Safety at home and in the workplace can be complex or as simple as one wants to make it. To put it into context we will look at how fire safety Australia affects our day to day lives. Whether its fire safety equipment or an advisor providing information to a large business.
Fire Safety Australia defined
Almost everywhere we go there is the potential for emergencies. Resulting from natural or human generated causes. Every Australian resident can expect to be involved in or deal with three emergencies, on average, in their life. It may not sound like much but these emergency situations are defined as a situation that threaten live’s and/or property from harm.
Sometimes this harm can be catastrophic causing loss of life and millions of dollars damage. Furthermore, causing many people heartache as a result.
AS such there is one series of situations that has an increased likelihood of causing a high level of harm and this is fire. Whether a bushfire, house fire, car fire or some other type of emergency involving fire. The effect of the fire situation could be devastating.
Fires can release a huge amount of energy, damaging or incinerating anything in its path, even human life. So an understanding of fire is critical for every Australian. Their safety depends on it.
Fire Safety Training at work and home
As a result of injuries and deaths over the past few centuries governments have introduced legislation to regulate many factors relating to fire safety design in construction and thought out our communities.
Since the “Black Saturday Fires” in Victoria legislation has been introduced to assist emergency services to keep communities safe. For example, the fire safety engineer and other professionals have introduced required features when building in area’s subject to a wildfire overlay. Designed to protect those that reside in the property and the property itself from the effects of an approaching fire.
Builders now require a special fire safety certificate if building in these areas.
Centuries of fire safety engineering and design
The first effective and well designed fire sprinkler system was introduced and patented in England in 1812. This system was installed in the Theatre Royal, Drury lane, England in 1812 by William Congreve. He patented the design in the same year. There were other systems used prior to this but very few were successful causing damage to the structures they were installed from water leaking (Ref: Wikipedia.org).
Other features have included fire safety training and the introduction of fire ratings for building products. These include doors and walls that keep a fire on one side of the wall for a given period of time. For example, a brick wall may be placed between terrace houses to stop fire spreading from one to the other.
In the 1800’s firefighters would often knock perfectly good buildings down to stop the spread of a fire. There is still scope for the emergency services to do this today, but generally does not occur with the introduction of advanced fire fighting equipment.
Firefighting equipment and training.
There is a substantial amount of firefighting equipment which can be used by occupants or the emergency services to combat a fire. Much of this equipment is required in buildings. Every house in many states now requires a smoke detector to help keep residents safe. This legislation was introduced when many lives were lost due to fire in areas where occupants were sleeping.
Also, in other large buildings the building code may require certain firefighting equipment to be installed during construction. This equipment includes fire extinguishers, fire blankets, hose reels and inter communications equipment to help first responders communicate.
Much of this equipment is only as good as the person trained to use it. Therefore, and Australian Standard has been introduced to guide owners of a building in relation to emergency planning. This emergency plan also should include the requirement for training of key personnel in a building known as fire wardens. Even though the correct term is emergency warden as fire is just one aspect of what they may be required to respond.
Fire wardens are an essential part of any workplace. They receive specific training to help them fill the gap between the emergency occurring and the emergency services arriving. The Australian Standard is called up in legislation which provides an enforceable mechanism for those that don’t comply.
Educating communities and fire safety kids
We spoke about training which generally involves some sort of face to face training and an assessment to ensure certain fire safety knowledge has been learnt.
On the other hand, education als forms a large part of fire safety in the home. Most people will have had firefighters attend their primary school when they were young. Even Though there has been research indicating that very young children get very little out of education. The older years in primary and secondary years can learn a lot about what actions they should take during an emergency to keep them safe.
Emergency plans are also a critical component of fire safety Australia any preparedness for response. Fire Wardens need to learn how to evacuate occupants of a building to safety. And where required, they may start to extinguish a fire or start deally with some other type of emergency.
Other fire safety features
Included with a lot of the fire safety features we have spoken about is the use of signage. Identification of equipment specifically designed for firefighting is essential and the fire safety sign fills this gap. There are standards for signs so that they are of a suitable size, color and design. They are very effective at guiding occupants to equipment or evacuation points.
Fire safety Australia will always be a large part of keeping the community safe. Notably in the home and workplace. Those that are tasked to keep others safe will require skills that will help them perform appropriately in an emergency.
There are a number of people killed or injured from the effects of fire every year. So being aware of responsibilities in the workplace and at home can only reduce the number of fires.