Fire Safety Training: General Requirements and Additional Training for Employees in Specific Occupations

Fire Safety Training

Fire is a dangerous phenomenon that can cause significant property damage and seriously injure people or result in fatalities. Fire spreads swiftly, generating high temperatures, toxic smoke, and dangerous by-products such as carbon monoxide. The heat and smoke caused by fire can result in breathing difficulties and the ability to see clearly, making it hard to escape a burning building or worksite. Hence, it is important to take necessary precautions to avoid fires and be aware of what to do in case of a fire emergency.

Fire safety means measures taken to avert fires and shield people and structures in case of a fire. This includes the installation of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire alarms. Moreover, emergency evacuation plans and procedures for buildings are also necessary. Most importantly employers must provide appropriate training as mandated by the regulator to their employees; enabling them to better respond in the event of a fire emergency.

For a better understanding of fire safety training, read our article, 'Is Fire Safety Training for Employees Required?'

Fire Safety Training Requirements

Let's learn general fire safety training requirements and the additional requirements particular to specific occupations under the Code of Federal Regulations.

General Training Requirements:

  • Employers must train employees according to job assignments for all potential hazards and prepare them to respond to emergency alarms and evacuation in case of fire.
  • Workers fighting the fire must be trained on the usage of fire extinguishers or hose lines, the hazards of firefighting, and its prevention.
  • Workers must be trained on the dangers related to fixed and portable fire protection systems, during the activation and operation or discharge of those systems.

Additional Training Requirements for Shipyard Employees:

  • Shipyard employees must have a written training policy defining the fire response along with written standard operating procedures addressing emergency operations. 
  • Workers must be trained by qualified instructors. 
  • The training programs need to be reviewed and updated as and when required. 
  • Firefighters are required to be trained at least quarterly.
  • Training must comprise live fire response exercises following NFPA 1403-2002 Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions.
  • Semi-annual drills as per the employer's SOP for fire response may be conducted covering site-specific operations, occupancies, buildings, vessels and vessel sections, and fire-related hazards.
  • Smoke-generating devices should not be allowed in training exercises because of their dangers.

Additional Training Requirements for Fire Watch Duty Personnel: 

  • Annual training must be provided to employees involved in fire watch duty. 
  • Additional training may be provided if a change in operations may cause a new or different hazard or if the employee's prior skills and knowledge are found inadequate.
  • Employees standing fire watch duty must be trained on the basics of fire behavior, the various classes of fire, their stages, and methods for extinguishing fires.
  • Live fire extinguishing sessions are to be conducted.
  • Knowledge of the negative health effects caused by exposure to fire, the physical attributes of the hot work area, the personal protective equipment (PPE) required, and their usage must also be provided.
  • It is very important to learn how to communicate and alert others in case of fire emergencies.

Source: (CFR, n.d.)

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Code of Federal Regulations. (n.d.). § 1915.508 Training. Website. https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-29/subtitle-B/chapter-XVII/part-1915/subpart-P/section-1915.508

Published on: January 19, 2023