The Importance Of Fire Safety Training
One of the downsides of the heatwave we’re currently experiencing in the UK is the risk of fire – I’m sure you’ve all seen the news stories about two large wildfires up here in Greater Manchester. Our firefighters really are doing heroic work as they try to save homes, businesses and lives up on the moors in this heat. Personally I just don’t understand the mentality of those who think it’s fun to start fires in the first place but that’s another story….
Did you know that fire kills as many as 700 people a year here in the UK and costs British businesses millions of pounds every year?
Recently I came across another news story that illustrates just how important fire safety training is to businesses far better than anything I could ever say. If you don’t mind I’d like to share it with you.
On Friday 22nd June a fire broke out at The Somers Town Coffee House in London (part of the Yummy Pub Co) at 8:06pm. Staff were alerted when residents living opposite the pub spotted flames coming from the upper floors and raised the alarm. Fire engines were on the scene within seven minutes, but it took 72 fire fighters and 10 engines ninety minutes before the fire was under control. The part of the story that really piqued my interest – and highlighted the importance of fire safety training – is that during a busy Friday night when the pub was filled with customers over three levels, staff were able to safely evacuate 350 people within three minutes. This quick action meant that nobody was injured and firefighters arriving on scene could just focus on tackling the fire.
A statement put out by the company after the event said: “The team moved through each floor of the building whilst Ian Delgado, a Yummy supervisor, battled the flames on the top floor of the pub. The team were a credit to Yummy with customers reporting the professionalism and calmness as the building was cleared.”
Tim Foster is co-owner at Yummy Pub Co. He said: “My team were simply incredible. Nothing prepares you for situations like this. It’s been an incredibly long weekend, but this pub is opening and opening quickly! My target date (to re-open) is 5 July. We’ll have to take every day as it comes but we have never taken things lying down in Yummy and I intend that attitude to stay!”
In my opinion whoever carried out the fire safety training for the team at The Somers Town Coffee House did a fantastic job. Clearly it paid off and saved, potentially, 350+ lives. As someone who’s spent most of his working life training companies across the UK, I think that this is a great reflection not only on the Yummy team but also on the quality of the training they received.
All UK employers are required to ensure that their employees receive basic level 1 fire safety training. This training will give them the knowledge they need to protect themselves, their colleagues, customers and workplace in the event of an emergency. It’s also a legal requirement for every organisation to have a designated competent person with a higher level of fire safety training. We’ve developed a level 2 fire safety principles and practice training course for anyone who wants to take on more specific fire safety roles within the workplace, as well as a specific fire marshal training course.
As head trainer here at the ELAS Group, I believe in going the extra step to provide the best possible service to our clients. I also believe that training should be fun and know from experience that people are more likely to recall their training if they have enjoyed it. Should the worst happen and your business experiences a fire then you want your staff to react the way the Yummy team did and carry out a swift, safe evacuation of the premises.
Each and every participant on an ELAS fire safety training course gets to really work at putting out a fire in a meaningful way. We’ve developed specialist fire simulation equipment which can simulate any kind of fire, meaning your team will learn the skills they need to deal with them in a safe, controlled environment getting hands on practical experience that will really benefit your business.
Feel free to give me a call to find out more about any of our fire training classes or book a course for your team. I’m always available at 08450 50 40 60 or via email at