Host:         Andy Lee, Director, Nationwide Fire Training

Venue:       Nationwide Fire Training, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 6NZ

Andy Lee and Richard Nicholson welcomed members to Nationwide Fire Training’s indoor training facility with a buffet lunch and opportunity to network.

After lunch Andy took members into Nationwide Fire Training’s lecture theatre where he gave members an overview of his background. Andrew explained that he worked in many different sectors of fire safety prior to founding the company in 2004. He said that when started the company his goal was to provide a service which provided companies with a one stop shop for fire protection. His vision was to develop a company with service technicians and training facilitators who cared, believed in what they are doing and are self-motivated rather than being motivated by sales targets.

Andy and Richard welcome members

Andrew explained that he has now realised his ambition of developing a purpose-built fire training facility where he can offer genuine bespoke fire training for clients. He explained that he his new facilities mean that he, and his staff, can simulate deep fat fryer fires, car engine fires, skip fires etc… safely as well as providing a flexible lecture area for other practical work, for showing videaos and for theoretical sessions.

He said that one of his key aims was to provide bespoke fire training that was relevant for specific businesses whether they were small bed and breakfast family firms or large organisations such as local Councils. He explained that he had also developed industry specific training days where mechanics can gain ‘hands-on’ experience of putting out car fires, chefs can face a kitchen fire, and builders can tackle a skip type fire whatever the weather. He said that he was proud that their simulated fires can be contained safely as well as being 100% real.

He explained that his staff are also qualified to service and supply fire extinguishers, to recommend appropriate safety signage and installation and to solve fire door problems for sites where staff would like to see fire doors propped open during the day for ease of access. He emphasised that when he, or one of his staff, undertakes fire risk assessments for companies, their aim is to look at the unique environment and use of the premises and to offer affordable, practical solutions and advice. For instance, he said that he believes that it is important that all fire extinguisher stations in a workplace are of a similar design and that fire signage throughout the workplace is consistent.

He went on to say that Nationwide Fire Training is a SAFE Contractor approved company and is BS EN ISO 9001 certified and that they are widely recognised as one of the leading fire training companies in the UK.

Richard then gave members an overview of the first aid training, manual handling training that he specialised in.

After these presentations members were taken outside to see Nationwide’s indoor, practical training facility. As the group was larger than the indoor training facility could accommodate safely members stood around the main entrance to watch some of the demonstrations. Fortunately, it was a fine day, although rather windy! Andy explained that they kept their practical training groups small so that those undertaking the training gained maximum ‘hands-on’ experience.

Members were given practical demonstrations of the efficacy of different types of fire extinguishers for different fires. Demonstrations included a car engine fire, a cooker fire, a computer fire, a waste bin fire and they were also shown how to use a fire blanket efficiently and safely. Andy also emphasised that there were occasions when it was not appropriate for individuals to try and tackle a fire using a nearby fire extinguisher.

Richard deals with a cooker fire
Richards demonstrates how to use a fire blanket safely

Members felt that this was a worth-while site visit. Jim Tongue, Chairman, South Cumbria & North Lancashire IOSH District thanked Andy and Richard for making members so welcome and presented them with a small token of our appreciation.

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Works visit: Nationwide Fire Training, indoor training facility