Fire safety training Schools
In the event of a fire, the actions of teachers/lecturers and other relevant persons (e.g. pupils/students) are likely to be crucial to their safety and that of other people in the premises. All teachers/lecturers should receive basic fire safety induction training and attend refresher sessions at pre-determined intervals. Teaching staff will play a critical role in the evacuation of the premises with children relying on them for guidance. It is essential that they are fully conversant with all the aspects of the fire strategy for the premises, not only the evacuation procedure, but day-to-day fire prevention and protection measures.
You should ensure that all staff (including part time and temporary), pupils, students, visitors and contractors are told about the emergency plan and are shown the escape routes. The training should take account of the findings of the fire risk assessment and be easily understood by all those attending. It should include the role that those members of staff will be expected to carry out if a fire occurs. This may vary in large premises, with some staff being appointed as fire marshals or being given some other particular role for which additional training will be required.
Pupils and students should also be given some form of fire safety training so that they are aware of the actions to be taken in the event of a fire and measures to mitigate the effects of fire.
In addition all staff should receive training about:
• The items listed in your emergency plan;
• The importance of fire doors and other basic fire-prevention measures; • Where relevant, the appropriate use of fire-fighting equipment; • The importance of reporting to the assembly area;
• Exit routes and the operation of exit devices, including physically walking these routes; • General matters such as permitted smoking areas or restrictions on cooking other than in designated areas; and • Assisting disabled persons where necessary.
Training is necessary:
• When staff start employment or are transferred into the premises; • When changes have been made to the emergency plan and the preventive and protective measures; • Where working practices and processes or people’s responsibilities change; • To take account of any changed risks to the safety of staff, pupils, students or other relevant persons; • To ensure that staff know what they have to do to safeguard themselves and others on the premises; and • Where staff are expected to assist disabled persons.
Training should be repeated as often as necessary and should take place during working hours. Whatever training you decide is necessary to support your fire safety strategy and emergency plan, it should be verifiable and supported by management. Enforcing authorities may want to examine records as evidence that adequate training has been given.
Training of pupils/students
It is good practice to provide pupils and students with some form of fire safety training so that they are aware of the actions to be taken in the event of a fire. This should include instruction on the:
• Details of the emergency plan;
• Importance of fire doors and other basic fire-prevention measures; • Importance of reporting to the assembly area; and
• Exit routes and the operation of exit devices.
Staff expected to undertake the role of fire marshals (often called fire wardens) would require more comprehensive training. Their role may include:
• Helping those on the premises to leave;
• Checking the premises to ensure everyone has left;
• Using fire-fighting equipment if safe to do so;
• Liaising with the fire and rescue service on arrival; • Shutting down vital or dangerous equipment; and
• Performing a supervisory/managing role in any fire situation.
Training for this role...