If the proper fire extinguisher is used correctly and promptly, more than 90% of fires are extinguishable.
Ask your employees where the nearest fire extinguisher is. Most informal polls have found that less than 25% of employees are able to locate the nearest fire extinguisher in their workplace from memory. If you could make sure you and your employees were prepared in the event of a fire, why wouldn’t you?
In addition to safety, companies that provide fire extinguisher training for their staff usually have a better insurance rating. If that’s not enough reason to hold fire extinguisher training for your workplace, check out the OSHA minimum requirement that employers provide their staff with the basic knowledge of how to use an extinguisher and the hazards of early stage fires. (Occupational Health and Safety Administration; 1910.157(g))
So, properly training your staff on fire safety keeps your employees and property safe, and keeps money in your pocket.
What to include in your workplace fire extinguisher training:
1. Common fire hazards in the workplace include:
* Waste & Combustible material storage,
* Flammable liquids and vapors,
* Dust build-up in enclosed spaces with heat generating devices (think, Data Room),
* Objects that generate heat (such as electrical equipment and machinery) being left on for extended periods of time,
* Faulty electrical equipment,
* Overloading power sockets,
* Smoking (you think it won’t happen, but it did at A1 and it can at your workplace too!), and
* Human negligence.
2. Selecting the proper fire extinguisher. Did you know there are different extinguishers for different areas – kitchen, data room, etc??
A – ordinary combustible; B – flammable or combustible liquids; C – electrical equipment; D – combustible metals; and K – cooking oils
3. Where fire extinguishers should be located.
Check your workplace for the materials listed above and make sure the appropriate fire extinguisher is nearby. Dependent on the type of extinguisher, there is a specific distance it should be placed from the hazard: 75 ft. for ABC, as long as there is an extinguisher within 50 ft. of a B hazard; 50 ft for D; 30 ft for K.
4. Review your fire escape plan in the event of a larger fire.
According to the Ohio Fire Code, your company should have a fire escape plan. If not, take a few minutes to write one down and ensure everyone knows how to respond in the event of an emergency. The Ohio Fire Code also specifies what information should be included in a company’s fire escape plan – be on the lookout for a future A1 blog on what to include (and maybe even a handy template!)
5. How to use a fire extinguisher.
Review the P.A.S.S. method here.
Fire extinguisher training will provide your employees, as well as yourself, with a basic knowledge of how fires start, how they grow, and how to use the proper fire extinguisher in order to reduce injury, risk, and loss in the workplace. Additionally, your company should have a properly outlined fire escape plan in the event of a larger fire that cannot be fought with extinguishers. By understanding these things, along with what fire hazards are in the workplace and where fire extinguishers are best positioned, your staff will feel confident to act accordingly in a stressful situation such as a fire.
A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198. Check out our Workplace Fire Extinguisher Training!