Why Night Staff Should Have Fire Alarm Training

Jun 30, 2018

For years I traveled as a Sales Rep.  I can't tell you how many times in those years the fire alarm went off during the night.  The entire hotel had to be evacuated and the night staff had not a clue of what to do.  In almost every case it was a nuisance alarm.  In another incident at a hotel that I frequented often, the fire alarm went off at 2:30 am.  I got dressed to evacuate and the night manager was in a full-fledged panic, as he had no idea what to do.  I can tell you this is not the exception.  Very rarely does the night staff get any training on that red box on the wall.  

Why is it important to train nightly staff on the fire alarm system? 

1.    So that when it goes off the employees don't panic.  
2.    When it goes off, they are not afraid of it, and they know what to do!
3.    Most of the time when the alarm goes off, the night staff don't know what it is, or how to respond.  This is critical to saving lives of the people in the facility.
4.    Many times when the alarm goes off a night staff person starts running around looking for a fire when all they need do is look at the panel, and in most cases, it will tell them right where to look.
5.    Another problem is that employees will start pushing buttons on the system without knowing what the buttons are for.   

What does training look like for the staff?

1.    Yearly your system should be getting a complete fire alarm inspection from your fire alarm contractor.  This is an excellent time to have the staff present and have the inspector go over the system operation. 
2.    Conduct fire drills, even in hotels, dormitories, apartments, condos, etc.  Get the staff use to the fire alarm and the noise; this will keep them from panicking.  Yes, it's a pain to do these, but they are a necessity.  
3.    Let the staff play with the alarm system during these drills and training; they aren't going to break it, let them find out what happens when they push buttons.   
4.    Show the employees how to determine a real alarm vs. trouble or supervisory alarm.  
5.    Provide on-going training, at least once per year.  
Training on alarm systems is easy, it doesn't take a lot of time, and it is critical to the safety of the people in your facility.  There is no reason this has to be complicated, and you can rest assured that you entire staff will know what to do in the event of an emergency. 

If you'd like to discuss training your nightly staff, give the experts at FSS Technologies a call

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