Fire extinguishers are an essential safety tool that prevents a small fire from becoming a major disaster. However, not many people know how to use them effectively. This lack of knowledge can lead to panic and confusion during an emergency, resulting in improper use of the extinguisher or not using it at all.
This is why training is crucial, it teaches individuals how to properly operate the device, including techniques for aiming and spraying the extinguishing agent. Educating individuals on properly using fire extinguishers prevents fires from spreading, potentially saving lives.
How often is fire extinguisher training required? Is it a one-time training, or is it necessary to refresh the training periodically? What are the things you learn during the sessions?
This article will give you everything you need to know about the importance of fire extinguisher training by exploring the following topics:
- Is fire extinguisher training required?
- Fire extinguisher training: what you will learn
- How long does fire extinguisher training last
Let’s get started!
Is Fire Extinguisher Training Required?
Yes, fire extinguisher training is required according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA’s regulations mandate that all employees receive proper training that covers the basics of fire extinguisher use, including when and how to use them, the different types of extinguishers and the hazards associated with fighting fires.
In addition to initial training, OSHA requires that employees receive refresher training at least once a year. This is to ensure that everyone is current on any changes in fire safety regulations and to reinforce their knowledge of fire extinguisher use. Employers must also provide their workers with opportunities to practice using fire extinguishers in a safe and controlled environment, such as during fire drills or training exercises.
Fire Extinguisher Training: What You Will Learn
Fire extinguisher training is an essential part of fire safety education. During a session, you are expected to learn about the following:
Understanding Key Fire Risks
Numerous fire hazards are commonly present in many workplaces, such as overloaded power sockets and frayed cords of electrical equipment that can easily ignite nearby flammable materials. Improperly stored combustible materials and chemicals also pose a significant risk.
Employees must be mindful of these fire risks and implement preventive measures. This includes conducting regular inspections of electrical equipment, properly storing combustible materials and chemicals and enforcing a strict prohibition against smoking. By comprehending and addressing these critical fire risks, employees can help establish a safer workplace for themselves and their colleagues.
Classes of Fire and the Their Corresponding Extinguishers
Employees need to understand the different types of fires and the extinguisher that will work on them. Using the wrong fire extinguisher will exacerbate the flames instead of putting them out.
The six classes of fire are:
- Class A (Solids): Water and foam extinguishers best suit Class A fires.
- Class B (Liquids): Foam and powder extinguishers best suit Class B fires.
- Class C (Gases): Dry powder extinguishers best suit Class C fires.
- Class D (Metals): Dry powder extinguishers best suit Class D fires.
- Electrical Fires: Carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers best suit electrical fires.
- Class F (Cooking Fats & Oils): Wet chemical extinguishers best suit Class F fires.
Assessing a Fire Situation
Before attempting to extinguish a fire, evaluating the situation and determining the appropriate course of action is essential. This involves identifying the type of fire, its size and its location. One key factor in assessing a fire situation is understanding the different classes of fires so they’ll know what type of extinguisher to use.