How to become a home safety support worker: Sam's story

Meet Sam, 18, from Wrexham and find out what it's like to be a home safety support worker for the fire service. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"My family was a big inspiration. My grandad was in the fire service so he pointed me in the right direction."

How do you describe your job?

We help the community by fitting smoke detectors and by giving safety advice to vulnerable people. We try and reach as many different people as we can to make sure that they have smoke detectors in their homes.

What skills do you use?

You need to be able to communicate with your team. You have to adapt your language to be able to get your advice over. You need to be able to use problem-solving. You’ve got to get to different appointments at different times, so you’ve got be able to use your time management skills.

What subjects do you draw on from school?

My GCSE options were PE, History and Engineering. I did Uniformed Public Services in college; it teaches you how all the public services work. I was supposed to be on a two-year course, but I searched on the internet and found my traineeship which was a better option for me. English, Maths, and IT are important as you need to be able to log information.

Is this the job you always knew you wanted?

I didn’t even know about this job. I thought the fire service was only fire-fighting. However, when I came on my traineeship course with my college, I saw all the different jobs you could do.

Sam on a home safety visit.

Top tips

  • Don't just copy what your friends are doing – think about which choices will help you in the future

  • It can be tough getting to where you want to be. I juggled my traineeship with a job in a fast food restaurant for twelve months. Remember that the hard work does pay off in the end though

  • Go with what you want to do. You will get the result you want if you put the effort in.

A similar role to Sam's is health and safety adviser. Whilst Sam advises on fire health and safety issues in the home, health and safety advisers work to reduce accidents, injury and health problems in the workplace.

What to expect if you want to become a home safety support worker

  • Health and safety adviser salary: from £22,000 to £70,000 per year
  • Health and safety adviser working hours: 38 to 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a home safety support worker?

  • Typical entry requirements: You could get this role through a university course, an apprenticeship or training through a professional body. You can do a degree or postgraduate diploma recognised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. You'll usually need two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree or a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course. You can also work towards this role through an advanced apprenticeship as a safety, health and environment technician. Each employer will set their own requirements for apprenticeships. You could study for a health and safety qualification while you're working or to improve your chances of finding a trainee position. These are likely to include health and safety in the workplace, regulations, risk assessment and basic accident investigation. Courses are usually available on a part-time basis or by distance learning. You can take approved health and safety courses through:

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of an editorial assistant.

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