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When fires happen at the workplace, the losses run into several millions of dollars. This comprises the cost of rebuilding damaged assets, the loss of revenue, reputation loss and the risk of being unattractive for future investments. What cannot be estimated is the loss of lives and its impact on families and communities. With so much at stake, doesn’t it make sense to pay attention to fire safety?

Installing fire safety systems alone doesn’t deliver on loss prevention. Ensuring fire safety requires dedicated resources that are well trained to maintain and also operate fire protection systems in the event of an emergency. The biggest challenge is training employees and contractors on making timely emergency communication. The next is responding appropriately to fight the fire without loss of life and assets. All of this is easier said than done, but it always starts with good training.

virtual reality is an ideal technology that has captivated the attention of industry leaders as the next big thing to transform training and enhance human performance. The impact of VR on fire safety training is immense. It is well known that fire and emergency response training is not only expensive but demands a lot of practice in full bunker gear. There are very few institutions that offer such comprehensive hands-on training and most of them are typically located in the western world. VR training is particularly suited for training requirements that are difficult to access, perform or just plain expensive. VR helps to digitally create virtual environments as per the user or client’s requirements.

The immersive nature of VR technology helps with the creation of virtual hyper-realistic environments with tailor-made scenarios and actions designed to deliver exactly the same training that could be delivered at a fire school. While the physical strain of a fire school cannot be replicated, training on the necessary sequence of actions to be taken in the event of an industrial or office fire can be provided.

VR fire safety training can be used to provide training on the different types of fire extinguishers, how and where to use such extinguishers, and inspection and maintenance. The proper steps and precautions to use such equipment safely are also provided. Fire extinguisher training is a basic training program that is essential for all employees and contractors at an industrial facility or even an office. Training solutions that teach how to put out a real fire at the initial stages is extremely important for all organizations as it is not only the sensible thing to do but also saves immense time, money and most importantly, injuries and loss of lives. Another key application is for providing comprehensive emergency response training for first responders in industrial as well as community fire stations and civil defence establishments. Other training opportunities include providing CPR, first aid, breathing apparatus – SCBA & supplied air, rescue training etc.

VR training has been found to be four times more effective than conventional classroom training by PWC. VR fire safety training enables numerous practise sessions at no extra cost. This training is more engaged than any kind of training approach and helps build the right habits and competencies for the entire workforce. VR training can be gamified and made more interesting for the young generation. VR training is accessible to all considering how widespread the VR gaming industry has grown and the consequent lowered cost of VR hardware such as headsets and controllers.

It is necessary that health and safety professionals and leaders from the industry and community aggressively implement Virtual Reality fire safety training in their organizations. Help is available from experienced solutions providers with subject matter experts to devise tailor-made VR training modules with supervision and evaluation capabilities. It’s always better to prevent fires and extinguish them as soon as one starts. VR Fire Safety training will help make that goal achievable.