Is Fire Safety Training a Legal Requirement?
In this article, we answer the popular question “Is fire safety training a legal requirement?”
The short answer is yes.
Firstly, it is a legal requirement that all employees undergo basic training at induction. Secondly, refresher training should be given at regular intervals. Thirdly and most importantly, the training must be carried out by a competent person. In other words, someone with suitable and sufficient skills and knowledge.
Moreover, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that employees should receive adequate fire safety training.
In conclusion, employers have a legal obligation to provide their staff with complete and relevant information concerning fire.
What training do I need to provide?
So for general fire safety awareness, your training should cover four key areas:
- Fire prevention, company rules and regulations
- What to do in the event of a fire
- Equipment and good practise
- Fire alarms.
Who needs to receive this training?
You need to train everybody who you employ and anyone who works on your premises including:
- Full-time staff
- Part-time staff
- Employees on zero-hours contracts
- Security staff
- Cleaners and contractors
How often should I carry out this training?
Employees should receive their first fire safety awareness training as part of their induction. To ensure staff remain familiar with emergency procedures refresher training should be carried out annually.
However, if anything changes within your workplace, such as a new manufacturing process or equipment, further fire staff training should be undertaken. Similarly, if the layout of the workplace changes resulting in different escape routes, additional training should be given.
More frequent training should be carried if:
- your business has a high turnover of staff
- your company has a higher risk of fire
- you are responsible for hotel guests
- you have vulnerable residents or patients
What about training for fire marshals?
Fire marshal training is more detailed than general fire safety awareness training. Your fire marshals will have specific responsibilities to ensure the safety of others in the event of an emergency. Therefore their training needs to be more in-depth.
Your fire risk assessment may highlight job roles that require more specific training. Because of the employee’s particular responsibilities. These job roles might include:
- Security staff
- Engineering operatives
- Care attendants
- Control room workers
Also, practical fire extinguisher training may be required. For instance, if you expect fire marshals or any other staff to tackle small fires, this training is needed. Repeat this training every six months.