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How You Can Improve Your Business's Fire Safety Training

The risk of a workplace fire is not something anyone can take lightly. Despite this, fire safety training is often thrown in during orientation for new employees. Your workplace fire safety program should not be relegated to one item on a long list of paperwork and orientation meetings. By boosting your safety training, you can prevent it from getting lost in the shuffle.

As a recent article in Occupational Health & Safety magazine points out, effective fire safety training is especially important for new employees because they can often be more easily influenced. Once an employee has settled into a position, it may harder to create new safety habits.

Clear, concise training can help an employee start out with awareness and knowledge, but fire safety is most effective when it is consistently enforced. These tips can help create a stronger fire prevention program:

  • In addition to formal training, bring up fire prevention and safety at other times, such as audits, monthly inspections and regular rounds. Pose casual questions to employees, and use the answers to revise your training.
  • Show new or concerned employees your building's fire safety features. Show the location of features like sprinklers, fire-resistant furniture, dampers, fans, fire doors and alarms and explain how they work. You should also point out where the risk of fire is greatest.
  • Encourage situational awareness among employees. In addition to basic safety training, encourage employees to be aware of their surroundings. Help employees consider what happens if a fire blocks their usual path out of the building. Show them where fire extinguishers are - and how to use them. Real examples of fires in similar work situations can help illustrate your point.

By making your fire safety trainings effective and consistently reinforced, you can improve employees' response when the worst happens.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Raising Awareness in Your Organization," Keith Bilger, October 2014

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