Every workplace should give serious consideration to fire safety. Staff should receive fire safety training, understand the fire triangle (elements required for a fire), have knowledge of the safety equipment and know the evacuation plans.
Why do they need to be refreshed?
Fire safety training certificates have a shelf life and when they expire, new training needs to be delivered to your staff to refresh their knowledge and keep them up-to-date.
There are all kinds of reasons why new training may be necessary. Maybe you have a high staff turnover and those who trained in fire safety have moved on. The same with business growth, as staff numbers increase you need more fire wardens with the appropriate training.
Never assume fresh staff is understood basic fire safety, this should be included in their induction process.
Another possibility is that you changed your business premises. In your new site, you will need a new fire safety assessment, safety plan and a refresh of your safety training. Your previous understanding of site-specific hazards may not apply to your new business premises.
Safety training should be refreshed on an annual basis.
Some possible exclusions to annual refresh are:
If there is an incident in your industry that applies to your business, then it may be worth considering refreshment for staff, providing the relevant extra training.
This is not to tell you that you need to refresh staff on safety training for every incident, but we at least recommend you consider it for external incidents that result in mortality or serious injury.
If you change your equipment, then you should re-train your staff on how to use the new equipment and teach them how it differs from the old equipment in terms of safety.
If internal processes change then inform your staff of how the change may impact what they learnt in the fire training.
How confidence your staff is?
Rather than worrying about how your staff would deal with a fire emergency, just ask them how confident they are.
1. Ask them how the previous safety training was, and whether they remembered everything they were taught
2. More formal lessons may not be necessary instead in-depth conversations to aid their memory may be sufficient
3. One idea may be to take some training guides as a printout and stick it on the notice board or on the fridge in the break kitchen
Don’t hesitate to discuss with your staff as the best way is to speak with them to know their understanding. If they need more training, then you should be ready to spend on professional safety training instructors for further training sessions.
Refresh once a year
If you look for a solid guide on how often you should retrain staff, 12 months is a good answer. Most companies advise a refreshment course, once in a year. If January is a little less busy when compared to other months, use this month to train your staff.
It is a must to revisit your fire risk assessment and fire safety plans once in a year.