FIRE SAFETY TRAINING AND FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT
Fire safety management in the workplace is very complex process. It includes five equally important segments:
- Fire Risk Assessment
- Emergency Evacuation Plan
- Fire Marshal Training
- Fire Evacuation Drill
- Emergency Evacuation
Our Fire marshal training courses in London are delivered by professional Firefighters. Fire Marshal courses can be delivered at your venue or at ours. Attendees will receive advice and training from a real Firefighter covering the full roles and responsibilities of a designated Fire marshal.
The introduction of the “Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005”, requires a ‘responsible person’ working in any non-domestic premise to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment on said premise. We have a pool of qualified fire safety consultants who can attend your venue to relieve you of this responsibility.
Fire Extinguishers need to be kept in good working condition or else they are worthless. Siren Training can provide annual maintenance inspections of every extinguisher type at your workplace. Hassle free service keeping you compliant under the “regulatory reform order of 2005”.
A Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan (FEEP) should be in place for every workplace that employs more than 5 people. If you are unsure how to draft a FEEP please get in touch and one of our expert Fire Safety Consultants will conduct a site visit and create a document for you. Turnarounds for FEEP documents take approximately 3 working days.
Workplaces should aim to run at least one fire evacuation drills per year. The responsibility lies with either Building Management, Landlords or Company Managers. If you would like assistance on how to conduct an effective fire drill, please contact us. We will arrange a suitable time to conduct a drill and report on any improvements.
Siren Training can offer a complete fire safety package to take the hassle out of all of your fire safety needs. Our services include; fixed wire testing, electrical works, emergency lighting inspections, fire alarm testing and inspections as well as a fire safety documentation review. Sound like a headache, give us a call.
Fire Safety Training in the Workplace
Workplace fires can have devastating effects for people and businesses. Businesses can find premises destroyed, equipment damaged beyond repair and have important data and paperwork lost forever. However important we may think these business assets are, it does not compare to the catastrophic effects of fire on people.
Most fires are preventable, and it only takes a thorough fire risk assessment to identify the hazards and implement safe working conditions to ensure fires don’t start and if they do, are contained by fire designed safety measures.
If your workforce, from senior management to the newest employee understood the basic elements of the fire triangle which highlights how fires are started, You would be able to implement preventative measures that make for a safer working environment and potentially save lives.
Why is fire safety important in the workplace?
The obvious answer is Life. FIRE KILLS. Have a look at the statistics in England 2016 – 2017.
Fire Safety Procedures
22000 TOTAL FIRES
There needs to be fire safety procedures put in place for every business. These procedures may even vary from room to room. Staff should be aware of this and procedures should be posted in each room.
What to do if a fire is detected or suspected?
- Raise the alarm to warm others that there is a fire. This may be by activating a fire alarm call point, or even yelling “Fire!” or using an air horn in a small building
- Call the fire service or make sure someone else has done so
- Evacuate the building safely using your workplace’s evacuation procedures
What to do if you hear the fire alarm?
- Stay calm
- Act immediately
- Leave the building through the nearest exit if safe to do so
- Otherwise, use an alternative exit
- If you re the last to leave the room, shut windows and doors (if time allows)
- Go to the assembly point and make sure you are accounted for by the person in charge
- Take your time to gather things or finish something before reacting to the alarm
- Wait for someone else to react first.
- Use the lift (unless it has been determined ahead of time to do so as part of a personal plan)
- Attempt to fight the fire if you are not trained to do so
- Go back into the building without being given the all-cleathat it is safe
Fire Safety Briefing
It is a legal requirement that employers have a fire safety procedure in place and that these are made aware to all staff. Many employers choose to have this part of their induction for new employees, but all staff should be given refresher briefings to help remind everyone on what to do in the event of a fire.
All staff should be made aware of:
- The emergency procedures
- Where the fire exits are located
- Where the designated assembly points are (and which one they should go to if there are multiple points for different parts of the building)
- Fire prevention measures that are already in the building, including equipment
- Why fire doors need to be kept shut or kept free of obstructions
- How to report any fire safety concerns
- Any known fire alarm tests, so that all other alarms should be treated as real.
Visitors should be made aware of the fire safety procedures applicable to them. Also, some staff members may need additional help in getting out of the building quickly, so an appropriate personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) should be put in place that ensures their safety. This may include use of additional equipment like an evac-chair to assist them down the stairwell. Employees should be trained in using this type of equipment.
Alternatively, if occupants of a building require additional assistance, refuge areas are often situated in protected areas of a building with communications linked to building management. Arrangements need to be made in advance to ensure safe evacuation.
What can cause a fire in the workplace?
The main reasons fires start are:
- Faulty or overloaded electrical equipment
- Hot work practises (such as welding)
- Portable Heaters
- Housekeeping and an accumulation of rubbish
To prevent the causes of workplace fires, we must first understand fire behavior.
Fire is the visible product of a chemical reaction called combustion. Combustion occurs through heat, fuel and oxygen.
FUEL must HEAT to its ignition temperature and there must be OXYGEN to sustain the visible flame.
Energy is required to supply an Ignition source. Take away the heat and there will be nothing to start the fire. Sources of ignition include:
- Electrical equipment
- Faulty/damaged wiring
- Naked flame
A fire needs oxygen to grow and continue burning. Oxygen is usually ever present but we can reduce oxygen when we shut windows and doors. Building design can also help by dividing areas into compartments known as compartmentation.
If you take away any of these sources, then a fire does not have the ammunition to get started or it will die out.
How does fire spread?
The transfer of heat through gas. Heat and smoke forms a moving cloud of hot gases that will rise above cooler air generating a build up of heat at higher points. These hot gases can move around a building through windows open doors and externally through open windows. This is why when there is smoke in the room, you should get as low as possible.
This is a transfer of heat through a material. A fire may start in one room but the heat can be absorbed by structural metal beams and transfer to other rooms. A great example of conduction is when you stir a pan of hot water using a metal spoon. Eventually the end of the spoon will become hot.
The transfer of heat through heat waves. The heat waves produced by a portable heater can ignite an object without coming into direct contact. A good example of heat through radiation is the effects on human skin whilst sunbathing.
This is the most common way fires can spread. Fires will burn when it comes into contact with heat. The heat will build up enough for combustion to occur.
Backdraught and Flashover
Backdraught and flashovers occur after the ignition source has been established and in most cases the fire has had time to develop.
occurs when a fire has burnt up all or most of the oxygen within its surroundings. This usually happens in a compartment that is poorly ventilated. The hot smoke and gases will remain in the compartment. The compartment is now rich in heat and fuel and only requires a burst of oxygen to be introduced to have an explosive effect.
occurs during a developing fire. The fire is rich in all sources of combustion and therefore gives off super-heated gases. Once these gases reach their ideal temperature they ignite into flames and the fire becomes fully developed. Like backdraught this transition is explosive.
Backdraught and flashover are deadly even to the fire services. This is the reason that you must GET OUT and STAY OUT of any building involved in fire.
What is a fire hazard in the workplace?
A hazard is anything that can cause harm. Here are a few examples of how a fire can cause harm, even death
Smoke inhalation – This is the main cause of fire deaths. By nature we misjudge the dangers of smoke. We think because smoke is not a physical barrier we can easily pass through it unharmed. In fact, firefighters refer to smoke as ‘hot gases’ and would never move through it without specialist breathing apparatus. Its important to understand the make up of smoke.
This toxic cloud is made up of:
- Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen Cyanide that will make it difficult to breath, make you drowsy and is fatal.
- Acrolein, Sulphur and Nitrogen will irritate and sting your eyes and airway
- Phosgene and Dioxins are found in biological nerve agents and effect the central nervous system making it difficult to control basic movements.
Other fire hazards
- Fire and heat – Our human instincts tells us to move away from heat during a fire but the heat given off will damage airways quickly. Burns come in 3 levels of severity but even a small burn can be deadly.
- Depleted oxygen levels – Fires need oxygen and will leave very little in the air to breathe, knocking someone unconscious, eventually leading to death.
- Falling objects – Fires will cause internal and structural damage. This can cause the ceilings to collapse, with falling beams and other dangerous heavy objects that could cause crushing injuries.
Lack of escape route – If there is no sufficient planned route or a fire is blocking an area, this can cause people to be trapped.
It is difficult to quantify how much of a role people play in accidental fires. However, studies have shown that human behaviour often plays a part in injury or loss of life during a fire. This behaviour is not only identifiable but more importantly preventable.
Here is a list of common traits shown in humans during a fire emergency.
- Not reacting or reacting slowly to a fire alarm actuating.
- Looking for guidance or for someone else to react first.
- Using an unsafe evacuation route because it is the closest or most convenient.
- Not realising how much time it takes to get out of the building.
- Underestimating how quickly a fire develops.