Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
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Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Fire Safety Training for Staff - Part 80

Posted by LWF: 17/06/2019 14:49

In LWFs blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 79, LWF began to discuss fire safety training for staff in healthcare premises and in part 80, we continue from that point with more information on who should attend training and what it should comprise.

Fire safety training for staff should have the aim of producing awareness and immediate and disciplined responses from all staff to a fire situation. This response should be gained through making each person attending the course aware of how rapidly fire can develop, the production of smoke and toxic fumes and the resulting confusion and panic that can ensue.

All staff working at the healthcare venue, including any part-time or agency staff must attend a locally-held fire safety training course which should include first-aid firefighting (e.g. use of fire blankets, extinguishers, hose reels etc.) and emergency evacuation procedures which relate to their workplace. 

The training should take place immediately on appointment – after all, a fire is just as likely to start 10 minutes into their first shift, as 10 weeks into their employment. The training should ideally be repeated once more in the first 12 months of their employment as a refresher and also to allow them to relate it more easily to the place and type of work they are undertaking.

The duration of the initial training given should reflect the nature of the training and instruction provided. After initial training, ongoing training should be based on a training needs analysis and some staff may need more frequent training. One example is that those members of staff who are involved in direct patient care would normally require fire safety training with emphasis on evacuation more than once a year.

Training for staff members who will be required to work at night is especially important, due to the reduced staffing numbers available overnight. HTM 05-01 and BS 9999 both give further guidance on training for night shift workers in healthcare venues.

In part 81, LWF’s healthcare and fire safety blog series will continue discussing fire safety training for staff and, in particular, will look at the frequency and duration of refresher fire-safety training. 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 0800 410 1130.

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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