A guide to fire warden training
Fire wardens play a massive role in all building evacuation plans, which is why they require the best training available.
Along with your emergency plan, having building fire wardens offers an important risk control measure to ensure that your workplace is prepared should an emergency situation occur. Building fire wardens are responsible for overseeing your building’s evacuation plan in an emergency, working alongside building managers, security and other critical personnel to ensure the most seamless evacuation possible. Being a fire warden is a big responsibility. It’s a very important role that can save lives, which is why it is so important for wardens to have the appropriate training, in line with the Australian Standard 3745-2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities. Here’s a guide to what they must learn in order to be effective in a real life fire emergency:
Preventing fires all together
Remember: when it comes to fires, prevention is always better than a cure. Fire wardens play an important role, not only in the event of an emergency, but also in preventing them from happening in the first place. One way that fire wardens assist in the prevention of fires is in the ongoing promotion of fire safety amongst residents and workers. During training, wardens won’t just learn for themselves – they’ll be learning to train others. It will be their role to educate staff and occupants about the various fire hazards in a facility and how to avoid them. This may involve ensuring there are adequate evacuation diagrams throughout the facility and re-training occupants in the fire safety information from time to time.
How to lead people in a chaotic situation
One of the most crucial skills of a good fire warden is leadership. In the event of a fire it becomes their role to safely, effectively and calmly evacuate occupants to the designated assembly points. During a real emergency, this is no easy task, as it is human nature to panic and act irrationally in stressful situations. Fire wardens must be trained to be effective leaders, helping stear people in the right direction, while also checking assembly points to ensure nobody is left behind. It may also be the role of the fire warden to assist those with mobility impairments to find safety and to alert the authorities about a blaze.
Practical fire firefighting knowledge
In preparing for an emergency, a fire warden must be well-versed in the layout of the facility, with extremely clear knowledge of where the emergency exits and fire safety equipment are located. Not only should they know where these things are, they must also ensure that the emergency plan and all equipment is fully up to date and meets Australian Standards. When it comes to the unfortunate event of an emergency, fire wardens are the first lines of attack. As a result it is critical that they are not just proficient, but highly effective at operating fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire blankets and fire hose reels.
Creating fire simulations
When it comes to emergency evacuation, practice makes perfect. Fire wardens must learn how to create effective fire drills and evacuation simulations that reinforce people’s understanding of the evacuation process. Simulation fire drills are a useful way for the fire warden to use their training, while also preparing the rest of the staff for a real-life emergency. During a simulation, fire wardens should practice their own role: helping guide people to the assembly area, conducting head counts and checking that nobody has been left behind.
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