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Electrical & Fire Systems

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The Importance Of Staff Training For Fire Safety

There are many components that make up a successful fire safety strategy. Implementing effective measures is an essential part of the process, however these will only do their job for your business if staff are able to manage them and respond in an emergency situation. This is what makes comprehensive staff training so important for every single organisation.

The Role Staff Play In The Safety Of Your Building

For any business, staff play a key role in how the building runs – from offices and warehouses where staff account for the majority of occupants, to retail stores and leisure businesses where staff work to support new customers and guests on a regular basis.

Essential in ensuring that emergencies are responded to appropriately and that emergency procedures are carried out effectively, staff can make all the difference during a fire incident.

Fire Safety Measures And Equipment

In order to comply with fire safety regulations and guarantee that your site is as safe as it can be, there are a number of fire safety systems and measures you will have. Let’s take a look at why staff need to be trained for each, before they can effectively create a safe environment.

Fire Alarm & Detection System

Alarm and detection systems allow for rapid detection of a fire, helping occupants to take action quickly and lowering the risk of injury and death. There are many components to a fire alarm system and designated staff must be trained so that they understand how the system works, how to read warnings and notifications within the control panel, and how to troubleshoot minor issues that could prevent the system from doing its job.

Emergency Lighting System

As with fire alarm and detection systems, emergency lighting systems are made up of a number of different elements that must work together for the system to be able to do its job. It’s important that your staff – particularly those designated as responsible for fire safety – receive suitable training to understand the system and issues to look out for. Failing to do so can quickly lead to a system that isn’t fully functional and won’t safely light your building during an emergency.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers provide a first line of defence against small fires, and are often more complex than they might seem. Staff should again receive comprehensive training so that they know how to safely operate each extinguisher, which types of extinguisher there are around your building, and what these should be used for.

Understanding Fire Safety Protocols

In the event of a fire, it’s absolutely crucial that emergency procedures can be carried out swiftly and safely. Your staff should be trained for the following:

  • Knowing where meeting points are
  • Knowing where fire doors, fire exits, and escape routes are
  • Knowing how an evacuation is carried out
  • Understanding the importance of keeping escape routes and fire exits clear at all times

Supporting Guests / Visitors In An Emergency

If your business or organisation is within the following sectors, then you are likely to host a number of guests, customers, and visitors who are unfamiliar with the layout of your site.

  • Retail and shopping
  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Healthcare

In these scenarios, it’s important that your staff are able to manage, support, and guide other occupants during an emergency. This makes it extremely important to have regular training sessions so that staff are familiar with everything that they may need to relay to customers and guests.

Changes To Regulations And Your Building

The regularity of your staff training is also an important fire safety consideration as changes to a number of things will impact your fire safety requirements and measures.

Firstly, changes in fire safety regulations could mean that you need additional safety measures in place, or that evacuation processes might change. As a result, you should always keep an eye on these and regularly train staff so that they are always up-to-date.

Secondly, and perhaps more likely, are changes to your business and staff. It may be that you move sites altogether, add space to your existing site or change the layout of it. It could even be something as simple as adding more staff members to the team, but all of these things will require you to alter emergency procedures and emergency response plans. Therefore, any time your business changes, it’s important to consider the updates needed for fire safety training.

Fire safety is an essential for every building, and no strategy can be effective unless staff are trained on how to manage, maintain, and respond to different incidents and emergencies. When was the last time that your staff received fire safety training?