Fire awareness training

Fire awareness training - using a fire extinguisherFire awareness training
is required for most employees, depending on the findings of your fire risk assessment. HSMC do not give a lecture and do not give a dry list of what to do and what not to do. The aim of the fire awareness training is to be engaging, to make people more fire-aware, to realise just how readily and how fast fires develop and why the safeguards are provided. By utilising this approach they will modify their behaviours far more effectively than is seen from simple instruction.

To assist with this we have invested in high quality fire simulation equipment which can create fires which behave in ways which mimic Class A, B and C fires, including such events as flare-up when an attendee doesn't completely extinguish a paper fire, or the fast motion experience in a burning liquid fire.

Fire Awareness Training for Employees: course outline

  • Aims
    To make employees more aware of how fires start, spread and are controlled. To instill a general respect for fire and make them more aware of fire risks in the workplace.
  • Course duration
    Approximately two hours.
  • Suitability
    Suitable for all employees. No writing or reading of text expected.
  • Attendee numbers
    Up to 15 per course. Any more can mean prolonged waiting during the live fire element.
  • Handouts
    Not applicable to this course - if they are trying to make notes we are doing the training wrong. We want to get them to change behaviours and their general awareness which will come from the training experience itself, not from detailed revision of notes.
  • Certificates
    Attendance certificates are included.
  • Prices
    Please contact us for a quote. Discounts available for multiple courses per day.

Fire Awareness Training: course content


The opening session aims to open attendees' eyes to the scale of the risk, both domestically and at work.

Fire ignition
Including the basics of the fire triangle (important when preventing fires start and also when fighting them), common sources of ignition and what people can do to prevent these situations arising. We use a lot of anecdotes of our own experiences in fire safety, giving numerous real-world issues and examples.

Development of fire
How fires grow and how they spread, including fuel sources. There is a strong focus on how fast fires spread and on how little time there is to react, highlighting the need for preventive action.

Containing fire and preventing it from spreading
This is one of the most important sections of the fire awareness training, covering escape routes, fire doors, etc. We really try to get attendees to appreciate this part of fire safety as it is the component whcih gives people the chance to get out of a building before the fire traps them.

Fire extinguishers - use on a live fire
This sessions starts with a very very quick overview of the classes of fire, (afterall, if the office is on fire do we want them to raise the alarm and get out, or correctly identify the technical class of the fire??). We look at the types of extinguishers available with a discussion of how each of them work and their suitability for different fires. There is then the chance to work out those hooligan tendencies and use the extinguishers by going outside to have a go on the fire simulation equipment. This is not just a quick blast of a CO2 on some burning petrol in a tray, but requires the attendees to correctly aim and move the extinguisher across the fire to put it out. See below for more information on the safety of this.

Action on discovering a fire
What to do when they see a fire. We will incorporate the client's own procedures in this (if you have them, if not we'll use a standard procedure and you can always have a copy of it to use as the basis for your brand spanking new in-house system).

Fire Awareness Training Summary
Review of the content including the use of videos of real fire situations to drive home to them how important behaviours are in controlling fire risk, both in preventing fires starting and, should one break out, in how people respond in an evacuation. Finishes with a verbal question and answer session to gently test the attendees comprehension of the key points.

The fire awareness training simulator

IFire awareness training with extinguishern the past we've used a tray with a thin layer of burning petrol which was good, but we could do better, so we've invested in an all-singing all-dancing fire simulator. This has a double ring of gas burners with the burn being controlled electronically, depending on how the attendee is using the extinguisher. This is done by electronic wizardry with the equipment being able to tell where the extinguisher is being pointed, for how long, how hard, and whether it is good enough to put the fire out. If attendees get too close it doesn't work meaning remaining at a safe distance is built into the training. There is also a dead-man's switch which the trainer holds ensuring if anyone does get over-enthusiastic and gets too close to the burner, the fire is extinguished immediately, and we really do mean immediately.

So, they get to really work at putting a fire out, in a meaningful way, but it is very safe. And they usually have a great time doing it!

Expiration of certificate

To be clear, fire awareness training does not 'expire' on any set date and it does not have any set duration of validity. Employers are required to provide regular training but that training can also include fire drills or other information and reminder sessions. As such, fire awareness training is only one element of a fire training programme and DOES NOT have to be repeated every year unless you specifically want to. Companies supplying certificates with 'expiry' dates are trying to pull the wool over your eyes!

HSMC recommend that fire awareness training is done every three years or so, mixed with drills and other reminder sessions.

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