Safety: Use the lull to run a pre-Christmas check

St John Ambulance is urging businesses in the area to take advantage of the quieter time in the run up to Christmas by ensuring their workplace is fulfilling its fire safety obligations through appropriate training for their employees.

According to the latest statistics, between April 2010 and March 2011, fire and rescue services attended 499,000 fires and false alarms in buildings including workplaces and areas where people gather.

Sue Skoyles, regional training manager for St John Ambulance in the East, said: ‘With bonfire night and Christmas festivities approaching fire accidents may be more likely to occur due to extra lights and decorations in the workplace.

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“Now is an ideal time to ensure your company has its fire safety covered. St John Ambulance offers specialist fire marshal training at business premises, as well as a new online fire marshal calculator to help employers determine the number of fire marshals required.

“While your employees are slowing down for Christmas, why not make the best use of their time by signing up for fire marshal, first aid or health and safety training.’

It is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to nominate an appropriate number of fire marshals to assist in implementing emergency procedures identified in a risk assessment. Appointing fire marshals ensures the business is legally covered.

Sue Skoyles added: ‘With St John Ambulance health and safety training, you can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. We spend a third of our waking lives at work; St John Ambulance’s courses are the safety net that protects millions of employees while they’re in the workplace.

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‘St John Ambulance advises that you carry out a risk assessment based on your business needs, which covers things such as the number of fire marshals required, first aider annual leave, the common injuries that happen in your workplace and shift work. The Health and Safety Executive require that once you’ve identified your first aid needs you must maintain it, so it’s vital that businesses keep this in mind.’

St John Ambulance trains nearly 500,000 people in first aid and health and safety each year.

For details on fire marshal training or to find out more about first aid and health and safety in your workplace, call 0844 324 5535 or visit