VR Fire Safety Training: A Guide to Innovative Training Techniques

For countless businesses, the office, warehouse, an outdoor plot – or any other premises – is irreplaceable; it’s the very nerve centre of operations. Sadly, however, no physical location is ever truly free from fire hazards, and sometimes, the worst can happen.

It only takes a spark to start a fire (or wildfire) that can raze a business premises to the ground. As well as destroying a business location and posing a risk to the lives of employees, this also represents a real danger to first responders; it’s the firefighter departments who are often the ones faced with the challenge of extinguishing a workplace inferno.

The UK government reports that almost 13,000 non-dwelling fires were attended by firefighters in 2022 alone, up 9% from the previous year (11,920) (UK government).

This all raises the question: what is the best fire safety training technique to protect businesses, employees and firefighter lives? How can you prepare your organisation to tackle an inferno safely and effectively, should one erupt? The answer lies in virtual reality training.

VR fire safety training allows learners to navigate dangerous situations in complete safety, gaining valuable experience and practical skills of elements such as: safety tools (eg., fire extinguishers and alarms), wildland fire prevention, health protection, emergency building evacuation and smoke avoidance.

Here at Sliced Bread Animation, we can create cutting-edge virtual reality training courses that can help you help your employees with vital disasters planning procedures via an intuitive virtual environment. Get in touch now to discuss how your business can make the most of virtual reality technology.

So… What Exactly is VR Fire Safety Training?

As it relates to fire and fire hazards, virtual reality training is the process of learning how to deal safely and effectively with a fire, through a specially-designed immersive experience and exercises around a virtual reality fire.

VR fire safety training includes all related aspects of risk reduction and risk assessment, including:

  • Fire recognition and prevention
  • Smoke avoidance
  • Safety tools and equipment, such as fire extinguishers
  • Risk-prone situations
  • Emergency building evacuation

Recent research has shone a spotlight on the efficacy of virtual reality fire safety training (Saghafian, Laumann, Akhtar and Skogstad, The Evaluation of Virtual Reality Fire Extinguisher Training).

The results showed that 65% of participants had a positive experience of virtual fire safety, with 22% registering a mixed response (that is, broadly in favour of the virtual world of fire safety, and noting some room to improve further).

But are there any virtual reality fire safety training system requirements?

Virtual reality firefighter training takes many forms. It might expose trainees to a wide variety of equipment, from the £7,000+ VIVE Pro Secure headset (VIVE Pro Secure), to the beautifully simple Google Cardboard (Google Cardboard).

At Sliced Bread animation, we handle the construction, application and execution of your virtual world and virtual reality training environment, so you don’t need to worry about installing it on your own internal computer systems.

Your VR training platform is easily accessible, giving employees a 360-degree view of fire hazards, scenarios and dangerous situations in one intuitive workplace simulation.

Simply put, virtual reality training is the best way to educate people in the knowledge and practical skills of fire safety, with results that demonstrate both time and cost-efficiency. Get in touch with us now to begin building your augmented or virtual reality online training course.

Still from VR Fire Safety training of a hospital room with the plug socket on fire, and the text 'Use the large flat button to select the correct fire extinguisher to put out the fire

The Ultimate Guide to Fireproofing Training with VR: 4 Key Benefits

Virtual reality training is a groundbreaking employee education technique with impressive rates of retention and knowledge acquisition. It’s incredibly flexible and adaptive; innovative virtual reality technology can help your employees gain knowledge in:

  • First responders protocol
  • Fire extinguishers best practice
  • Other safety tools and equipment
  • Firefighter training
  • How and when to contact the fire service
  • How to best assist in protecting firefighter lives
  • Potentially risky objects and/or scenarios
  • Disasters planning
  • Wildfire detection and wildland fire prevention
  • Regional safety requirements; United States companies tend to follow the National Safety Council, whereas in the United Kingdom the Fire Protection Association is more prevalent. Both nations recognise the NFPA.

Below, we walk through the four key benefits of VR fire safety training.

1. Safety and security enhancement

First and foremost, the biggest business value in VR fire safety training comes from the fact that it is completely safe. Employees and firefighters alike can experience a 360-degree view in a realistic simulation of fire hazards, gaining practical skills and real-world knowledge of fire prevention in the workplace without exposure to real fire, smoke or chemicals. It’s a practical experience of dangerous situations, with all the ‘danger’ removed!

2. Business, time and cost efficiency

Traditional employee education courses, such as computer-based training or PowerPoint presentations – yawn – don’t represent good business value. Simply put, they are not an effective use of time or capital, due to their relatively low retention rates, and there are logistical concerns to worry about: getting all your staff in the same place at the same time, for instance.

VR fire safety training does away with these issues. It can be done anytime, anywhere, and is a demonstrably-superior method of business education.

3. The effectiveness of the educational experience

We’ve touched on this point already, and it bears repeating.

Virtual reality experiences lean into the natural hardwiring of the human brain, which favours narrative over dogmatism and prefers experience to anecdote.

Consequently, according to research by PWC, virtual reality trainees are:

  • 4x quicker in knowledge acquisition
  • 275% more confident in practical skills
  • 3.75x more emotionally connected to the information

4. Zero environmental impact

In the past, firefighter training necessitated the use of toxic chemical agents, along with the use of real fire. Clearly, this increases the carbon footprint of fire departments and businesses, and can lead to consequences that have a negative environmental impact; the burning of natural habitats, or smoke pollution, for example. However, sustainability issues are of no concern in a virtual environment – it has zero impact on your business’s emissions, carbon footprint or commitment to ongoing sustainability goals.

fire safety vr training

Innovative Fire Safety VR Training for Our Customers

As we’ve seen, employees and firefighters alike can benefit greatly from the opportunities presented by VR fire safety training. It gives people real experience with fire hazards – but in a totally safe, virtual environment, thereby reducing risk and costs for your business.

Far from a ‘flash in the pan’ new technology, fire-related virtual reality training is of growing importance. As the average global temperature increases and the threat of wild-land fire grows larger, companies would do well to prepare themselves for an action and response plan.

In addition, mounting pressure from sustainability groups obliges businesses to do more to mitigate their environmental impact.

VR fire safety training is the perfect solution to meet these requirements, and perform employee training to a higher standard. But the application of virtual reality training isn’t limited to the fire service: healthcare, engineering, catering, and HR are just a few examples of the industries/departments that stand to benefit from this innovative new technology.

Contact us at Sliced Bread Animation today to find out what VR could do for your company.

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