Businesses have an obligation to ensure the safety and well being of their employees who work in their facilities. To that end, a firewarden should be identified to assist in case a fire breaks out in the work place. Since 2006, having a qualified warden available in the workplace is mandatory during all times the business is open and staffed. Employers, who do not have a trained, qualified firewarden available, are violating the law. Of course, remaining compliant with employment regulations is a primary reason for ensuring proper firewarden training is supplied to the designated agent. However, there are additional advantages that will help ensure the safety of employees, which is the more important reason for ensuring that this occurs.
Responsibilities of a Firewarden
One of the first things that firewarden training will teach the designated responsible party, is the responsibilities inherent in the job. Basically, the warden is responsible for ensuring everyone gets out of the building safely and the building is secured properly. Specifically, they are responsible for:
Understanding the role of firewarden and the risks that may occur in a fire
Maintaining the processes and procedures that need to be met if a fire breaks out
Learning how to properly use fire fighting equipment supplied in the work place
Shutting fire doors in the building, as evacuation occurs, to prevent the spread of smoke
Ensure complete evacuation of the building, assisting anyone who requires it, to leave safely
Contact neighbouring buildings to apprise them of the situation
Gather employees in a predetermined safe area so all employees are accounted for
Contact and coordinate with fire fighting professionals who will deal with the fire
It is advisable for the warden to ensure all employees are aware of proper fire safety policies and arrange fire drills regularly to practice evacuation procedures.
Where to get Proper Firewarden Training
Once the volunteer employees are identified who are willing to take on the responsibility of being the acting warden, training needs to occur. There are several places this can occur. Searching the Internet will give many different options in your area where you can attend training and certification classes. There are various organisations that specialise in this type of training and others that provide a broad spectrum of training options for employees and employers.
However, the best place to attain professional training regarding fire safety and awareness is your local professional fire-fighting organisation. Most of them provide training courses for wardens in the firehouse, or at the employer’s site. Check your local area for the courses available. It is the law to provide a firewarden at all times when the business is open and has employees in the building. While it is only mandatory to have one person who is responsible for these tasks, a savvy employer will send more than one employee to this training. That way, when the other person is unavailable due to illness or time off, there is at least one back up available at all times.
If you own a business then you’re going to need health and safety training for your staff. Worksafe UK are specialists in this area and also incorporate Firewarden Training. For more information on how this can effect your business please visit http://www.worksafe.uk.com/