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Chubb Fire & Security provides fire safety training for staff at The National Archives in London

Published on 23 September 2011
Fire safety training officers from Chubb visit The National Archives site in Kew each year
Chubb also provides in-depth Fire Warden training courses for designated members of staff

Chubb Fire & Security is providing staff at The National Archives in London with the knowledge to protect one of the world's largest collections of government and public records from the effects of fire. Chubb is part of UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

The National Archives holds over 11 million historical government and public records, going back hundreds of years, and the damage or loss of any of these irreplaceable documents would be catastrophic. In addition to safeguarding the collections, The National Archives also welcomes millions of visitors, both in person and online, every year.

As Graham Taylor, Health and Safety Advisor, explains: “We are open five days a week to members of the public, often individuals investigating family history or academics conducting research, who visit us and access the original documents, so it is vital to ensure that those visitors are well protected from fire whilst inside our premises.”

To prepare its staff, fire safety training officers from Chubb visit The National Archives site in Kew each year to provide four courses a day for one week on the practical use of fire extinguishers. All employees, of whom there are in excess of 650, are invited to attend and benefit from the industry-leading knowledge and extensive experience of Chubb's expert trainers, and are given the opportunity to practise handling a fire extinguisher and using it on a controlled fire.

In addition, Chubb provides in-depth Fire Warden training courses for designated members of staff, helping them to understand the responsibilities of their role and the most effective means of fire protection. This includes specialist training tailored towards the staff in the catering department covering the associated fire risks of the kitchen environment.

Graham believes that the training is invaluable to The National Archives staff: “If we expect our employees to tackle a fire, we need to take responsibility for equipping them with the information and confidence that will enable them to cope, should that situation arise,” he says.

When I was looking for a fire safety training provider, I selected Chubb because of its expertise and extensive presence in the area of fire safety. I'm immensely satisfied with the training that Chubb provides; it is delivered in a light-hearted but serious style, which communicates the message effectively. Moreover, the people who have been trained have all responded positively, saying that they gained a great deal from the sessions with Chubb,” he concludes.

Jon Beesley, Operations Manager for the Fire Consultancy Division of Chubb, believes that more companies need to invest in fire safety training for their employees: “According to a recent survey conducted by the Fire Industry Association (FIA), almost a fifth of companies in the UK have cut back on fire safety in the current economic climate, despite the fact that an equal proportion of managers admitted having had a fire in their workplace at some point. Nearly 30% of staff surveyed said they wouldn?t know what to do in the event of a fire at work, almost a quarter don't know where the fire exits are in their office, and nearly 40% wouldn't know where to find a fire extinguisher.”

These statistics are deeply concerning,” he continues, “and there can be no excuse for a company to take risks with employees' safety. Chubb is dedicated to helping businesses meet their legal obligation by providing a comprehensive and complete range of fire safety training solutions for organisations both large and small, from the inexperienced office worker through to the experienced fire safety professional. The best preventative measure against fire is effective staff training and safe working practices.”

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