Fire presents a permanent and ongoing risk with the potential to cause great financial and employment loss. An onus is put on the employer to train his employees regarding what to do in the event of a fire. Should a fire occur, the best protection is to put the fire out and in doing so minimize the damage to buildings, plant and machinery. First aid fire fighting can be undertaken voluntarily by employees, but they will need to be given special training in the use of portable fire-fighting equipment. Arrangements may need to be made to make payment to them to ensure that they are covered by Employer's Liability insurance when fire fighting, which may be outside the job they are employed to do.
The main fire fighting will be carried out by the fire department who will need to get to the area of the fire as quickly as possible and begin fighting it. To help them in this, the employer should have available plans of the workplace and should encourage the fire department to visit the site to become familiar with it. In addition, he should ensure that there is always someone on duty who knows the site and can direct the brigade and other emergency services when they arrive.