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How to make the most of fire and evacuation training

Jan 19, 2022

Having a fire evacuation plan is one thing, but knowing how to execute it is another. 

Did you know that less than 25% of people when randomly tested can locate their nearest fire extinguisher from memory without searching the building? This disappointing stat shows workplaces have a long way to go when it comes to fire safety training. 

Training your staff in the use of fire equipment and your facility’s fire emergency evacuation plan is non-negotiable: it could mean the difference between a fire risk that’s mitigated quickly or one that spreads out of control.  Remember, prevention is always better than a cure. Having adequate hands-on fire safety training reduces the risk of starting a fire in the first place, eliminating damage caused before it even happens. Here are some of the key ways that your workplace can make the most of fire safety training through your organisation’s evacuation plan

What kind of training is required?

In line with Australian Standards, all members of the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) must be trained in accordance with the emergency response plan created by your facility. Regular ongoing training must be conducted to ensure all relevant staff are familiar with their roles, responsibilities and are able to confidently perform their duties should an emergency situation occur.

It’s important to remember that training can include activities for both pre and post emergency. There are a number of tools suited to the many different kinds of training – including using first-attack fire equipment, fire drills or simulations for visitors or occupants who may be disabled or have mobility restrictions.

 

RACE as a training tool

Often people naturally forget a lot of their training in the panic and confusion in the chaos of a fire. While your workplace or healthcare team may already be trained in your organisation’s fire plan, much of this can be lost when panic sets in.

As a simple 4-step fire plan that everyone in your team can remember, RACE can be a useful training tool to call on in these situations. It stands for: Remove, Alarm/Alert, Confine/Contain, Extinguish/Evacuate. Here’s what’s involved:

Step 1: Remove: The first priority should always be making sure people are safe. While it can be tempting to try and fight off a fire first, getting people out of harm’s way is first and foremost. 

Step 2: Alert/Alarm: Alerting external authorities and sound all internal alarms, is a crucial second step. That way you’ve got backup in place if you can’t put out a fire on your own.

Step 3: Confine/Contain: Reducing the damage the impending fire may cause is next. Before trying to put out a fire, you should ensure the fire, smoke, and toxic combustibles are confined to the area of the fire as much as physically possible.

Step 4: Extinguish/Evacuate:  Only now is it time to try and put out the blaze. In accordance with AS3745, all fire equipment and relevant information should be found on your building’s evacuation diagrams.

 

Understand your evacuation diagrams

You may know that evacuation diagrams are essential to any fire evacuation plan – but did you know that training can help you better understand them? Situated throughout common areas and general paths of travel in areas where they are easily seen, evacuation diagrams show vital information that is essential in case of emergency. They’re incredibly useful, highlighting the nearest fire equipment, designated exit points, emergency assembly points and evacuation routes. Don’t let your team’s first time reading an evacuation diagram be during a real evacuation! Evacuation diagram training can save precious time in an emergency. 

 

Do you feel like your staff are equipped to manage a fire, should the risk present itself? If the answer is no, it’s probably time to amp your training regimen. Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.