How long does first aid training last?

How long does first aid training last

How long does first aid training last?

The first-aid certificate lasts for 3 years since your first aid certificate has been issued. You need to renew it every 3 years, note no refresher course qualifies you as a first aider for 1-day emergency first aid at work or paediatric first aid. There is a bit of difference with the 3 days first aid at work. 

If you completed 3 days first aid at work training and want to renew your certificate you are eligible for 2-day re-qualification first aid training. You should know that according to the HSE rules you should renew your certificate within 28 days after expiration. 

Different types of first aid training

There are different types and levels of first aid courses and so the content is different. 


If you work in a low-risk environment like an office, dental practice, or the gym you will be required to hold 1-day emergency first aid at work certificate. The training covers the most common topics such as cpr training, bleeding, chocking, burns, anaphylaxis and others. The training usually lasts 6 hours. 


The law requires to hold 3-day first aid at work certificate for those who work in high-risk environments such as construction, manufacture, railway etc.  The content of the course is different and includes more in-depth knowledge like spinal injuries, head injuries, heavy bleeding, chest injuries. The training lasts 18 hours. You can do this training in 3 consecutive days or attend blended first aid at work training. The blended options consist of 18 hours, you will be completing 12 hours of self-directed training – reading, watching videos, doing quizzes. However, you still need to attend 1 day face to face training to complete your practical training. 


Those who are working with kids are required to complete paediatric first aid course which meets OFSTED requirements. Usually, this course is chosen by those who work as a nanny, au-pair, child careers, education staff. The pediatric first aid training includes such topics as unconscious baby or child, choking, bleeding, burns, foreign bodies in eyes and ears, and many others.

What do you learn in first aid training?

A first aider’s role is to provide initial or immediate support to a casualty in need. Through the knowledge and first aid training you have received, you need to decide if the care you are giving is appropriate and sufficient. Alternatively, perhaps the casualty needs professional medical assistance. In all scenarios, your role is to provide support, whilst keeping yourself, the casualty and other bystanders safe. 

As a first aider you would be responsible for: 

  • Manage the incident and ensure the continuing safety of themselves, the casualty, and the public

  • Discover the nature & cause of their injuries or illnesses

  • Arrange for further medical help or other emergency services to attend. 

  • Prioritize casualty treatment based upon medical need

  • Provide appropriate first aid treatment that you have been trained to do, and that is reasonable in the circumstances

  • If able to, record observations of casualties vital signs, symptoms and feedback

  • Relay this information when further medical help arrives

  • Complete an accident report form following the incident

The first aid evolves around 3 P, which stands for Preserve Life, Prevent the condition from worsening, Promote recovery. Let’s break down what each P means. 

Preserve life – First of all calmly and quickly assess the situation, protect yourself and everyone at the scene from danger, prioritise, treating the most serious conditions first.

Prevent the condition from worsening – Call for appropriate medical help, if necessary, identify the type of injury or illness, minimise the risk of cross infection

Promote recovery – Treat any injuries or illnesses, arrange the next steps such as transfer to hospital, communicate details of the injury or illness and your actions to those taking over care of the casualty


As you can see, there are a few different training courses. You should ask at your workplace which type, of course, you should attend.



How to cope with stress and anxiety?

Coping strategies
Coping strategies

How to cope with stress and anxiety?

9 useful tips on how to stay healthy and positive

A Siren Training Mental Health First Aid trainer –Ryan Ridgway shared his experience, thoughts, and some useful coping mechanisms. 

We are in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, which challenges our mental health and wellbeing. Mental health specialists are talking louder and louder, exclaiming that after the Covid-19 pandemic we will face another, the mental health ‘pandemic’. So how can we look after our own mental health and help others?  These are Ryan’s top 9 coping strategies.

I think my experience is valuable. My own journey of mental illness and I’ll share some insights. 

I didn’t get a diagnosis till the age of 35 and I’m 40 now. I’ve now got this tool kit of helpful coping strategies that I’d adopted in my early years of struggle. My not-supported mental illness was made worse by stigma, judgment, and a lack of awareness. I had to work out on my own. What are other things that I can do that protect my mental health? What are my coping strategies? These are the things I want to share?

I want to share with you some of the techniques that meant the most to me. It helps me to deal with significant life events. We’re all going to face stress, we’re all going to face things that affect the way we feel. And it’s so important to have a toolkit that helps to cope at difficult times. 

So why do we need coping strategies?

I’ve got a model here called the stress cylinder so that upside-down triangle is your stress center. This is where all your stress is. You can’t have an MRI scan to see how big your stress is. You can’t go to the GP and they say – right let’s have a look at an X-ray and see  how much stress you can absorb without any problems presented.


But how do I feel about that stress, that pressure when I’ve had an eight hours rest for sleep. I’ve not been sitting in front of a blue screen all day. I’ve spoken to my best friend. I’ve gone out for a run, and I’ve spent time in nature, in daylight compared to the Tuesday where I’ve had four hours of broken sleep and 10 hours of Zoom calls. 

1. Identify the triggers

That’s why we need these coping strategies. We haven’t got a magic wand to just take out all the stress from our life. So the first one is a recognition and identification of your triggers. Spot it when your mental health is starting to suffer,  identifying when you need to adopt these coping structures when you need to take some time for you to recharge the battery often will have what’s called a stress signature.


This could be a thing you do. When you start to be anxious and stressed. My stress signature is when I pick and scratch my phone.  Or scratch myself to the point where it’s sore and it’s bleeding.


Try to recognize when you’ve had a difficult day, week, month your stress signature might be starting to present or recognition, first of all, that I need to take some time out for me. I need to take some time back, take a step back. Log off from life and do something that is going to let out the stress.

Coping with stress and anxiety

2. Talk

One of the most natural protective coping strategies we have is talk. I’m sure we’ve all heard that unraveling these concerning thoughts, feelings and emotions, getting these words out, these concerns out, and letting the words hit the air and take away their power is hugely helpful.


We know it’s good to talk. We need to identify who, where, and when. We’ve already heard those hashtags, those slogans. It’s okay not to be okay, it’s good to talk. So to who, how, and when we need to go to the next layer of communication and that can be through community, friends, family. We look at the data around mental health. 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression – a 1.5% increase from 2013.  That’s the official data, but in reality, the figures are much higher.  


 Not talking, keeping to ourselves results in crisis, depression, and anxiety. I’m sure we’ve all got a group of friends. Who are the people that I can go to that will genuinely listen and be supportive?

3. Mindfulness

The next one is mindfulness. We’re hearing a lot about mindfulness. Mindfulness can be many different forms, it can be as profound, just having 10 minutes where we slow down the pace of life. And just be aware and just enjoy the moment. Come off that time out in your day, take 10 minutes even just 10 minutes where your phone isn’t in your hands.


Try to slow the pace of life down and appreciate the here and now.  Enjoy the sights, the sound, the smell, slow down the mind and temporarily log off from life. 


I’ve been doing mindfulness for my life. Mindfulness is really just about being good and comfortable at being bored, and I think this element of truth to that because I got bored in my twenties maybe in my thirties but I couldn’t tell you the last time I got bored because there’s some always something on hand that we can grab for and use and do. So mindfulness has many different forms, find the way it works for you. Sometimes it is having a time in the garden without my phone and just thinking, letting thoughts rattle, and just being present conscious.

4. Blue light and sleep

The next one is mindfulness. We’re hearing a lot about mindfulness. Mindfulness can be many different forms, it can be as profound, just having 10 minutes where we slow down the pace of life. And just be aware and just enjoy the moment. Come off that time out in your day, take 10 minutes even just 10 minutes where your phone isn’t in your hands.


Try to slow the pace of life down and appreciate the here and now.  Enjoy the sights, the sound, the smell, slow down the mind and temporarily log off from life. 


I’ve been doing mindfulness for my life. Mindfulness is really just about being good and comfortable at being bored, and I think this element of truth to that because I got bored in my twenties maybe in my thirties but I couldn’t tell you the last time I got bored because there’s some always something on hand that we can grab for and use and do. So mindfulness has many different forms, find the way it works for you. Sometimes it is having a time in the garden without my phone and just thinking, letting thoughts rattle, and just being present conscious.

Coping mechanisms

5. Meditation

Meditation has been used for over thousands of years. Meditation is a good technique for slowing down the pace of life and quietly in the mind. Now when I first started meditation, I could not get on with it. I thought I was supposed to be sitting on a hilltop somewhere in the sunshine all zen thinking of nothing but peace and tranquility.


And I was thinking about everything. I couldn’t stop thinking. There are so many free resources for meditation available now. Lots of different formats and methods and I had to set some time aside, remove distractions, connect to it on a daily basis and just practice meditation and it now forms a hugely important part of my day coping strategies.


It’s a proven way, but maybe if you try to before and like me dismissed it early. Find the way that works for you. There are lots of different methods, formats and ways of embracing meditation and bringing magnet to your toolkit of coping strategies.

6. Exercise

Meditation has been used for over thousands of years. Meditation is a good technique for slowing down the pace of life and quietly in the mind. Now when I first started meditation, I could not get on with it. I thought I was supposed to be sitting on a hilltop somewhere in the sunshine all zen thinking of nothing but peace and tranquility.


And I was thinking about everything. I couldn’t stop thinking. There are so many free resources for meditation available now. Lots of different formats and methods and I had to set some time aside, remove distractions, connect to it on a daily basis and just practice meditation and it now forms a hugely important part of my day coping strategies.


It’s a proven way, but maybe if you try to before and like me dismissed it early. Find the way that works for you. There are lots of different methods, formats and ways of embracing meditation and bringing magnet to your toolkit of coping strategies.

7. Nature and daylight


Daylight and spending time with nature seem very relevant. The theme for mental health awareness week this year is nature. Daylight, natural daylight gives us vitamin D which can improve moods you probably heard of the sad syndrome, seasonal affective disorder.  It’s something that can occur during times of the year when we get less natural daylight.

8. Your Hobbies - do something you enjoy

Do something you enjoy, just for yourself. What are hobbies? Get creative, paint, create a dance for your favorite song, write. Read inspiring books, learn something new. Taking yourself up using your imagination and taking yourself off into a world of different space where you’re using your imagination can be a really great way of protecting and improving mental health and a great coping strategy. We have a list of coping strategies.

9. Wim Hof Method

You may have already heard about the Wim Hof Method.  Win Hoff is from the Netherlands. He lost his life partner leaving him with children. Hof has said that his sadness over the loss of his first wife was formative in leading him to develop techniques to face low-temperature environments. Once he jumped into a frozen canal and he realized that when he was under this ice water he found some peace and tranquillity so he started to look into cold exposure and using a power breathing to influence his body by chemistry and he’s broke some amazing world records:


Hof set the Guinness World Record for the farthest swim under ice, with a distance of 57.5 meters. The swim at a lake near Pello, Finland was filmed for a Dutch television program, and a test run the previous day almost ended in disaster when his corneas started to freeze and he was swimming blind. A diver rescued him as he was starting to lose consciousness. 


On 26 January 2007, Hof set a world record for the fastest half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds 


So he claims that we can influence our own system through the power of breath. The power of breathing in a certain way has an amazingly positive effect on our physical health and our mental health. I tried the Wim Hof method and the breathing up. I absolutely loved it, feels like it was an active form of meditation so evolves from breathing in and only breath to full and then you have a period of attention when you just don’t take a breath and part of the science body is an increased oxygen depletion and carbon dioxide and then the body’s biochemistry will go around and have certain positive effects.


I’ve tried cold showers and take cold showers every day now. At first, it was hard to get used to it. The cold showers were sending signals to the brain to say – don’t panic, don’t shiver, everything’s fine, you don’t need to protect internal organs – and you find a space of peace.


Calm and tranquillity and instantly calm the mind. The Wim Hof method for me is absolutely valuable and this is what I mean about this lots of different methods of formats out there, this is one example of breatheology and it’s now being branded using our breathing to influence how we feel like a coping strategy and it’s proven Wim Hof method scientists tried to.


Everything  I’ve mentioned is free: meditation, mindfulness, nature, exercise doesn’t cost anything. Now it’s time to choose which one works for you. And remember no one will take care of your mental health as well as you do, and it’s not a shame or selfish to actively look after your mental wellbeing. Your mental health is equally important as your physical health. 

copyright@ Siren Training

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Coping Mechanisms

Mental Health First aid

Useful techniques to cope with stress and anxiety

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Coping Mechanisms

How can I cope with stress and anxiety?

You can help yourself by bringing some elements of positive psychology into your daily life. You need to build a self-care regime alongside developing healthy coping mechanisms. There are a variety of techniques and training options on how you can manage stress and anxiety. 

You learn how to manage your stress, it’s a process. There are some very simple techniques that you can implement at any given time. Try to identify your stress signature, by noticing when your stress starts and when your bucket is overloaded. Maybe it’s time to open the top and let some of that stress out. And you can do that through using some helpful coping mechanisms. And these techniques should not be reactive, rather they should be proactive. 

There are a vast array of different helpful coping mechanisms, some include simple things like breathing exercises, going for a walk, maybe even reading a book, participating in mindfulness yoga exercises or even sitting still and practicing meditation.

Breathing exercises

Breathing is essential for life. Fact. In simple terms, breathing is the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, if anything affects this system, it may stop working as it should. Interruptions to this process have shown to result in increased feelings of anxiety, in extreme cases even panic attacks. 

We interrupt this process unknowingly when we become overwhelmed with emotion, thus it is detrimental that we focus and control our breathing when we reach this state. In this case You could say that our respiratory system also has an inbuilt stress relief system, but we don’t necessarily utilize it in that way. Simple deep inhalations and slow exhalations, that is all it takes. It is something you could do discreetly. People around you won’t even notice it, but it can really help you to control the physical signs of stress. 

There is even potential that this exercise may very well be what keeps you comfortable and calm under pressure and stress. 

Try this simple breathing technique: 


5 ways to wellbeing 

You should proactively do things to help manage stress so it doesn’t trigger your negative thoughts and emotions. Some people walk or listen to music, others choose different forms of relaxation such as: meditation, gardening, taking a bath.


These are great things to do because you’re focusing on other things, bringing your attention to something that is positive and makes you feel pleasant. So you’re not worried about the rather difficult things going on in your life. 


Here is another little exercise which is quite useful. When you are worrying too much about the events of what happened in the past or you are caught up overthinking about what is going to happen. Stop. And give this a try. It is grounding and it takes just a few minutes:


Just ask yourself what 5 things can I see right now? Wherever you are now just have a look around and just see what 5 things you can see, it might be a car outside, it might be someone at the desk, a picture on the wall or it might be a piece of paper on your desk, it could be anything  –  5 things you see.


Now name 3 things that you can hear. What might be the sound of a car,  people talking, birds tweeting, what are 3 things you can hear? 


Think of 2 things that you can smell. So that might be someone’s lunch or you might smell something from outside or even something with quite a foul odour. What are 2 things you can smell?


Now try to remember 1 thing that you can taste. That might be the flavor from a coffee house this morning or from the lunch you just ate. What is the 1 thing that you could taste?


This very grounding exercise, focuses on 4 of the 5 senses. It helps you to calm your mind, lower your heart rate, bring your senses into the proper present, which means you’re going to be fully aware of your situation , you are going to be calm, collected and ready to tackle your problems


Activity Menu Ideas for Self-Care


Take a few minutes to identify what your stresses are and what your stress signature is. Then compile a list of helpful coping strategies, be sure to only add the strategies which you can actually implement.  When carried out you will eventually see your coping techniques are really good in helping you to manage your stress.

Here is a list of activities that can help you to build your emotional fitness. You can simply download them. 


Download All the Ideas


If you want to learn more about self care techniques you should follow Siren Training on social media, we regularly run free webinars on mental wellbeing. 


If you want to learn how to take care of your own mental health and help others get on one of the mental health first aid courses online or face to face. 

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It’s not just about selling courses. We aim to save lives.

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It’s so nice to hear that the work we do everyday, makes a difference. Saves lives.

We thought it was worth sharing.

Sebastian Zarenbski, a former student with Siren Training and his colleague Joachim jumped into action when he noticed a colleague collapse in work on Tuesday morning. Sebastian and Joachim work @JamesEngineer1 construction company. Read  our trainer @AshWebberLive letter:

Here’s a quick report from SEBASTIAN ZARENBSKI, one of my learners who on Tuesday of this week, saved someone’s life. He contacted Lawrie on the phone on Thursday and asked me to get in touch.

He attended one of Siren’s open courses at London Bridge. He said it was Jan ’18.

On Tuesday 24th September, he had arrived at his place of work. As he was walking up the staircase, he noticed a guy in front of him looked pretty tired. Suddenly, the man leant forward clutching his chest and then fell back hitting his head on the wall. He was unresponsive. Fortunately, Sebastian immediately conducted a primary survey & ascertained he was not breathing. He was able to brief one of his colleagues what to say to the emergency operator.

Sebastian began CPR. Fortunately, the defib was only on the next floor – so he arranged for it to be brought to him. CPR continued until it arrived. There was no response after one shock on the defibrillator. CPR continued until the next cycle. After the next shock, he began to cough, and Sebastian was happy with his breathing & rolled him onto his side.

At the point of being taken away by the ambulance, he was responsive. Current word is that the casualty is receiving further treatment in hospital.

Having spoken to Sebastian on the phone, he told me the casualty’s name is Hayden, approx. 40 years of age and to top it off, it was his first day with the firm. His new colleagues saved his life! Presently, Sebastian is happy to stay in touch and connect via FB etc. He’s happy for you to share the story.

Let’s just hope Hayden make a full recovery.

See you soon




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Fire Marshal Training

Our half day (3 hours) Fire marshal training courses are delivered by professional Firefighters. The attendees will learn basic fire safety procedures in the workplace and how to ensure your organisation is compliant with the law. 

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All you need to know about Fire Marshal Training

Our half-day 3 hours Fire warden training courses are delivered by professional Firefighters with teaching qualifications. The Fire Marshal course can be delivered at your venue, anywhere in the UK, or at one of our London venues. Attendees will receive advice and training which covers the full roles and responsibilities of a designated Fire marshal. They will also learn basic fire safety procedures in the workplace and how to ensure your organisation is compliant with the law. It is a legal requirement to ensure you have an adequate number of staff trained to handle the safe and successful evacuation in the case of a fire emergency. 

This course is designed for anyone wishing to obtain the skills, knowledge and confidence to monitor and control fire safety  in any workplace environment. 

The Fire Marshal training course covers the following subjects:

  • General housekeeping
  • Fire prevention and containment
  • Fire detection and awareness
  • Escape, drills and evacuation policy
  • Importance of an assembly point and roll call
  • Fire marshal responsibilities and legal duties
  • Record keeping
  • Fire Risk Assessment and the significant findings
  • Understanding fire extinguishers and how to use them
  • Types of fire extinguishers and their uses and limitations

There should be a set number of Fire Marshal’s at your workplace and there are a number of factors that would impact this:

  • The number of staff you have at your workplace
  • The risks present at your workplace
  • The layout of your premise
  • The number of visitors to your premise

Fire safety training is also necessary when new employees are moved into a building or changes have been made to the emergency plan. Furthermore, fire safety training is also advised when working practices and processes or people’s responsibilities have changed or any risks in a building have changed. As a result, fire warden training may be required if a person(s) with mobility issues has been employed  or a new member of staff has undertaken the role of a duty manager or responsible person.

The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order of 2005 requires employers to ensure that employees are provided with adequate emergency evacuation procedures and suitable fire safety knowledge including Fire awareness and Fire Marshal training. To conclude, fire safety training within any working environment is a legal requirement under this order.

Assessment will be ongoing throughout the course and certificates will be issued within 5 working days. 

Are you interested in fire marshal training in London? You should contact Siren Training today. We are a dedicated training company that was set up by a group of Firefighters in 2013. With excellent knowledge in First Aid and Fire Safety, we are the best company to carry out your fire marshal training in London. Our team are experts in what they do and deliver interesting, enjoyable, lifesaving skills to all sectors. Our fire marshal training in London equips you with the knowledge and skills to protect yourself and others in the event of a fire. This course involves identifying fires, carrying out fire procedures, evacuating staff and tackling small fires.

All our half day Fire marshal training courses in London are delivered by professional Firefighters. The training can either be carried out at your own venue or ours, it is really up to you. Attendees of the fire marshal training will receive their advice and training from a real Firefighter covering the full roles and responsibilities of a designated Fire marshal in the workplace. In your fire marshal training in London, you will learn basic fire safety procedures in the workplace and how to ensure your organisation is compliant with the law. You need to be aware that it is a legal business requirement to have an adequate number of employees trained to handle the safe and successful evacuation if a fire was to occur.

Fire marshal training is compulsory when new employees are moved into a building or changes have been made to the emergency plan. If you have changed working practices and processes or people’s responsibilities within the business, our fire marshal training in London is very much advised. Another situation where fire marshal training is needed is if a disabled person has been employed (for the first time) or a new member of staff has undertaken the role of a duty manager or fire marshal. Our fire marshal training in London is very much worth it and allows you to be prepared and confident in handling the event of a fire.

Are you interested in our fire marshal training in London? You should contact the Siren Training team today. Either give us a call on 0203 740 8088

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5 Tips for Children’s Fire Safety

kids and fire safety

5 Tips for Children’s Fire Safety

fire safety for kids

Add Your Heading Text HereWhen should you explain to your kids about the hazards of fire and how to prevent it? Explain what the biggest fire dangers are? Discuss how to protect your family and friends from a fire?

When most people think about fire emergencies, they don’t think it is something they will need to deal with in their lifetime. However in reality, if fire protection is not taken seriously, the consequences can be very painful. Fire not only takes property, it takes lives.

Fire safety is important for everyone, particularly those with kids and the majority of fire accidents are preventable. Here, we share tips on how to prevent this growing danger to protect your family and loved ones.  

What are the biggest fire dangers? The most common household fire accidents result from an unattended fire source. Take note of the following in order to avoid a household fire:

  • Don’t leave cooking unattended
  • Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure place away from small hands
  • Don’t use extension cords for heaters – this will help prevent high voltage incidents
  • Keep cables clear of any debris. Don’t hide them under carpets or rugs
  • Get your gas and electric appliances serviced annually
  • Don’t use tea lights on plastic surfaces – use an appropriate candle holder
  • Never leave candles unattended. Make sure they are completely out when leaving the house or before going to bed 
  • Ensure doors close properly within the door frame
  • Keep fabrics and furniture at least one metre away from heaters
  • Use a fire guard when children are around
  • Never dry clothing on top of a fire guard

Kids think fire is fun

For a child, fire is appealing because it is mysterious and fun. Children associate fire with excitement such as the thrill of candles on a birthday cake, fireworks and sparklers on New Years Eve, barbeques, etc. They tend to try to replicate what they have seen either when alone or with other children, which can result in fatal accidents.

Explain the risks of fire to your child. Even if they are not completely capable of understanding everything you say, if part of the message gets through, it could play a part in saving your child’s life from as young as 6 years old.

To make it appealing to your child, turn the message of fire safety into a game. For example, if your child finds an unattended lighter or matches and brings it to the attention of a parent, reward him or her for doing so.

Explain the dangers of fire - give examples

It’s very important to speak to your child about fire safety. Explain how fast fire can spread throughout the house and how difficult it is to stop. Offer real life examples and explain the potential life-threatening consequences.

Outline exactly how to act in a fire emergency. For example, if there is something burning in a room and smoke is present, advise your child that it’s dangerous to hide under a bed or in a wardrobe. Adults should teach children to call the emergency services, escape from the room and call an adult for help in this situation. It is imperative that children are able to recognise potential fire dangers and how to prevent them under the guidance of an adult.

Remember to lead by example as kids are constantly observing and imitating their parents. Before you leave your house, double check if the stove is off, the door of the fireplace is closed and the iron is cold and put away safely, etc while your child is present. Eventually, all of these lessons will form part of your child’s good habits.

Again, the learning process can be turned into a fun game or activity. Practice stop, drop and roll with your child. Role play a scenario where someone is caught in a  fire, then immediately do the stop, drop and roll to demonstrate how your child should react in a similar situation. Drop a blanket to indicate that fire is trapped. An activity like this can be really fun if you involve other family members and will make it easy to remember in a similar real-life scenario  

 Rehearse an evacuation plan with your children

Plan an evacuation route from your house in case of a fire and practice it with your family. Turn it into a family game and explore the best escape route from every room. Ask your child: What would you do in a fire emergency?” “ Which door or window would you use?” “Where is the family meeting point?” Plan it and do it!

Teach your child how to crawl on the floor and explain that it is better not to open a door if it is hot. Ensure your child knows how to open the nearest window in case of fire and knows how to dial 999.

Check smoke alarms

Test your smoke alarms at least once every two months. Identify dead batteries and replace them. Smoke detectors should be placed 10 feet from the kitchen and an alarm system should be inside every bedroom. Usually smoke alarms last a decade – it is highly recommended to replace them it after 10 years.

If you want to learn more about fire safety please visit Siren Training website.

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All you need to know about first aid courses

children first aid

Here is an expert advice choosing the first aid course or if you just want to know something more about life saving skills. Mat Walters is the founder of Siren Training here is his thoughts about first aid courses. 

first aid training courses london

What are first aid courses like?


A first aid course is not only very interesting and relevant to everyone, it’s also very enjoyable. Although the subject is a serious one, the course itself can be a great team-bonding day. It’s certainly not a ‘death by powerpoint’ kind of day.

People get to work together on common practical first aid scenarios that will empower individuals to step in to help in real-life, if needed.


Are first aid courses hard?


As long as learners participate and get fully involved in the course, there is no reason why anyone would find it too hard. Yes, people have different abilities and strengths, but a good first aid instructor can use many different methods of assessing competency.

Verbal questioning, written questioning, group work, manuals, videos and practical elements mean that most people get the opportunity to gain the skills required. Some people do fail the course but most companies offer a free re-sit course.


Who must have first aid certification?


A first aid course is an invaluable life-skill that everyone would benefit from. Most people sit on a first aid course as part of a workplace requirement, but most of us spend time with family and friends each day. Learning life-saving skills and gaining important knowledge of first aid is open to everyone.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) highly recommends that every workplace has provisions in place to be able to deal with an emergency.


Most common workplaces that require first aid trained staff:


  • Sports Industry
  • Hotels and Hospitality
  • Office Environments
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • School Teachers
  • Nannies / Childcarers

paediatric first aid

What age is the best to start your first aid courses?


Technically, you cannot gain a first aid qualification until you’re 16. However, there is no reason why young adults and children can’t sit on shorter, introductory courses and gain a basic understanding of first aid.

Many schools run bespoke courses from year 7 and upwards. Not only do they gain the knowledge, but it also encourages youngsters to enrol on a full first aid course in the future.


You haven’t taken a first aid course, your friend is not breathing, you’ve called 999 but responders are 10 minutes away. What should you do?What are some useful things to know for first-aid situations that you’re not taught at a first-aid course?


If you’ve never sat on a first aid course and you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to realise that doing something is better than nothing.

If a casualty has stopped breathing, the cells of their body start to die after only 3 mins. Therefore, waiting around doing nothing isn’t going to help. After checking that it’s safe to do so, the first thing to do (after calling 999) is to shout for help. If you’re in a populated area, the chances are someone in the vicinity will know how to do basic CPR.

Stay on the phone to the operator- they are trained to guide and help in this situation. Place your phone on loud speaker to free up your hands.

Whilst shouting and waiting for help, start doing compression only CPR. Place both hands on the centre of the chest and compress 5-6 cm. Get into a rhythm and aim for 2 per second. Try to keep doing this and shouting for help until the Ambulance arrives.

It could make a huge difference.


Should I take a CPR and first aid certification course online or in person?


First aid is a hands-0n, practical subject, therefore it’s much more beneficial to attend in person for at least 1 day. You will gain far more from demonstrations and practical exercises than you would from an online course. However, there is plenty to be gained in terms of knowledge from an online course.

Where can I find good course about first aid?


There are plenty of options for first aid courses when looking through search engines online.


What is reasonable price for a first aid course?


Anything around £100 for a 1 day course and £200 for a 3 day course is reasonable. Group courses for up to 12 people can be the best option for companies’ and organisations. Group prices can range from £400-£600, which works out much cheaper per person.


How do you choose a first aid training provider?

Make sure that a certificate is issued for 3 years on completion of the course and ask who their awarding body is.

I.e First Aid Industry Body (FAIB), Qualsafe or Highfield. This isn’t essential but first aid training companies’ that have awarding bodies will be getting audited and checked for their performance, so you should get a better quality course.

Siren Training is a dedicated training company that was set up by a group of Firefighters in 2013. Our team have a wealth of knowledge and experience in First Aid Training Courses and Fire Safety. We deliver interesting, enjoyable, lifesaving skills to all sectors and industries. You can choose a course which suits to your needs. We provide paediatric first aid coursesemergency first aid at work course, which includes CPR training. 

Try to find a reputable company that uses real-life emergency service staff as their instructors. They will have far more knowledge and experience and deliver a more interesting course.


Two tips before sitting on your next First Aid course

First Aid Course London

Here is a short 5 min video of two top tips where our Senior First Aid Trainer, Ash Webber irons out some of the myths around First Aid training and helps you get in the right mindset before sitting on one of our courses.

He offers his two top tips to ensure your get the most from your next first aid course.


How to prevent heat exhaustion?



Well, it’s looking like that barbecue summer has finally arrived after all those years of promise! Along with the barbecues comes the traditional baring of the white legs that haven’t seen daylight in the winter months!

But the dash to turn the white flesh into a rosy pink means often we don’t take the precautions to protect ourselves from the heat of summer. Here are a few things to look out for in the heat of summer and keep safe.

How to prevent heat exhaustion?

A lot of people get heat stroke and heat exhaustion mixed up. Here’s the difference. When the body core temperature goes up by a couple of degrees, we start to sweat, that’s the way the body attempts to cool us down. So, the very first thing is to take on water to support the loss.

This first stage is what is known as heat exhaustion. It’s when you get very sweaty, but you also feel shivery, often getting stomach cramps and feeling sick.

The first step is to bring the core temperature down, lots of water sipped to rehydrate but also soak towels and drape them over the head of the person to cool them down. Don’t go for fizzy drinks or alcohol. The composition of these drinks, actually makes it is harder for the body to intake the valuable water, so keep it simple, and opt for tap water or a mixture of 50% water and 50% pure fruit juice.

A person can help prevent heat exhaustion by staying hydrated and cool.

Other ways to prevent heat exhaustion include:

  • drinking fluids during and after exercise
  • avoiding exercising in direct sunlight in warmer months
  • avoiding prolonged exposure to hot, humid weather
  • wearing loose-fitting clothing when exercising or when in warm weather
  • keeping electrolyte beverages or oral-rehydration salt preparations on hand
  • avoiding sugary drinks and sodas
  • not increasing workload or pace too quickly
  • exercising in a well-ventilated area or while using a fan
  • seeking air-conditioned, indoor areas when outdoor temperatures are over 90°F
  • applying sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying often
  • in the summer, scheduling strenuous activities during the early morning or evening
  • increasing fluid intake when using medications known to increase the risk of heat exhaustion
  • keeping hydrated when working in hot, humid environments, such as factories, laundry facilities, and kitchens
  • wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing when exercising or working in warm weather

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are meant to warn the body that it is becoming overheated.

Heat cramps, the mildest type of heat-related syndromes, usually occur before heat exhaustion. Treating heat cramps as soon as they occur may prevent heat exhaustion from developing.

Symptoms of heat cramps include:

  • heavy or excessive sweating
  • muscle pain and cramps
  • thirst
  • fatigue or tiredness

Heat cramps can be treated with fluids and rest. A person should also seek shade or an air-conditioned building as soon as possible.


Distinguish heat stroke vs. heat exhaustion

Heat stroke is the real concern here. A lot of people say they have had this but often it’s mistaken for heat exhaustion. The big difference is that with heat stroke you stop sweating.

Your body recognises that It is losing fluid so stop sweating. The problem is, now there is no way of natural cooling so as the core temperature increases, a severe headache develops and eventually fits, while in severe cases death.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If someone is overheating but not sweating call 999. As you wait for the emergency services to arrive follow the steps above for heat exhaustion but continually monitor the person breathing and keep the emergency services up to date.

Here are common signs of heat exhaustion:

  • weak, rapid pulse
  • excessive sweating
  • increased internal body temperature
  • muscle weakness or cramps
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • cold, pale, damp skin, sometimes accompanied by goosebumps
  • low blood pressure or light-headedness when standing up or bending over
  • vomiting
  • irritable or aggressive behavior
  • red, flushed face
  • rapid, shallow breathing


What causes heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is most often caused by a combination of physical exertion and warm weather.

Additional factors known to increase the likelihood of heat exhaustion include:

  • high humidity, usually over 60 percent
  • liver or kidney conditions
  • intense, strenuous physical work
  • underlying conditions that increase the chances of dehydration, including diabetes or hyperglycemia
  • injuries where a portion of the body is compressed or pinned down by a heavy object, also known as crush injuries
  • drug abuse
  • heavy or long-term alcohol use
  • smoking or tobacco use
  • being overweight
  • certain medications, especially those that increase the risk of dehydration, including medications for depression, insomnia, allergies, and poor circulation
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • being under 4 or over 65 years old

If heat exhaustion is suspected, a person should stop doing exercise or physical activity immediately. A person with heat exhaustion should also drink fluids as soon as possible.

Further tips for treating heat exhaustion include:

  • seeking out a cool, shaded area or going indoors
  • loosening clothing
  • lying flat on the back
  • taking a lukewarm or cool shower
  • placing a cool, wet cloth on the face and chest
  • in severe cases, putting ice packs under each armpit and behind the neck
  • drinking 1 liter per hour of drinks that contain electrolytes, such as Gatorade or Gastrolyte


How to rehydrate?

Make an at-home oral-rehydration solution by following these steps:

  • boil 5 cups (1 liter) of water
  • remove from the heat source and stir in 6 teaspoons (tsp) of sugar and ½ tsp of table salt
  • cool before drinking
  • add natural flavorings in the form of fruit juices, honey, or maple syrup

Some drinks and foods can also act as oral-rehydrating formulas, including:

  • gruel (cooked cereal and water)
  • rice water or congee
  • green coconut water
  • fresh fruit juices, ideally orange, pear, or peach
  • weak, non-caffeinated tea
  • carrot soup
  • banana puree mixed with water

Recovery time

In most people, symptoms of heat exhaustion will start to improve within 30 minutes. However, if symptoms do not improve after 30–60 minutes, seek medical attention.

A doctor will treat heat exhaustion with one or two liters of intravenous fluids and electrolytes.

If fluids and rest do not resolve symptoms, a doctor will perform a blood work-up and other clinical tests to rule out other potential causes.

If heat exhaustion is treated promptly, the individual will be fully recovered within 24-48 hours.


Fire Safety – Drills, Evacuation plan and Training

fire drill training

On the 18th November 1987 a fire broke out at around 7.30pm in London. Nothing unusual about that you might think, except this was at king’s cross tube station. 100 people were injured, and 31 people lost their lives that night in a fire that may well have been able to be prevented if fire safety measures had been put in place. And it was from that event that we developed the role of the fire marshal. This meant someone was assigned to check and monitor the escape routes and assist in the fire safety evacuation of a building.

The first problem is most don’t respond to a single stimulus. We’ve all done it. You sit there, you discuss it with the person at the next desk, you might even stand up to see if anyone else is moving. Then you settle back down until a fire marshal comes in and tells you to leave. Studies have shown that people need at least a couple of methods of warning. Not just to confirm that’s it’s genuine but also because the next thing that happens is people always leave a building by the route they entered. Which may not be the safest way and often they will pass a fire exit to go the route they know!

Understanding this can help your company to plan a quick safe Fire Evacuation plan. In addition to this regular fire evacuation drills are vital. These should be done every six months. Every employee should have one every 12 months according to the Fire Safety in the Workforce page on the GOV.UK page.  If you have a high staff turnover, you may need to carry them out more often. Whether you tell them about the upcoming Fire Drill is dependent on your Fire Risk assessment. A large majority of Fire injuries result from the evacuation so we would advise telling (at least) the dedicated Fire Marshals of the drill so they can assure the safety of staff.

This drill is the chance to see if you can keep everyone safe. Run it and get someone to time it and observe it. Then review it. If you are not completely happy and are still concerned about your fire safety compliance speak to Siren about how we can help.

But in real evacuation things get more complicated. The lifts are off limits, so we have the problem of how to evacuate someone that can’t get down the stairs. This is when we go for a piece of kit called the Evacuation chair. This chair is like a wheelchair except that it will go downstairs. Now you’re thinking any wheelchair would go down stairs but that’s a terrifying experience for the occupant. Well, these ones different. Using tracks that look like caterpillar tracks on a digger they grip the staircase nosing’s and allow you to control the speed of the descent. It’s an easy bit of kit to use. But very necessary if you have individuals who would pose a risk to others in a regular evacuation drill (ie, have mobility issues).


First, decide who goes in it. Consider not just people who can’t walk easily but those who may struggle in an emergency. Like asthmatics, people with heart conditions, those prone to panic attacks. Then show them the chair, let them see it assembled and demonstrate it.

Allow them to decide if they want to use it. Then consider visitors to the building. Are there regular visitors onsite that may need help in an emergency? How can you let them know? A sign at reception advising them to make any conditions that may require assistance in an emergency is a good idea.

The chair itself is very straightforward, simply pull the seat down, pull up the handles and put the person into the chair in wheelchair mode. You can then push them to the staircase and with a quick change to the position of your hands on the handles the chair will easily descend the flight of stairs.

It is a little scary the first time. Every instinct is reminding you and the person about to trust you with their lives that wheelchairs don’t go downstairs very well, so get a person to talk and reassure the occupant the whole time. It’s the moment you go over the first step, it does take a lot of trust, but remember this chair has been designed to do this job. There are a few models on the market but the chairs all basically do the same. But if you wanted advice contact us for helping to choose the right chair, then let us come and train you in how to use it. Or if you’ve already got one make sure the staff have been shown how to use it. Our courses not only demonstrate the chair but we can also advise and or develop on your evacuation plans and fire safety drills.

Learn more about Fire safety

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