City Fire Training (Fire Training London) have set new fire marshal training London dates. The next fire marshal course in London will be held on 28th January 2014 and places are limited to 20 persons per course.
Attendees will each receive a certificate of attendance after completing the course and will have the opportunity of tackling a small fire using portable fire extinguishers.
A four hour fire service strike will take place at midday today. The strike is about proposed changes to the fire fighters pension scheme that could see all frontline personnel working until they are 60 years old.
The row centres on issues of competency – this when a frontline fire fighter could fail his medical check and be dismissed and not paid his/her pension until they are 65 years old, despite paying in 12% (and rising to 16%) of their wages in pension contributions.
The Fire Brigades Union believe fire fighters (men and women of 60 years of age) could be placed in danger, as well as members of the public. Some news pundits believe the series of strikes could continue until the next general election.
City Fire Training Ltd believe that businesses and organisations could now be at greater risk if they have a fire during one of these strikes. Although fire authorities have a duty to provide fire cover during strike action, it will be well below normal standards of cover.
What’s the difference between a fire warden and a fire marshal?
How often should fire wardens be trained?
Should we carry out a roll call or sweep the building?
…and then an unusual question…
Should fire wardens act as evacuation buddies?
Regular readers of this blog will know the answers to the early questions and if you are a new reader go to our website Fire Training London or City Fire Training to find out the answers, but the last question we will answer here.
The Fire Safety Order requires a responsible person of a building or premises to have arrangements to evacuate persons from a building in the event of an emergency and sufficient suitably trained persons to assist with the evacuation. Government guidance notes detail arrangements for fire wardens and fire marshals and many fire training companies will offer advice on how they will assist with the fire evacuation. Further guidance (Means of escape for disabled people) talks about the need for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for disabled staff and appointing and training evacuation buddies. The guide mentions meeting a disabled person at the work station (ie desk evacuation) or at a prearranged point (ie a refuge). This would then strongly suggest that fire wardens should not act as evacuation buddies as both need to act quickly as soon as the fire alarm sounds.
What is the difference between a fire marshal and a fire warden? This is a common question to our office! There is no difference – apart from the name! The Fire Safety Order 2005 places duties on a responsible person. These include:
make adequate provision for general fire precautions and maintain them appropriately.
Produce an Emergency Fire Plan
Nominate persons to assist with the evacuation and emergency plan and train them accordingly
In layman’s terms this means that there should a fire evacuation plan, a number of fire marshals or fire wardens and that the fire marshals and fire wardens must be adequately trained.
City Fire Training Ltd provide fire marshal courses in London and surrounding areas. You can visit CFTs websites and view the availability of fire training courses in London by clicking on these links:
Many residential care homes carry out regular fire training for staff. This will probably include theory extinguisher sessions, evacuation theory, practical fire extinguisher training, tour of the building detailing protective and preventive measures, emergency evacuation manual handling and fire drills.The aim of such content is to provide an efficient procedure and that staff know exactly what to do when a fire alarm operates in their building.
A typical residential care home fire plan may look like this:
When the fire alarm sounds:
All care staff go to main fire panel
Other staff – turn off kitchen equipment / appliances and then report to the panel
A member of staff should be allocated to call the fire service
Manager / senior staff on duty to send first pair of staff to arrive at fire panel to the affected fire zone (investigation team) (they may take an emergency transfer sling or similar equipment / care home phone / radio)
Manager / senior staff to send additional staff in pairs when they arrive at the fire panel (these persons may take additional slings / wheelchairs in case they are needed for evacuation)
When all staff have arrived at the fire panel (optional – manager may silence alarm if this distresses residents / dementia service users) (All staff should be aware that this does not mean that the event is over)
If the fire alarm resounds this may mean that an incident has operated another smoke detector and staff should be extra vigilant
At the affected fire zone:
First staff (investigation team) to enter zone using the correct door procedure
Start checking rooms / area looking for incident / smoke detector that has operated (This will be a thorough check including on any en-suite rooms
Shut any door that may not have shut when alarm operated – ie bathroom doors / toilet doors etc
Member of the investigation team should direct other staff to rooms that have not yet been checked as they arrive at the affected zone
Staff to offer reassurance to residents in rooms that are not affected by fire
If a member of staff detects a fire / smoke / smell of smoke in a residents room or other area they must –“Call for help from colleagues” and move any person in that room / area immediately, provided it is safe to do so – Good communications is key!
If a fire is detected / smoke is seen / smell of smoke the investigation team should inform manager / senior by care home phone / intercom or runner
If the fire alarm has not resounded when a fire / smoke / smell of smoke has been discovered, the fire alarm call point should be located and the fire alarm raised again
Start the appropriate fire evacuation procedure – this may be delayed evacuation / progressive horizontal evacuation / full evacuation procedure depending on the stage of the incident
Utilise personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPS) where necessary – These may need to be distributed to arriving emergency services if the evacuation is not yet complete
Ensure visitors ( relatives of residents, visiting health workers, delivery persons etc) are evacuated to the assembly point outside of the building
Kitchen staff to turn off appliances and leave kitchen in safe condition
Domestic staff – turn off appliances and report to fire alarm panel
On arrival of the fire service:
Manager / senior staff to tell officer in charge of fire service what the incident involves and location
Take instructions from fire service officer on whether to change evacuation procedure (delayed / progressive horizontal / full)
Move residents affected by the incident to a safe area using wheelchairs, hoists, safety slings etc.
Using residents PEEPS consider relocation of persons if necessary (part of a post incident plan)
Account for all staff and residents
The same fire procedure will apply – one person at the fire panel – two investigating / implementing the evacuation plan
Additional persons (if any) to assist evacuation
Ensure the fire service is called
If there is a fire, smoke or smell of smoke move any resident in immediate danger provided it is safe to do so. Resound fire alarm if it is not already operating
Ensure all doors are shut
Additional note: Be aware that a fire alarm will probably open all secure doors in any “Dementia wing”. Some service users may try to wander from the area. Post incident head counts should be carried out after the incident.