In the workplace, the role of the fire warden is significant. They ensure that all your fire safety provisions are in order. This includes things like fire safety equipment and ensuring everyone is trained on what to do in a fire and has practised evacuating the building. In the event of the unthinkable, fire wardens quickly and safely steer all staff and visitors out of the workplace.
To fulfil these duties, fire wardens must be adequately trained and that training must be kept up-to-date and current.
With the range of workplace courses available, it’s easy to lose track of how often should fire warden training be refreshed. This blog will provide the answer and reinforce why refresher training is necessary.
What Is Fire Safety Training?
Fire safety training courses aim to educate trainees on the risks of fires, what causes them, how to react and how best to respond.
A good course will examine the fire triangle, how fires can spread, fire signage, firefighting equipment and the role of employers and employees. It will also explain what the role of a fire warden is.
A range of fire safety courses can be delivered in-house or online. They include:
- Fire Warden/Marshal Training
- Fire Safety Awareness Training
- Fire Extinguisher Training
- Evacuation Chair Training
Why Is Fire Safety Training So Important?
Fire safety training is essential because fires are devastating. The human cost of a fire can be trauma, life-changing injuries and fatalities. A building fire can cause irreparable damage, costing thousands to fix and requiring much time to repair.
By law, employers must provide fire safety training to their employees.
Fire safety courses should cover the following:
- How to identify fire hazards
- How fires start and spread
- Fire safety equipment
- What to do if a fire breaks out
You want employees and visitors to react and get out safely in a fire situation!
In 2007, high street retailer New Look suffered a cataphoric fire at one of its central London locations. The fire broke out when the store was packed with staff and customers. Even though the alarm sounded, it soon stopped.
An investigation found that staff showed no regard for the alarm and no evacuation plan was in place. Nobody reacted to the growing fire. This highlighted the gross lack of fire safety training.
New Look was fined £400,000 and had to pay an additional £136,000 in costs. This could have been prevented with simple fire safety training and frequent refresher training.
Why Is It Important to Refresh Fire Safety Training?
Fire safety training is about preventing fires as much as what to do in the event of a fire. For this reason, wardens must refresh their knowledge to continue carrying out their prevention duties.
Frequent training keeps knowledge fresh and front of mind. It reduces complacency too, which can lead to workplace hazards remaining unchecked.
Refresher training is more than just a revisit to what was last taught. It must consider any legislation updates and changes to work premises, such as fit-outs and changes in personnel.
How Often Should This Training Be Refreshed
It is recommended that safety training is refreshed at least annually. Suppose there have been significant changes in the work premises, the nature of the work – like using flammable substances, or high staff turnover. In that case, training may be needed more than once a year.
Training may be needed a few times a year if you work in higher-risk environments such as hotels and care homes or carry out high-risk work at events or in the construction industry.
Enforcement notices may also recommend that fire safety training is refreshed.
Other factors to consider to help work out when you should refresh your fire warden training include:
- Frequent staff fire safety breaches – unauthorised smoking
- Regular fire-related incidents or near misses
- General lack of training
- Poor fire safety awareness
- Work patterns – part-time and hybrid workers
- Increase in workplace footfall – more visitors
What Is Included in A Fire Warden Refresher Course?
As well as considering any significant legal changes, a typical refresher course will include:
- Fire warden duties
- Use of extinguishers
- Fire hazard spotting
- Fire prevention
- Coordinating a safe evacuation
Is Fire Safety Training Only for Fire Wardens?
No. Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, so everyone needs to be trained.
All employees should know the basics. Senior management should receive training that includes responsibilities specific to their role. Young people and interns should be trained on keeping safe in the workplace, including what to do if a fire breaks out.
Adding an element of fire safety to the induction program is an excellent way of introducing this matter to your workforce at the beginning of their work journey.
Everyone should be aware of what fire wardens do. This simple infographic is a great way to keep the duties of a fire warden fresh in everyone’s minds.
Learn More About Fire Safety with Us
We all need to refresh our knowledge at some point. Things change, so keeping updated is a must. Our fire warden training course is the perfect way to refresh your knowledge and learn something new.
The course is packed with details on the roles and responsibilities of fire wardens, how fires start and how to prevent them, how to carry out a proper risk assessment and the evacuation process.
You can study at a time that is convenient to you because it is delivered in bite-size sessions. And in the event of a fire alarm test, you can pause it and resume, after a successful evacuation drill.