Fires are scary. They frighten us on a truly primal level, especially when occurring indoors and making us feel trapped. Periodic fire drills held by your company, where everybody strolls towards the exits while texting and chatting, cannot adequately simulate the smoke, confusion and terror that a real fire entails. Someone who is quite capable, normally, of remembering emergency numbers, the location of exits and how to use a fire extinguisher might well forget all of this when confronted with a real emergency.
To adequately prepare workers requires professional training. This is especially relevant to organizations at increased risk of fire, or where the elderly, children or other vulnerable persons are present. A short training course may avert massive damage to your property, save lives, and is in any case part of your legal obligation to safeguard those visiting or working on your premises.
A Stitch in Time
A large proportion of building fires, damaging property and endangering lives, are fundamentally the result of negligence. Unfortunately, it is part of human nature to sacrifice common sense to temporary convenience, and this behaviour is one aspect professional fire safety training addresses.
It is just too easy to stack boxes in an exit lane, try to run 20 amperes through an unsuitable extension cord, or store flammable materials any which way. These risk factors may not even be noticed by someone not trained in the practicalities and mind set of fire safety.
The Importance of Reactive Measures
If the worst should happen despite your best preventative efforts, quick and appropriate action is clearly of the utmost importance. Of course, the first priority is to get everybody out of the building as quickly as possible, and a trained fire marshal is that much more likely to be able to organise a mass of frightened people into following his instructions. In addition, every single employee should know the basics of using on-site fire fighting equipment – fast reactions while the fire is still controllable can mean the difference between inconvenience and disaster.
Benefits of Training by a Professional
By its nature, much of corporate training is regarded by the attendees either as a kind of holiday or an unwelcome waste of their professional time. However, training is often a legal or operational necessity, and bringing in an outsider reinforces the message that it is a matter to be taken seriously.
Courses are available at various levels, depending on the role of any given employee. At a minimum, designated health and safety personnel will benefit from a course appropriate to their function. This will not only enable them to conduct site assessments to spot potential risks before you have to answer awkward questions from your insurer, but allows essential knowledge to trickle down through your organization, either through formal seminars or in daily conversation.