If your workplace takes fire safety seriously, then most of the staff will have received some kind of fire safety training, perhaps learning about the fire triangle, the different kinds of fire safety equipment, and fire safety plans. For all kinds of reasons, however, fire safety training can go out of date and staff in your workplace may be due a refresher course. This article will look at reasons why fire safety training must be refreshed, offering practical advice when appropriate.
Why Does Fire Safety Training Need to be Refreshed?
All kinds of things can cause your training to be redundant. Perhaps you have a high staff turnover and few of the staff who were trained in fire safety remain. The same goes for business growth, as new staff may not have received any prior training in their previous job. Don’t assume new staff understand basic fire safety, because they might not, and it only takes one mistake to start a fire.
You may also need to refresh your fire-safety training if your business has changed premises. Your previous fire safety plan, understanding of site-specific hazards, etc, will not necessarily apply to your new premises. With a new site, you’ll need an entirely new fire-safety assessment, fire-safety plan, and you will probably need to refresh your fire-safety training.
If in Doubt, Ask Your Staff
Rather than fretting over whether or not your staff feel equipped to deal with a fire emergency, just ask them how confident they are. Ask them how their previous fire-safety training prepared them and how confident they were that they had retained the information. It may be that more formal fire-safety lessons aren’t necessary and all you need are a few in-depth conversations to jog everyone’s memory. Or it may help to print off a few fire-safety training guides and stick them up on the noticeboard, on the fridge in the staff kitchen, in your staff toilets…
Talking to your staff is the easiest way to learn what they need to know. If it turns out they require more extensive training, be ready to spend a little money on professional instructors. Think of it as an investment: a little spend now could safe you hundreds of thousands of pounds down the line. Willingness to spend money of fire safety training and equipment is usually directly proportional to how much a company’s boss or fire safety officer understands the risks associated with workplace fires.
Look to Refresh Training Once a Year
If your business is relatively stable, there are very few new staff, and you haven’t changed premises, then it may feel like a refresher course in fire safety isn’t necessary. It might not be. However, when knowledge isn’t tested or consolidated for long periods of time, it tends to dissipate. So, if you’re looking for a solid guide as to how often you should retrain staff, 12 months is a good figure. Many health and safety companies usually advise a refresher course once a year. If you have a month that is usually a little less busy (often January), then this is the perfect opportunity to dedicate some of your staff’s time to fire safety training (and anything else you think they might need). It’s also a good idea to rethink your fire-safety plan once a year, working out if you need more fire safety equipment or if your business is more at risk of a fire. If it is, you may like to consider installing our automated fire curtains, or our automated fire shutters.
I hope this article has been useful. Please get in touch if you have any questions about our range of fire-safety installations.