Every workplace building or facility has fire extinguishers. It’s required by your local code. But what’s unique is that not every workplace implements fire extinguisher training. Fire extinguisher training is a comprehensive course that teaches employees how to choose the right fire extinguisher for a fire and how to use that fire extinguisher properly.
While fire extinguisher training is exceptionally useful, a surprising amount of workplaces do not offer fire extinguisher training for their employees. If you’re working on fire safety for your company or business, here are 5 reasons to implement fire extinguisher training, both for the health and safety of your employees, and the well-being of your business:
01. It May Be OSHA Required
Depending on your industry and your fire evacuation policy, fire extinguisher training may be required by OSHA for your company. If you’re not sure if fire extinguisher training is required for your company, it’s a good idea to take a look at your emergency response policy. If the policy requires any employees to use a fire extinguisher in the event of a fire, you’ll need to have hands-on practice and fire extinguisher training for at least those responsible employees.
Additionally, if your emergency plan doesn’t specifically state that in the event of a fire, all employees must immediately evacuate the building, then employees who are comfortable are permitted to use fire extinguishers in the event of a smaller fire hazard. In this situation, you may only be required to provide basic level fire and fire extinguisher training. That said, quality training doesn’t take much time and can go a long way to keep your people, and your property safe.
02. Ensure Employees Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Outside of OSHA training requirements, it’s a good idea to implement fire extinguisher training just to make sure your employees know how to use a fire extinguisher. Though fire extinguishers are required in nearly any building, many people have never used or even held a fire extinguisher.
Your building is required to install fire extinguishers — it’s in your best interest to ensure that employees know how to use them. Improper use of fire extinguishers can cause injuries, fail to put out a fire, or even make fires worse. Just a bit of fire extinguisher training can go a long way to ensure that employees know what to do with one, in the event that there is a fire in your commercial building.
03. Teach Employees Which Fire Extinguisher to Use
There are a variety of different fire extinguishers for different commercial facilities. Each fire extinguisher is rated to suppress a specific type of fire, or fire class, ranging from Class A-D. Each fire class is best extinguished with a specific agent.
Employees without proper fire extinguisher training are unlikely to understand the difference and run the very real risk of attempting to use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on the present fire hazard. Depending on the type of fire, this can actually work to make the fire worse, putting your employees at risk, and causing greater damage to your property.
04. Save Lives and Protect Employees
When employees are trained to respond properly to a fire hazard, you’re doing the most you can to keep everyone safe. Fire extinguisher training covers more than just how to use a fire extinguisher — it educates employees about existing workplace fire hazards, teaches them how to respond appropriately, and how to keep everyone around them as safe as possible.
In addition to teaching your employees how to use fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher training equips your team with the tools and education they need to keep themselves and others safe in the event of a workplace fire.
05. Reduce Property Loss & Minimize Recovery Time
Finally, fire extinguisher training can help reduce property loss and minimize recovery time associated with a workplace fire. When employees know how to properly use fire extinguishers, they can immediately suppress and extinguish workplace fires. This helps to minimize the overall damage done to your property. And when damage is minimal, you’ll need to spend less time completing repairs, getting everyone back to work quickly and safely.
How to Choose a Quality Fire Extinguisher Training Program
Implementing fire extinguisher training can go a long way to keeping your employees and your business safe. If you’re looking for a quality fire extinguisher training program, here are a few elements you’ll want to make sure are included in any education program you choose:
- Classroom education
- Hands-on, outdoor training
- Certified instructor
- Custom-tailored course material for your unique facility
- Content covering your specific fire procedure
While a quality fire extinguisher training program will cover a range of topics, from basic fire safety to how to use a fire extinguisher, it’s important to find a training program that offers both classroom and outdoor, hands-on training, so employees can really get a feel for proper fire extinguisher use. Custom-tailored course content is also a key item to look for. This helps ensure that employees are ready for the types of fires and fire hazards most likely to be present at your facility and teaches them how to respond according to your workplace fire procedure.
Every business can benefit from comprehensive fire extinguisher training. Whether you’re opening up a new location, or updating an existing building to meet new code requirements, it’s a good idea to schedule fire extinguisher training too, so your employees know exactly how to keep themselves safe.
If you’re looking for a hands-on fire extinguisher training program, be sure to talk to the experts at Vanguard Fire & Security. We tailor each and every fire extinguisher training course to the specific hazards present at your site.