can be fully informed of all they need to know on an in-house course organised and undertaken by someone with adequate knowledge inside the company. The person responsible for fire safety training may be the fire officer, health and safety officer or another suitably experienced person. 

Where no such suitable person exists within the organisation, an external trainer can be brought in to provide training in-house.

While the initial fire safety training and building familiarisation course may take a full day, depending on complexity and content, refresher courses do not have to be time-consuming. Refresher training may take only half an hour and does not have to reiterate all the content of the initial session, rather the aim is to raise awareness of the issues at stake by providing material that is of interest.

For refresher courses, a purchased film may fulfil most of the requirements and these are readily available online or may be hired or purchased from a fire safety training organisation. In addition to watching the film, questions and discussions can be encouraged on any fire problems which may have occurred or any false alarms which may have sounded. Additional interest can be garnered by relating fire safety measures to domestic premises, which may be perceived as an additional benefit.

In part 13 of this series, the content of fire safety training sessions will be discussed. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0208 668 8663.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years' experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 

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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