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Feeling the Heat: SMEs Lacking in Fire Safety Awareness Training

Posted: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 11:34

A recent survey of 1,000 UK employees uncovered concerning findings about the lack of fire safety training inside small and medium-sized businesses.

More than a third of SME workers reported not receiving adequate fire safety training, and many were not aware of how they should react to the fire alarm sounding on work premises. 22% of those asked said that, in the event of an alarm, they would look to see what others were doing before taking action themselves. More worrying still, 13% reported that they might simply ignore the alarm, and 4% would try to locate the fire rather than evacuating the building.

It is a legal-requirement for all organisations with more than five employees to carry-out regular risk assessments to identify workplace hazards and prevent rather than remedy accidents and injuries. However, more than half of respondents reported that they didn't think their employer had carried out a fire risk assessment (and 29% didn't know either way). Ensuring that risk control measures are in place and that training is offered to staff members with the intention of eliminating workplace hazards is a basic requirement of health and safety regulation – and this should take place before and alongside other forms of control (fire doors, protective clothing, extinguishers etc.).

Informing, training, and supervising employees on how to mitigate and handle the risk of fire is an underlying requirement for employers – in fact, all business owners have a duty of care to ensure that their staff members are safe. As Wayne Lysaght-Mason (MD at IronmongeryDirect) rightly states: 'having robust fire safety procedures in place in the workplace is of the utmost importance. Failure to implement a proper fire safety plan not only puts people's lives at risk, but can lead to prosecution and fines for those responsible for fire safety in the building.'

DeltaNet International's RoSPA approved 'Fire Safety' course covers all the basics of fire-safety in the workplace, including how to prevent and extinguish fires, and how to safely evacuate the building in the event of a fire. The course also explains employees' responsibilities when it comes to fire awareness and highlights the common causes of workplace fires for reference.

Additionally, we offer two microlearning courses, 'Don't get Burnt' and 'Fire – Can you Handle It?' to accompany and help keep fire safety techniques fresh in learners' minds.

Looking for a guidance on completing workplace Risk Assessments? Click here.

Tags: Compliance, eLearning, Health and Safety; fire safety; Risk Assessments; Evacuation; Fire drill; workplace hazard;