How To Promote Fire Safety Awareness In The Workplace
The risk of fire within a workplace is one that needs to be constantly assessed and managed. One of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of fire is to educate staff and promote fire safety awareness.
In this article, we’ll look at how the ‘responsible person’ and business owners can effectively and efficiently educate their employees to reduce the risk of workplace fires and potential injuries. The aim of this article is to cause employees to be aware of risks and even carry out their own small fire risk assessments during the working day. This, needless to say, is not a replacement for official fire risk assessments but does cause employees to stop and think about everyday fire risks.
Promoting fire safety within the workplace is primarily about education. Do not assume that your employees thoroughly understand what causes a fire to start, spread, or be extinguished.
Educating your staff on fire and the Fire Triangle, whilst basic knowledge for some, is the foundation for understanding the rest of fire safety and procedures. Employees should be able to name the 3 ‘ingredients’ that create fire using the fire triangle and thoroughly understand how removing one aspect can extinguish the fire.
Identify Fire Hazards
Next, employees should be able identify potential sources for each point of the fire triangle within their business.
Employees should be trained to understand and identify potential sources of heat or ignition. This could be machinery that gets hot, electronics and plug sockets, through to sources of friction and even light bulbs.
Staff should also understand and be able to identify sources of fuel for a potential fire, such as stacks of paper, waste materials, oils and plastics.
Fire Risk Assessment Failures
Understanding common risk assessment failures and being open and transparent about previous and current fire risk assessments is an important method of allowing employees to see the dangers within their own workplace and environment.
Employees should know about assessed risk within their workplace, the hazards outlined and any potential failures and the consequences.
This should help employees to understand the scope and implications of their actions as well as how to avoid failures and maintain safety in future.
More than just ‘what might catch fire’
Following the above steps, it’s possible for employees to become focussed on what might cause a fire and disregard some of the wider aspects of fire safety and awareness.
A complete and holistic approach to fire safety awareness in the workplace involves employees understanding that it’s more than just ‘what might cause a fire’. It involves looking towards the potential future and understanding what might cause harm in the event of a fire. This could be anything that might inhibit proper procedures during a fire, such as blocked fire escapes, misplaced or damaged fire extinguishers, as well as being aware of the people most at risk during a fire.
Proper emergency procedures
Part of your duties as the ‘responsible person’ is to plan for an emergency and train staff for these eventualities. However, this usually involves a simple training routine to ensure that all employees understand escape routes.
Employees should also be aware of the position of fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, alarms, evacuation chairs and fire meeting points.
Correct fire safety awareness training is one of the most important ways of ensuring that your business and employees can prevent fire and stay safe in the unfortunate event of a fire.
We offer tailored Live Classroom and Practical Training Sessions for your business, handling real risks and procedures in your own work environment. We also offer Fire Safety Training materials so that employees can learn at their own pace in their own environment.