extinguisher training

Why You Need Fire Extinguisher Training in the Workplace

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.

 

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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!)

  1. 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!

Will Buchholz

FIRE EXTINGUISHER TRAINING AND YOUR BUSINESS: THE BASICS

Fires are 100% preventable. Proper equipment paired with well-trained individuals can save businesses and lives. In fact, most work environments must have an emergency action plan, functioning extinguishers, and trained extinguisher operators. OSHA’s requirements vary from one environment to the next—typically depending on size, occupancy, industry, and personnel. The more flammable material present in a place, the more strict OSHA requirements become.

You Need Fire Extinguisher Training or Education

Regardless of OSHA’s required training and education minimums, it’s a good idea to make yourself and the people around you prepared for an emergency.

Three reasons to fire train your staff:

  • OSHA usually requires training or education anyway.
  • You may get a better insurance rating.
  • Your staff will be well prepared in the event of a fire.

Fire Extinguisher Training vs Fire Education

Do you need either extinguisher training or fire education? The difference lies in the amount of hands on learning that takes place. Training includes supplementing the normal safety protocol information with real, hands on, extinguisher practice. Education is simply providing your staff with information about proper safety procedures and protocol—no hands on extinguisher practice included.

How do you know you are giving your staff the best knowledge for their position in the company? The answer lies in who is allowed to use an extinguisher. An employee that is included in your emergency action plan as an extinguisher operator must receive training. All other employees that are not designated extinguisher operators will only need extinguisher education.

OSHA Extinguisher Training
Guide to OSHA Extinguisher Training Requirements

Where You Can Find Fire Extinguisher Training

Schools and other government organizations can have their local fire department train or educate their staff. All other companies will need to pay a certified trainer. To book training or for more information, click here.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. For training or a personal evaluation please call us at 937-859-6198. For more information, visit us at www.a1ssi.com.

Will Buchholz