How Often Should Fire Safety Training Be Carried Out?
Imagine a scenario where a fire breaks out within a small office building.
The employees have never undergone fire safety training, and as a result, they panic and do not know what to do. Some try to use the elevator, which is a big no-no in the event of a fire, while others break windows to escape, putting themselves at risk of serious injury.
If you think that’s a one-off issue, you’re wrong!
The World Fire Statistics Bulletin reports that, in a year, fires result in an estimated 100 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries in Australia.
Suppose the employees had undergone basic fire safety training against fire hazards. In that case, they’d have known how to evacuate safely through the building, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
But how often should this training be conducted?
Here, we’ll discuss how frequently employees should receive fire safety training and the need for it to help ensure maximum safety, and preparedness and prevent fires.
Next read: Find out why fire safety training is important and how it can reduce your exposure to risk.
How often should fire safety training be carried out in the workplace?
Fire safety training should be carried out at least once a year to ensure that all employees and visitors are up-to-date on the latest fire safety procedures and evacuation plans.
When is fire safety training necessary?
There are 4 scenarios where Fire safety training should take place in the workplace:
- When you onboard new staff to your business – To familiarise the team with the fire safety procedures and equipment.
- Refresh existing employees – To update the existing staff members with any changes in the fire safety protocols and to refresh their prior learning.
- New equipment – When new equipment is introduced, or existing equipment is modified.
- A significant change to premises – It’s also important to conduct fire safety training after significant changes to the business premises, such as a renovation or a new location. This ensures that employees are familiar with new emergency exits and evacuation routes.
However, you may consider more regular training based on different aspects, such as:
- The size of the building
- The type of industry
- The number of employees
Certain industries, such as manufacturing or construction, are high-risk. Therefore, fire safety training should be conducted more frequently, such as every six months. Also, the level of fire safety training required may change.
Depending on your state or territory, the requirements for fire safety refresher training varies. However, as a general rule it should be completed every 12 months to stay current with any changes in laws and regulations. This aligns with the Australian Standard.
Is it necessary to keep records of fire safety training?
Yes, it is generally necessary to keep records of fire safety training in Australia. Work health and safety legislation in each state and territory typically requires employers to keep records of any workplace training provided to workers, including fire safety training.
This can, however, differ between states/territories and it’s important. For example, in New South Wales, the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 requires employers to keep a record of the training provided to workers, including the nature of the training, the date on which the training was provided, and the name and job title of the worker who received the training. This record must be kept for at least 5 years.
Similarly, the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 in the Australian Capital Territory require that employers keep a record of any training provided to workers, including fire safety training. The record must include the name and position of the worker, the date on which the training was provided, and the nature of the training.
While it’s important from a legal perspective, keeping accurate records has other benefits for employers. It ensures that any skill gaps can be identified, which will allow for the necessary training to be completed. This helps reduce risks and keep productivity at a desired level.
Must you keep records of refresher training?
Although there’s no specific mention regarding refresher training record keeping, you can still keep them for several reasons.
For example, having refresher training records can demonstrate to stakeholders that employees are up-to-date on their skills and knowledge, and it can also serve as evidence of compliance with industry regulations.
When should night shift employees receive fire safety training
Night shift employees should receive fire safety training at the start of their employment or when they first assume the role of working the night shift. This training should ensure that all employees are aware of all the fire safety procedures.
Also, refresher courses would help maintain their knowledge and skills in fire safety, particularly for those working in high-risk environments.
What’s the best way to refresh fire safety training
Frequent refresher courses are what you need to ensure that all your staff are up-to-date on fire safety. It’s important to have more than just one or two fire drills every few years, as you’ll lose a great deal of information and skills if such long gaps between sessions tend to occur.
There are three ways to conduct fire safety refresher training:
1. In-person training
In-person fire safety training is an interactive and hands-on approach to learning fire safety. This method involves an instructor leading a group of trainees through various fire safety procedures and demonstrating the proper use of fire safety equipment. In-person training allows trainees to ask questions and receive immediate feedback.
eLearning is a convenient and flexible way to receive fire safety training. It involves taking online courses that provide theoretical information on fire safety. This method is handy for individuals who cannot attend in-person training or need to refresh their knowledge.
Although eLearning can provide a comprehensive understanding of fire safety, it does not provide hands-on experience or the opportunity for immediate feedback. So, it’s important to supplement eLearning with practical training and assessment.
3. Blended Training Software
Blended training software is a combination of in-person training and eLearning. This method allows trainees to learn the content through interactive modules, videos, and other multimedia resources and then apply their knowledge through practical assessments and hands-on training sessions.
You can analyze the assessment results and easily integrate them into the company’s records using tools such as Zapier. This method allows for a flexible and efficient way to receive comprehensive fire safety training and the ability to track and monitor individual progress and performance.
Ensuring Employee Safety and Preparedness With Better Training
Consider online training platforms for fire safety training, making it easier for organizations to track employee progress and ensure compliance with fire safety regulations.
Software such as Cloud Assess makes training accessible and convenient for employees, allowing them to complete it at their own pace and time. Get a free trial of the software to evaluate its effectiveness and make an informed decision.
Here's some related articles you might be interested in
Deliver better training for hands-on learning
Start your 14 day free trial today and discover how Cloud Assess can transform your business.
Rated 4.8 / 5 from hundreds of independent reviews