Markets have a massive appeal to people from all walks of life. To ensure the safety of hundreds and even thousands of patrons visiting these markets each day, the need for a well-established and tested fire evacuation plan is an absolute must. Fire safety training is a crucial element in this plan, not only to mitigate financial damages to businesses but most importantly, to give people a fighting chance at life when an unexpected fire incident occurs.
While markets offer a vibrant and entertaining place for shoppers, they can also be highly dangerous especially in the face of a blaze. The very nature and structure of these places make the fire spread quickly in just minutes and even seconds. The London Camden Lock Market fire is a burning example of how perilous and erratic market fire incidents could be. Such unfortunate events can happen anywhere in the world, even in Australia with our strict Standards and regulations on emergency planning and fire safety.
Fire safety training is a must now more than ever
Emergency evacuation of markets is challenging because it is a public place with transient occupants and visitors. Shoppers and market staff, without proper guidance or instructions on where to go and what to do, could make matters more difficult for wardens and Emergency Services, turning the situation go from bad to worst. This could slow down the evacuation and further put people’s lives at risk.
Fire safety training will help tenant and market staff in assisting shoppers during a fire evacuation. Remember that providing this training is a legal obligation of building owners and employers. Every market employee must be given proper training appropriate to their roles and responsibilities based on the emergency plan.
As outlined in Australian Standards and Regulations, there are specific training requirements for the members of the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC), Emergency Control Organisation (ECO), and general occupants (market and tenant staff).
All occupants, including all members of the ECO, must complete training on emergency response procedures and first attack firefighting. At least one member of the EPC must receive said training. All members of the ECO must complete training at intervals of not more than six months. The Chief Warden must also attend special training sessions specific to his roles and duties. The frequency of training sessions varies depending on duties and responsibilities.
Fire safety depends on people, not just firefighting equipment
Market fire emergencies pose a serious threat to life and properties. Having an emergency plan is necessary, but that alone does not suffice to keep these places safe and sound. Having firefighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers and sprinklers, are not enough either. Even coupling it with diagrams to show transient guests and occupants where to go for safety will not cut it. There’s an urgent need to train people working in these establishments on how to respond to an emergency. Fire safety training acts as a catalyst that will tie all these things together.
Market fire emergencies occur anywhere around the world during the most unexpected hours and events. The only protection we can have against these emergencies is to empower people on fire safety training and prevention and to educate them on how to act and respond in the event of a fire. It’s high time to take a more proactive approach to protecting the lives of people in your care.
Do you want to know more about fire safety training requirements that you must provide to your employees and tenants? Let us help you meet your compliance obligations, and protect staff and market patrons. Complete the form below, and our experts will get back to you shortly!
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