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Fire Safety Training

Comprehensive Fire Safety Training

Why do we need Fire Safety Training?

Article 21 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 says everyone must be trained:

(1) - When they are first employed, withing a few days at most of starting

(2) - If the are exposed to new or increased risks such having new responsibilities, new equipment, new technology or changes to the systems of work.

Any Fire Safety Training they have must be suitable, repeated periodically, adapted to account for new risks and related to issues highlighted in the Fire Risk Assessment.

Which explains everything and nothing about Fire Safety Training. To simplify training we break training down into the following 3 levels.

General Fire Safety Training   (level 1)

This is the minimum training that everyone must have. It includes:

 - Causes and prevention of fire.
 - Actions to be taken upon discovering a fire
 - Raising the alarm including the location of call points
 - Importance of fire-resisting doors
 - The location and identification of escape routes
 - The location and importance of assembly points
 - How to call the Fire Service
 - The No Smoking Policy
 - Type, location and usage of fire fighting equipment
 - Any other risks or instructions specific to the locations where they work


The aim of this level of training is that everyone can safely evacuate themselves in the event of a fire. In addition they know how to prevent and identify fires and won't compromise the fire safety of others by their actions. In regard to tackling fires, they are advised to only tackle a fire directly if they feel able and safe to do so. Their default action should always be to get themselves out safely. But they definitely should not spend more than 1-2 mins trying to put out a fire, if they choose to tackle one.

Fire Warden Training   (level 2)

This includes all the above elements plus greater detail. These are the people that will be responsible for monitoring the premises on a daily basis. They'll be trained to look for for issues which could cause a fire, allow it to spread or limit an emergency evacuation. They'll also be tasked with performing regular evacuation drills and many of the daily, weekly or month checks.

They are typically assigned a specific role in the event of an actual fire. Such as performing a role call after evacuation, liaising with the fire service upon arrival, shutting off gas supply vales etc. Often these people are also tasked with helping to evacuate vulnerable people who may struggle to do so unaided. So often this training is done after Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP) and General Emergency Evacuation Plans (GEEP) have been completed.

How many people need to be trained depends on the size and nature of the business. A a minimum its always at least 3 to cover against holidays and illness. Which might be fine for a office of 10 people. But for a pub where there could be up to 300 inebriated customers and 25 staff, sometimes training everyone to this level is the right answer.

Sometimes this level of training is called Fire Marshall or Fire Coordinator Training by others. But the differences are often so nuanced that we don't bother splitting them in to 3 subcategories. It just makes it more complicated than it really is.

Train the Trainer   (level 3)

As mentioned at the beginning, everyone must receive Fire Safety Training within days of starting their employment. But its often not practical for Fire Safety Specialists to do the General Fire Safety Training each time.  As this could require multiple training events per year. So we also offer a train-the-trainer service where people already trained to Fire Warden level can be further trained to do the General Fire Safety Training themselves.  Saving our clients money and simplifying the process completely.

How frequently should people be trained?

Everyone should complete General Fire Safety Training straight away and it should be renewed every year. Or as above, if anything materially changes. Some companies simplify this process by doing the refresher training as a series of 12 monthly toolbox talks. Others have found that making videos is an effective way to remind people of things like evacuation routes, assembly points, location of gas valves etc.

Fire Warden Training should be redone from scratch at least every 3 years, but exactly how often depends on the risks. The frequency should be specified in the Fire Risk Assessment. As will the minimum number of people trained to this level required on site at all times.

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