Are firefighters best placed to provide fire safety consultancy?
Firstly, I hold my hands up to writing this article from a position of bias, as Adena Fire only uses British Fire Service professionals for all the fire safety services we provide.
However, I’m not suggesting all Fire Service professionals make great consultants. But the right Fire Service experience combined with the right training and hands-on consultancy experience, make a very powerful combination.
Most big companies like their senior management to have gained some grass roots experience in their industry/company. Yet so many fire safety consultants, trainers and engineers have little or no ‘hands-on’ experience in fire safety prior to attending industry training courses and delivering fire safety advice or services to their clients.
The firefighters we employ have all gained a sound and thorough knowledge of fire safety guidance and legislation, as well as a wealth of operational experience on how fires start and behave, during their Fire Service careers. Of course, it is essential that these personnel also undertake continued professional development via the relevant private sector industry training courses.
So when consultants with Fire Service experience undertake fire risk assessments for their clients, they are able to provide them with informed advice. Their experience and understanding of fire means that they are able to be more flexible, allowing more cost-effective solutions to be adopted – rather than basing their advice on stringent technical guidance alone.
Our fire safety trainers have all been instructors within the Fire Service, all of whom have obtained adult teaching qualifications. Again, I believe this helps make them great fire safety trainers – able to engage their audiences and ensure that they really understand the importance of fire safety in their workplace.
And finally, when testing dry or wet risers, using Fire Service professionals can’t be beaten. No training courses can replace the hands-on experience and knowledge serving firefighters have gained when using these fixed fire protection systems to actually put fires out. Consequently, this allows our engineers to understand exactly what problems may occur and how to rectify them. It also allows them to make sound evidence based judgments in what problems need to be rectified and what faults have no bearing on the operational effectiveness of the riser, once again saving clients needless repair costs or allowing us to come up with the most cost effective solution to rectify the fault.
Published November 2014
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Firstly, I hold my hands up to writing this article from a position of bias, as Adena Fire only uses British Fire Service professionals for all the fire safety services we provide. ...