New virtual reality fire safety training scheme launches in UK

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In an innovative step forward for the property and construction sector, a novel training programme focused on passive fire protection has been introduced. The scheme, a first for the UK, is rooted in virtual reality (VR) technology and has been established in the North West of England.

An innovative solution to fire safety training

This novel venture, known as trainingEXP, has been launched by Jason McKnight and Joseph Dillon. It operates as a sister company to their established construction and project management firm, RECOM Solutions, based in Salford Quays. The founders have dedicated a significant investment to this endeavour and brought on board seasoned fire protection professional Adam Steed to lead the team of trainers.

Adam, joining from a certification company named Warringtonfire, brings considerable experience as a registered inspector of fire protection systems.

Emphasis on practical learning with VR

A distinguishing feature of trainingEXP is the use of VR technology, which replicates real-life environments to highlight common fire protection hazards in buildings. “By replicating live environments, such as hospitals, users can take virtual walks around buildings to carry out passive fire surveys and identify fire protection hazards in an immersive way”, stated Jason McKnight.

Unlike any existing software in the UK and Europe, their bespoke solution promotes interactivity. Delegates are able to engage directly with the simulations created, improving the understanding and awareness of fire safety significantly.

Expansion to meet demand

The founders of trainingEXP initially created a training academy for their own staff, including passive fire protection operatives, supervisors, project managers and surveyors. However, an increased demand from clients led to the expansion into a full-fledged venture.

The comprehensive VR-based training programme aims to serve various sectors, including residential, health and social care, commercial, leisure, education, heritage and industrial. Additionally, it caters to professionals like architects, tradespeople and operatives, as well as fire and rescue services.

An array of accredited inline courses

Beyond fire protection, trainingEXP also offers a range of online health and safety courses focusing on construction environments. Topics covered include asbestos management, design, regulation, first aid, and manual handling. All courses have been recognised or accredited by industry bodies such as the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the Association for Specialist Fire Protection.

Adam Steed commented: “Our mission is to help companies and organisations better understand their obligations and provide industry professionals with specialist knowledge that will improve fire safety”.

Towards a safer future

RECOM’s passive fire protection division, the fastest-growing arm of the group, has extended into a nationwide operation due to a series of contract wins. They have doubled their team of directly-employed installers in the past year. The company provides services such as passive fire protection installation, fire door surveys and installations, and repairs and upgrades, among others.

The launch of trainingEXP and its cutting-edge VR-based training scheme marks a significant stride in improving fire safety knowledge and standards across the built environment.

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