Training Employees on Utilizing Portable Fire Extinguishers
Do you have a portable fire extinguisher in your workplace? Let’s hope so! Do you know how to use your fire extinguisher properly? If not, what good is having a fire extinguisher if you don’t know how to use it?
OSHA requires employers who provide fire extinguishers in the workplace that are available for employee use to also provide an "educational program" for affected workers that covers the principles of fire extinguisher use as well as the hazards of incipient-stage (early stage) fire-fighting. This educational program must be provided as part of new employee orientations, and the employer must also provide an annual refresher training on this topic. In addition, the employer must provide all fire brigade members, as well as fire watches and any other worker who has been assigned any job that requires the use of a portable fire extinguisher, with hands-on training on the equipment they will be required to use.
The most important thing to consider when designing your fire extinguisher training program is your workplace. Focus your training on the type of emergencies employees really may face. For example, an office complex, manufacturing facility, hospital facility, and university dorm should all have markedly different programs. Furthermore, employees with different roles should be trained based on the threats they face and the emergency response protocols that are established. Every successful program should combine classroom and hands-on instructional elements. Many of the basics can and should be covered before allowing trainees to exercise hands-on application.
Trainees should leave the program with knowledge of the sources of fire, classes of fire and their corresponding fire extinguishers, how to identify an extinguisher, how to assess a fire situation, and fire emergency protocols. Here at SERVPRO of Edmonds we practice proper Fire Extinguisher training and we encourage all businesses to do the same. If you are curious about preparing your business for unexpected risks contact SERVPRO of Edmonds at 425-775-5723 and inquire about our Free Emergency Ready Profile assessment.