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Why Training Of Fire Safety Procedures Should Be Important To All Businesses

Aug 27, 2008
In the modern world all business owners and bosses should be acutely aware of the requirement of fire safety training for staff members, in both legal and moral terms. Of course liability is a concern in a world gone mad with lawsuits but additionally; ensuring that staff members have the knowledge to cope with the event of a fire, and how to evacuate safely and swiftly is an essential business responsibility. As well as coping with fire, adequate safety training should also act in the preventative sense, helping to reduce the chances of ignition and spread.

It is a fact that despite a greater emphasis on fire safety in the workplace, many workers still die in fires on business premises annually. This is normally because training has been neglected by managers; naturally any manager who disregards the importance of safety training will have a large moral burden should injury or death occur to any members of staff. As well as the human costs, the financial repercussions are also worth noting. The monetary cost of some fires can run into the millions, through lost profits in terms of trading and liability suits after the event. Insurance can lessen the effects although training should still be an essential part of any safety strategy.

Fire occurs when three elements combine; any effective training program will include this information and contain ways in which to keep these fundamental ingredients separate. The three are an ignition source, a fuel stuff and oxygen. An ignition source can be anything from faulty electronic components to cigarette ends that have not been extinguished properly. Nearly any material can fuel a fire, although special preventative measures should be used with materials that are particularly flammable. Not much can be done about the oxygen element, but training should ensure the first two elements are controlled effectively.

Another purpose of staff fire safety training is to construct and implement a plan to cope with a blaze should it break out. Having effective measures not only reduces the risks of fire but also gives staff members the vital knowledge of how to battle minor blazes using extinguishers and also evacuate the premises swiftly and safely. Additionally, regular refresher courses should form part of any management's health and safety planning.

Naturally taking on an inferno should in nearly all cases be left to the professionals. However, an effective training schedule will give members of staff the vital knowledge of how to recognise and utilise the different forms of fire extinguisher. Extinguishers are tools that should only be used by those with the correct knowledge; often the wrong type of extinguisher can make a blaze worse, for instance water extinguishers should never be used on electrical and flammable liquid fires.

It is normal practice to ensure that a least one member of staff has additional training in order to run and manage safety procedures and evacuation. This person will normally be known as the fire marshal and is a vital role in any business. This marshal or warden should not only ensure the safety of staff members but should be able to note the effects of the blaze and relate this information to the professionals on their arrival.

All businesses will need to enact some form of fire safety training in order to be compliant with the law. As previously stated, legal and moral obligation is a powerful reason to pursue this course of action. While some businesses may be put off by the price of hiring a trainer, no price is too high when considering the lives of others.
About the Author
Business expert Thomas Pretty looks into the importance of fire safety training for staff members in companies.
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