Mike Law, Chief Officer of Red Watch Fire Service, speaks to CBN about the importance of fire awareness and safety in the corporate and industrial workplace.
It is every business owner’s nightmare; an electrical fault causes a fire in your building/warehouse and wipes your years of hard work out in a matter of minutes. Too late do you realise that none of your staff/security personnel are able to use the fancy fire equipment you installed (at great expense.) Mike Law, Chief Officer of Red Watch Fire Service, speaks to CBN about the importance of fire awareness and safety in the corporate and industrial workplace.
“All these factories have got fabulous equipment. They’ve got the extinguishers and the signs and the exits. [But] no one in that factory knows how to use them. So they might as well save their money and buy more insurance. Except the insurance wants you to have all this equipment, but aren’t bothered about whether everyone in the building knows how to use it.” Law also points to the particularly vulnerable periods where there is only one or two people on the premises (weekends and night-times) and asks whether these people have the fire safety skills required.
All fire equipment is not created equal
When talking fire safety, Law insists that the devil is in the detail. Grabbing the nearest fire extinguisher is not enough. Spraying a jet of water onto an electrical fire will cause injury to the “would-be firefighter” as well as speeding up and spreading the fire.
Law is the Chief Officer in the Red Watch Fire Service, and assists with the running of the fire safety and emergency training for all in the business industry, including aviation and marine.
Red Watch Fire Service
Red Watch Fire Service is based in Fish Hoek and Tokai and is a full-time organisation that, in conjunction with the fire-training services, also assists in:
- Equipment testing and evaluation
- Fire audits and evaluations
- Fire fighting and standby services
Red Watch Fire Service’s training programmes offer a whole range of courses lectured by various officers and members. A course ranges from one to five days. The training centre certainly holds its own, with an average of 13 courses a month and 168 courses a year.
Law stresses that when it comes to fire training, one size just doesn’t fit all. Industries and businesses can come with their particular issues or worries about their business and Red Watch will create a training programme specifically for the business. This includes hands on fire extinguishing, fire simulators and practice with given equipment.
Mike clarifies that he’s not offering industries the concept of a factory that won’t burn down. He’s offering people to be trained in fire and safety precaution; and to have the knowledge and the confidence to use the necessary equipment in their business.
CBN Fire Safety Tip
Is your house number/company signage large enough and clear enough for emergency service to see? Emergency services can lose valuable time finding you by easily remedied problems like signs being obstructed by trees.