Fire safety officer
Fire safety officers make sure that a hospital site, or other trust premises, is as safe as possible from the risk of fire.
This page has information on the role of a fire safety officer in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed.
They make sure that electrical systems are safe, fire fighting equipment is well maintained and that there are suitable fire doors and escape routes.
Although much of the work is aimed at preventing fires, each site has an evacuation plan in case of fire. Staff need to know exactly how to evacuate large numbers of patients if necessary.
As a fire safety officer, you will
- carry out risk assessments and draw up fire plans
- liaise with local fire services
- investigate incidents
- train fire wardens
- train staff in fire prevention and evacuation drills
- organise spot checks around the site
- arrange regular fire alarm tests and fire drills
Who will I work with?
On a large site there may be a fire safety manager, with one or more fire safety officers. Although you are office-based, you'll spend a lot of time around the site, checking on fire safety and talking to staff. You'll have a lot of contact with managers and both clinical and non-clinical staff. You may have little or no contact with patients.
NHS fire safety officers have a lot of experience in fire safety and prevention. Many have worked as fire officers in a local fire service. Employers also expect fire safety officers to have a qualification in fire safety.
Fire safety officers need to be
- interested in fire prevention
- very health and safety aware
- able to reassure people
- able to stay calm in stressful situations
- able to explain simply and clearly
- good communication skills with people at all levels
- good planning skills
- good observation skills
Training and development
When you join the NHS as a fire safety officer, you will have an introduction to the NHS and the site you are responsible for. You will also be trained in NHS systems and procedures.
Fire safety officers can apply to become members of the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, the Institute of Fire Safety Managers or the National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers. Fire safety officers need to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. These organisations run courses and conferences where they can keep up to date and network with other fire safety officers.
You may be offered the opportunity to study for a degree or masters in fire safety engineering.
- Pay and conditions Expand / Collapse
Estates staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As a fire safety officer, you will typically start on AfC band 5. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at band 6 and above.
Fire safety officers in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. The job may involve some evening and weekend working. Fire safety officers may be on call if there is an incident.
Terms and conditions will usually be different for fire safety officers working outside of the NHS.
- Where the role can lead Expand / Collapse
With experience in the NHS, fire safety officers can become fire safety managers, responsible for a trust or area.
- Job market and vacancies Expand / Collapse
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.
- Further information Expand / Collapse