It’s one thing to have the right fire safety equipment and strategy in place. It’s a whole other challenge to ensure that all staff are educated on how to follow the company’s fire safety measures accurately.
In this article, we take you through how to teach staff about fire safety and why it’s so important, both legally and safety-wise.
Why is it important to educate your workforce on fire safety?
Fire safety plans and equipment are vital to protect your business, its assets and its employees. However, unless staff are adequately trained and aware of the measures, you could still be putting your premises, and the people within it, at risk.
All businesses should follow the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is the government’s fire safety legislation for non-domestic spaces.
Ultimately, any slip-ups or breaches of this Order by your staff could not only result in loss of life and assets – it could also land you, the employer and responsible person, in legal trouble. To avoid fines and prosecution, it’s essential that all staff are properly educated on the workplace safety plans in order to limit the chance of any violations.
6 Ways to Educate Your Workforce about Fire Safety
- First Day: An employee’s first day on the job is the prime time to show them the ropes – and this should extend to the fire safety plan in the workplace. Employees should be told about fire drills, fire evacuation procedures, their nearest fire exit, and any other information which is essential in either a fire drill or a fire emergency. You may even wish to email them a summary of the information for their records.
- Posters: It’s actually a legal requirement to have HSE Health and Safety posters positioned around your workplace. Why not place your own posters by the side of these HSE posters, detailing your workplace’s individual fire safety protocol? Being positioned in visible locations will not only refresh the memory of staff members, but will also be useful for any visitors or guests to your workplace.
- Email Updates: In the same way fire equipment should be maintained and checked regularly, any fire safety plans and procedures should be regularly reviewed – especially with any changes to the layout, content or headcount of a building. You may wish to encourage staff members to contribute, promoting a culture where they can come forward with any changes they have spotted themselves. Any changes or updates to a fire safety plan must be communicated to staff, either through email or meetings.
- Drills: Theory is important, but practice is essential. That’s why it’s law to hold fire drills at least once a year at your workplace so your employees can put into practice everything they’ve learned. It’s wise to do it more often than yearly for the best results.
- Fundraisers: Why not throw a little fundraising event to keep fire safety fresh in your employees’ minds? You may wish to combine the event with fun activities, communications of any new developments in fire safety, any training exercises or choose a related charity to fundraise for.
- Fire Safety Training: The best way to arm staff with fire safety knowledge is to train them – this will differ depending on the needs and fire risk level of your individual workplace. Dedicated fire safety companies, such as Fire Action, run special training courses for staff to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest knowledge and skills to react responsibly and safely in a fire. Depending on the size of your workforce, you will need to determine how many people will require full fire safety training.
Here at Fire Action, we offer fire warden training for employees across Kent, Bromley and Sidcup. We ensure that your staff are fully up-to-speed on the fire safety protocol of your company to help you fulfil your legal responsibility. Get in touch to find out more about our fire safety training courses.
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