The actions of employees in response to your Fire Evacuation Plan (FEP) if there is a fire alert or fire are likely to be crucial to their safety and that of other people in the premises. All employees should receive basic fire safety induction training and should receive refresher training at pre- determined intervals.
You should ensure that all employee and contractors are told about the FEP and are shown the escape routes available.
The findings of the fire risk assessment will dictate to a certain degree the type and regularity of the fire safety training required and this should be easily understood by all those attending.
The role that employees may take during a fire evacuation may vary depending on the size and complexity of the premises, with some employees being appointed as fire wardens or being allocated a different role for which additional training will be required, it should include as a minimum, a range of subjects to match the passive and active features and fire safety management of the building.
It must be noted however that fire safety training or refresher training may be necessary when:
a) employees start employment or are transferred into the premises;
b) changes have been made to the Fire Emergency Plan and/or changes to the preventive and protective measures;
c) there are changes to the working practices or processes or people’s responsibilities change;
d) there are any changes to the exposed risks and to the safety of employees or other relevant persons in or near the premises;
e) employees are unaware of what they have to do to safeguard themselves and others on the premises;
f) employees are expected to assist disabled persons evacuate from the premises;
g) any employees may take on the temporary role of a duty manager with additional fire safety responsibilities.
Fire Wardens or Fire Marshals
Employees expected to undertake the role of fire marshals or fire marshals would require more comprehensive training. Their role may include:
- Helping those on the premises to evacuate;
- Checking the premises to ensure everyone has left;
- Using portable fire fighting equipment if safe to do so;
- Liaising with the fire and rescue service upon their arrival;
- Shutting down vital or dangerous equipment; and
- Performing a supervisory or managing role in any fire alert or discovery of a fire
To help them perform this role:
Additional training is both required and recommended and covers, as a basic:
- Detailed knowledge of the fire safety strategy of the premises;
- An understanding of the passive and active fire safety features of the building;
- An awareness of human behaviour in fires and how to encourage others to use the most appropriate escape route;
- How to search and evacuate people safely and recognise areas that are unsafe to enter;
- Anticipating the difficulties of evacuating the disabled and planning any special evacuation arrangements appropriate to their disability;
- Additional training in selecting the correct fire extinguisher and how to use it to fight the fire;
- An understanding of the function and purpose of any fixed fire fighting equipment such as sprinklers or gas flooding systems;
- Acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the fire safety manager and reporting faults, incidents, performance of fire drills and near misses.
Training should be repeated as often as necessary and should take place during working hours but whatever training you decide is necessary to support your fire safety strategy and Fire Emergency Plan, it should be verifiable.
Enforcing authorities may want to examine records as evidence that adequate training has been given.
If you feel you require help and support in any areas of fire safety, training or management for your business please feel free to contact us.
t: 01483 671 087