Various governing authorities require that your facility maintain fire extinguishers because they’re essential in protecting your employees, property, and products from harm. But let’s be honest here — a fire extinguisher can’t protect anything if nobody knows how to use it.

Simply having fire extinguishers available isn’t enough. Rather, you and your employees must also know how to choose the right extinguisher, as well as how to operate it effectively — and that’s where you’ll probably need to invest in some training. Let’s take a look at what hands-on fire extinguisher training includes, why it’s important, and how to choose a good program.

What Does Hands-On Fire Extinguisher Training Include?

A comprehensive fire extinguisher training program usually consists of two parts: classroom education and hands-on training.

This video offers a helpful view of what both parts of that hands-on fire extinguisher training can look like:

01) Fire Extinguisher Training — Classroom Education

During classroom education, your employees will learn all about emergency preparedness and various types of fire extinguishers through lectures, literature, and demonstrations provided by a certified instructor. There’s also usually a test and certificate of completion at the end.

02) Fire Extinguisher Training — Hands-on Training

Once your employees have passed the classroom education part of their training, they’ll get to do what’s most important: put their knowledge into practice. Generally conducted in an outdoor setting, certified instructors will provide hands-on training teaching your team how to use the various types of fire extinguishers. They’ll walk through things like:

  • hazard approach tactics,
  • sweep techniques,
  • and how to extinguish simulated propane-fed fires.

This hands-on training is critical in ensuring your staff has the opportunity to try these devices and techniques while the stakes are low — so, in the case that the stakes ever become high, they know exactly what to do.

Better yet, an experienced fire extinguisher training provider will be able to tailor all of their educational materials toward your facility. They’ll cover the specific types of fires your facility is most likely to experience, and keep information relevant to your employees, their unique environment, and the unique hazards that come with it.

Why Is Hands-On Fire Extinguisher Training Important?

There are various reasons why many workplaces don’t currently offer fire extinguisher training for their staff — from getting swept up in other priorities and forgetting about it, to just not being aware that it exists. But by failing to train and prepare their employees properly, workplaces run the risk of devastating and costly damage.

Hands-on fire extinguisher training is important because, while you can’t predict a fire, you can ensure that your employees know what to do to promptly and effectively combat it — ultimately minimizing what could have been extensive injuries, damages, and expenses.

There are a number of reasons  that hands-on fire extinguisher training is important. Here are just a few of the key benefits of hands-on fire extinguisher training:

  • It may be required by OSHA, depending on your industry.
  • It can help your employees feel more confident and calm in an emergency situation.
  • It can reduce the chance of an employee worsening the situation by using the wrong type of fire extinguisher.
  • It can reduce property loss and minimize recovery time, helping to get operations back up and running before too much loss in profit.
  • It can save lives.

How to Choose a Hands-On Fire Extinguisher Training Program for Your Facility

Once you’ve made the decision to get your staff trained, you’ll have to make another decision about where to get that training. Our advice? Look for a training program that includes the following:

  • Classroom education
  • Hands-on training
  • Certified instructor(s)
  • Customized course material and demonstrations for your facility’s unique needs
  • Content that follows your specific fire procedure(s), as applicable

Vanguard’s Mobile Fire Extinguisher Training

At Vanguard Fire & Security, we’re proud to offer a two-part (classroom and hands-on) fire extinguisher training program that satisfies OSHA requirements and reduces potential harm. Through this program, our certified instructors are able to offer customized training experiences for a number of industries, including oil & gas, chemical, aviation, office, healthcare, manufacturing, restaurant, and more. Here’s a look at what our trainer, Craig, helps our clients learn every day!

The best part? It’s mobile! Our Mobile Fire Training Trailer is equipped with everything we need to pack up, drive out to a location that’s convenient for your team, and deliver the most comprehensive education possible.


Looking to schedule some much-needed hands-on fire extinguisher training? Vanguard Fire & Security can help. With knowledgeable instructors, custom materials, and mobile services, we have the resources to offer some of the best hands-on training in the industry. Learn more about our fire extinguisher training service, or contact our team to schedule your training today!

Interested in the proper use of portable hand operated fire extinguishers? Click here.