Digital fire extinguishing simulator in own workplace unique in fire safety training

Fire safety training theory for Student Health Services.

Joakim Ohldén, Security Officer at the University Administration, conducting fire safety training for staff at Student Health Services. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Uppsala University has to provide fire safety training for its employees. This now includes a unique training exercise with a digital fire extinguishing simulator.

Joakim Ohldén with the digital fire extinguisher.

The fire extinguisher looks and sounds like the real thing. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

In autumn 2023 Anders Berndt wrote an article on the intranet about the University’s practical fire safety training. As stated in the article, members of staff who are present have a particular responsibility if a fire breaks out at work. This responsibility includes trying to put the fire out until the emergency services arrive. However, training is needed to extinguish fires in the right way.

“Our own safety is always paramount,” says Joakim Ohldén, Security Officer at the University Administration. “There are fires we can’t put out and then we need to evacuate immediately.”

Moving into the workplace

Now the year is 2024. The theoretical training consists of a digital nanolearning course, which is just being moved into Studium. The practical training consists of exercises with a digital fire extinguishing simulator.

How does it work?

“With a digital fire extinguisher, practical fire safety training moves in with members of staff at work, in their own workplace, and that’s unique,” Ohldén says. “On top of the advantage that members of staff are familiar with the setting, we can create scenarios in places in their own work environment that may pose special risks.”

The fire extinguisher looks and sounds like the real thing. It stops if not used in the right way.

“The simulator can sense distance to make sure the distance is correct for extinguishing,” Ohldén explains. “Different degrees of difficulty can be set. However, in some workplaces with laboratory environments, supplementary exercises should be held outdoors with real carbon dioxide extinguishers.”

Invaluable employees and research results

The fire safety training is part of the systematic fire safety management required of all organisations and property owners, regardless of size. The training should include both theory and practice.

Previously, the practical exercises were only held outdoors, where wind and weather had a noticeable impact on the number of participants. On rainy days, more participants dropped out and moreover the situation was not entirely true to life.

“A guidance document for fire safety training at Uppsala University is being prepared and could mean that certain workplaces with higher risks may need to train more often,” Ohldén says. “In an office, for example, the risk of fire is lower than at a place where inflammable substances are used. We want our staff to be able to act and put out a small fire early so as to save lives, property and premises. Our employees and our research results are invaluable.”

One morning in March 2024, the staff at Student Health Services practised fire extinguishing. The members of staff put out fires quickly and competently. Thanks for letting us attend your exercise!

Ulrika Hurtig

Practical fire safety training at Student Health Services

Practical fire safety training visiting Student Health Services. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Fire extinguishing exercise

A digital fire at Student Health Services. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Digital fire extinguishing at Student Health Services

The digital fire is extinguished using a simulator. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

More information

More information will be sent to the fire safety representative at each department, but anyone who is interested in training using a digital fire extinguishing simulator right now is welcome to drop a line about this to

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