Fire and evacuation training is an essential part of workplace safety. Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and visitors in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
Regular training not only helps to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency, but it can also prevent fires from occurring in the first place by raising awareness of potential hazards and promoting safe behaviour.
Without proper training, people may panic or make poor decisions in an emergency, which can result in injuries or fatalities. Therefore, it's crucial for employers to provide their employees with regular fire and evacuation training to promote safety and ensure that everyone knows how to respond in an emergency.
Here's a list of 9 things you should cover when delivering fire and evacuation training to your employees.
- Explanation of the fire alarm system and how to use it (if installed): Employees should be trained on the location and function of fire alarm systems. They should know how to activate the fire alarm and who to notify in case of a fire emergency.
- Location of emergency exits and evacuation routes: Employees should be aware of the locations of emergency exits and the routes to follow during an evacuation. These should be clearly marked with exit signs and arrows, and the routes should be free from obstructions.
- Procedures for assisting disabled employees and visitors: Employers should have a plan in place to assist disabled employees and visitors during an emergency. This may involve providing additional support or designated personnel to assist with the evacuation.
- Procedure for checking all rooms and spaces for people
- Procedure for calling the Fire Service (000): Employees should be aware of the procedure for calling the Fire Service in the event of a fire or other emergency. This may involve providing specific details about the situation, such as the location of the fire or the number of people involved.
- Guidance on how to respond to different types of fires (e.g. electrical fires, oil fires, etc.): Different types of fires require different responses. Employers should train employees on how to identify the type of fire and how to respond appropriately.
- Location and correct use of fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment: Employees should be trained on how to use fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment in the event of a fire. This includes knowing how to operate the equipment and when to use it.
- Location of assembly points for evacuees: Employers should designate a safe assembly point for employees to gather once they have evacuated the building. This will allow employers to take a head count and ensure that everyone is accounted for.
- Undertaking and assessing the effectiveness of evacuation drills to ensure that employees are prepared for an emergency situation: Finally, regular drills should be conducted to ensure that employees are prepared for an emergency situation. These drills should be held at different times of the day and on different days of the week to ensure that all employees have a chance to participate.
Fire and Evacuation training can be delivered by an employer or employee competent in understanding and delivering the content. People who do not confident to run the training should seek the assistance of professionals within the industry.