Why Fire safety training should be a part of workplace training in every organization?
Fires in the workplace
Fire is a major risk that affects all organizations, irrespective of the type of industry sector. Fires occur frequently all over the country. Statistics show that in the USA, firefighters respond to fire once every 24 seconds. Every year 38,000 fires occur at industries and manufacturing firms. 5,000 fires in educational institutions and 7,400 fires in eating establishments are statistics that show how common occurrences of fire are.
Fire can happen anytime and its results can be disastrous. It can lead to damage to property and equipment. It also leads to financial losses for the organization. A bigger risk from fires is injuries and even deaths that can occur. A fire can burn important documents. All these results in losses for the organization. It may lead to financial loss and severely affect the reputation of the organization.
A study by the National Fire Protection Association has revealed interesting statistics about fires in the workplace:
- 29% of fires result from malfunctioning or fires in cooking equipment in workplaces.
- 12% fires happen because of electrical problems.
- 11% fires are because of problems with heating equipment.
- 10% fires are intentional.
- 9% fires are a result of smoking.
- 3% fires are because of office equipment malfunctioning.
The above statistics show that fire can happen due to various reasons. Fire safety is, therefore, very important in every organization. Fire safety training in the workplace is necessary so that every employee knows the importance of fire safety.
Hazard recognition and prevention
To keep fire hazards at bay, know what to look for. I highlighted a few above for your reference. So what’s the rest? You must demonstrate some commitment to handle these hazards in the best possible way.
Here’s some ideas for you:
- Top-notch housekeeping. Speaking to the office manager. Make sure your office is structured, safe, free of clutter and heat.
- Any heat-producing devices (including the use of photocopiers and coffee makers) should be kept away from fragile materials that can catch fire in an eye’s blink.
- Ensure safe working conditions for wires and chords. Most industrial fires result from defective equipment.
- Do not overload any of your wall plugs or power cords.
- If, for whatever reason, there is a need to store flammable fluids in workplaces, make sure you store them in a secure zone so that they can not be easily handled due to carelessness.
- Ensure escape routes and emergency exits are accessible from all angles.
- Fire extinguishers must be current and frequently tested to ensure they are in good working order.
- Communicate on-site smoking risks to any employee. Have a dedicated smoking zone in the workplace with adequate precautionary fire measures to mitigate occupational fire hazards.
- Install alarms on each floor. Keep extra battery on hand and check your smoke alarm regularly.
- Keep emergency phone numbers readily available.
Fire safety training
Fire safety training in a workplace is extremely important as it helps employees to recognize the need for fire safety. Such training sensitizes employees on the care and precautions needed to prevent a fire. Apart from creating awareness, the law mandates fire safety training in some places. It also ensures that an employee knows what he needs to do when there is a fire. It would also protect the organization against potential lawsuits.
All these reasons are why every organization must have structured fire safety training. The contents of ideal fire safety training would include:
- The fire triangle and how a fire starts
- Precautions to take to prevent a fire
- Safety checks needed to prevent the occurrence of fire
- The system in the organization for employees to report any risk that can cause a fire
- Types of fires
- How to put out a fire?
- How does a fire extinguisher work?
- How to use a fire extinguisher?
- What is the procedure to follow in case of a fire?
- What are the emergency procedures employees should follow to evacuate the building in case of a fire?
The above are some of the contents an ideal fire safety program would have. The organization should customize the training program specific to the needs of the organization. The organization needs to include the following in the training:
- The type of the organization, whether it is office-based or has a factory/manufacturing plant.
- Use of machinery and equipment potentially causing fires and precautions during use.
- Electrical wiring, equipment used, and precautions needed.
- Use of chemicals in the organization that could use fires and how to take care while handling them.
- The products of the company, its storage, risks involved in storage, and precautions.
When an organization considers all these points, it would ensure that the fire safety training is complete and comprehensive. Such training ensures employees are aware and can manage incidents of fire.
When should you train your employees?
Fire prevention training should be continuous to keep everyone up-to-date and safe. Your employee should undergo frequent refresher courses to avoid forgetting the details. New workers should also be educated.
When anything changes concerning the building’s fire safety threats, you need to educate the workers to keep them up-to-date. You can change your assembly point or emergency plans or get new fire-fighting equipment. When something happens in your company that leaves people vulnerable to errors due to confusion, you need to refresh their awareness.
Online safety programs
An organization can conduct fire safety programs for employees through classroom training. The problem here is to assemble all employees in one place. This can affect regular work schedules. An online safety course would be more effective as an employee can do the course at his convenience. Fire safety programs can be undergone online. Apart from convenience, online training allows employees to learn at their own pace. Online training programs use multimedia like audio, video, graphics to make training more effective.
Many leading training providers offer fire safety training online. A leading training provider like Cognno offers a variety of training safety programs that are well designed and effective. The HR Manager of the company can go through the list of fire safety training programs and decide which would be the ideal program. Different programs cater to different employee cadres, including workers. Some of the programs include:
- Fire prevention and safety course
- Fire extinguisher course
- Industrial fire safety course
- Flammable and combustible liquids course
- Emergency action and fire prevention course
Why should you consider fire training for your employees?
There are several benefits to spending more time and energy in a well-planned occupational safety training program beyond the obvious reasons – legislation and moral obligation. Here’s a few:
- Lower your companies insurance premiums
- Less productivity loss in case of a fire hazard
- Increase employee satisfaction and create a safe workplace environment
- Reduced worker compensation for medical leave, in case fire hazard injuries
- Avoid liability lawsuits
- Future prevention or any incidents
All these courses would be valuable for employees of an organization. The employee attending this course not only understands the importance of fire safety but is also equipped to deal with any fire-related incident. Fire safety training is vital in organizations and must be a part of workplace training.