Training faq

Fire Safety Training top 6 questions.

In this article we will look at some frequently asked questions about fire safety training courses. Who should go on a fire safety training course and the legal issues surrounding fire safety training. Who can give fire safety training and the costs. The top 6 questions asked about fire safety training are those listed below:

  • Is fire safety training a legal requirement? Is fire safety training mandatory?
  • Why fire safety training is important. 
  • What is fire safety training?
  • Who can give fire safety training?
  • How often should fire safety training be carried out?
  • How much does fire safety training cost? 

Let’s take each question in turn.

Is Fire Safety Training a Legal Requirement? Is Fire Safety Training Mandatory?

Let’s look at some regulations that concern fire safety.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) covers fire safety in non-domestic premises. It requires the person in control of a premises to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. Employers must provide information, instruction and training to employees about fire precautions in the workplace.

The Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 impose duties on construction site managers to assess and minimise fire risk from work activities by elimination, reduction and control of ignition sources and combustible materials. 

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) (SI 2002 No.2776) puts duties on employers to protect people from risks to their safety from fires, explosions and similar events in the workplace form dangerous substances such as solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), dusts from machining and sanding operations and dusts from foodstuffs.

So, yes fire safety training is a legal requirement for any employer and the training is mandatory.

Why fire safety training is important.

This question gets asked in various ways, such as:

  • Why is fire safety training in the workplace important?

  • Why is fire safety training important?

Each year, UK fire and rescue services attend over 35,000 fires at work in which about 30 people are killed and over 2,500 are injured. Fire and explosions at work account for about 2% of the major injuries reported under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR 1995). 

Cooking appliances and electrical equipment account for over 60% of the total number of accidental fires. The majority of fires occurred in: 

  • private garages and sheds (22%)
  • retail distribution (14%)
  • restaurants, cafes, public houses etc (9%)
  • industrial premises (other than construction) (8%)
  • recreational and other cultural services (6%)

Consequences of Fire

The main consequences of fire are:

  • Death - although this is a very real risk, relatively few people die in building fires that are not in dwellings. About half of all deaths are due to being overcome by gas or smoke. 
  • Injury - about 10% of all personal injuries reported each year are caused by fire.
  • Building damage - can be very significant, particularly if the building materials have poor resistance to fire and there is little or no built-in fire protection;
  • Loss of business and jobs - it is estimated that about 40% of businesses do not start up again after a significant fire. Many are under, or not insured and small companies often cannot afford the time and expense of setting up again when they probably still have old debts to service;
  • Environmental damage - from the fire and/or fighting the fire - fire-fighting water, the products of combustion and exploding building materials, such as asbestos cement roofs, can contaminate significant areas around the fire site.

So, Fire Safety Training is important to help reduce these numbers.

What is fire safety training?

What is fire safety training? The first step in almost any reduction in risk is to make people aware of the hazard, in this case fire, what harm it can cause and how they can help reduce the risk. This is the purpose of fire safety training. A basic fire safety training course would cover ALL the following topics:

Background subjects

Fire Safety Background 

  • Introduction to Fire Safety
  • Consequences of Fire
  • The Regulations

Understanding Fire

  • The Fire Triangle
  • Classification of Fire
  • Fire Spread and Heat Transmission

Managing the Risk

Assessing the Risk 

  • Fire Prevention

  • Fire Detection and Alarms

Fire Fighting 

  • Extinguishing a Fire

  • Portable Fire Extinguishers

  • Extinguishing Media

Emergency Procedures 

  • Evacuation of a Workplace

  • Emergency Plans

  • Fire Prevention

  • Fire Drills

  • Reacting to Fire

Where the fire risk assessment has shown a need for a Fire Marshall or Fire Warden, then a more advanced training course is required that has more detail on evacuation procedures. Advanced fire safety training course suitable for Fire Marshalls and Fire Wardens.

Who can give fire safety training?

There are no special requirements to give fire safety training, a small employer may feel capable of giving the training themselves. Especially if the environment is classified as a low risk from fire.

However it is essential that the training is carried out and logged and records kept of when and who carried out the training. Many people now use online training or e-learning as the most cost effective and convenient way to carry out fire safety training courses.

A good provider will usually also provide an LMS system where the training records are held online so that they can be produced without any effort. Commodious make no charge for the use of their LMS system it is covered in the course price.

How often should fire safety training be carried out?

Here is what the HSE have to say about this (taken from their web site):

Fire drills and training

You need to train new staff when they start work and tell all employees about any new fire risks.

You should carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results. You must keep the results as part of your fire safety and evacuation plan.

So, there is no requirement to carry out fire safety training on an annual or otherwise basis. But, as with all training, people forget things and can become complacent. It really is down to individual judgement, but we think every 3 years is good practice.

How much does fire safety training cost?

How much does fire safety cost is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. Costs vary enormously depending on whether it is face to face training, numbers of people, online or e-learning.

Our online fire safety awareness course is £10 + VAT with a free LMS. Discounts for bulk buying are available and it is also available in bundle deals with other useful and essential health and safety compliance training courses.

Our Fire Marshall online training course is £15 + VAT with a free LMS, and the same bulk buying and bundle deals as the fire safety awareness course.

To compare our two fire safety training courses, click here to view our dedicated fire safety page.