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NFAC fired up in battle against blazes in the capital

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Participants learn how to use fire extinguishers. Neang Sopheap

NFAC fired up in battle against blazes in the capital

The National Fire Academy of Cambodia (NFAC) took another major step in promoting awareness of fire safety less than two months after it was established.

The academy earlier this month organised a one-day fire warden training session for employees in the private sector to equip them with basic skills in fire fighting, as part of its efforts to curb fire hazards in buildings and areas containing highly flammable substances.

At the one-day event, those in attendance were provided hands-on training in the use of firefighting equipment and given theoretical knowledge in firefighting operations and rescue methods in an emergency.

“A key part of fire prevention strategy is the personnel in any building or area at risk of fire and their skill and knowledge.

“Fire wardens are ordinary staff members who have additional training to identify fire risks – risks that may prevent people escaping a building in the event of fire – raise the alarm in the event of a fire occurring, help people escape from emergencies and fight fires in the first instance if it is safe for them to do so,” said Gary Kidd, instructor and deputy director of National Quality Inspection Centre For Fire Safety Systems.

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Participants at the one-day training session. Neang Sopheap

NFAC is operated by Cambodia Fairwind Enterprise Company Limited under the management of the General Commissariat of National Police and the Ministry of Interior.

The event was conducted in strong collaboration between Cambodia Fairwind and the General Commissariat of National Police.

The academy was officially launched in January.

Recognising the growing number of high-rise condominiums and towering office buildings in Phnom Penh with the capital’s rapid urbanisation, the academy felt there was a pressing need for skilled fire wardens.

This was increasingly apparent with the number of fire mishaps causing massive damage to property and businesses on the rise.

According to the Fire Department, 534 blazes were reported in 2018, while numbers jumped to 717 last year – a 34.3 per cent rise. So far this year, 77 cases have been recorded by the department.

Kidd said the training session dealt with a number of important subjects.

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An evacuation exercise is conducted. Neang Sopheap

“The main topics [covered] were the roles and responsibilities of a fire warden, understanding the principles of fire [behaviour], recognising emergency situations, risk management, evacuation, emergency equipment, fire drills, the building design code for fire safety systems and understanding the use of and practical operation of portable fire extinguishers,” he said.

One of the participants, Eng Sopha, a safety and quality Inspector with Phnom Penh International Airport, said: “This training course was very useful, and it gave me more knowledge about fire prevention as it relates to my daily work.

“It gave me a better understanding on how to prevent fires. I hope this training will help to prevent more fires.”

Some 50 participants, including from the corporate sector, hotels and stations, attended the training and were certified by NFAC based on their exam results at the end of the course.

“The fire warden training gives an insight how to evacuate people from buildings when fire breaks out.

“I know how to use fire extinguishers properly.

“Through this training I have learned a lot about fire prevention, and I will apply this knowledge to prevent fires more effectively,” said Ven Souyana, an engineer from Olympia City Hotel, who also attended the training session.

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A participant receives a certificate from instructor Gary Kidd (right). Neang Sopheap

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