Fire safety officer

Fire safety officers make sure that our patients and staff are as safe as possible from the risk of fire.

Working life

Our fire safety officers make sure all our systems are safe, fire fighting equipment is well maintained and that fire doors and escape routes are of the highest standard.

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'll:

  • 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.

Entry requirements

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.

Skills needed

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.

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