5 Tips for Training Your Staff to Use Your Fire Extinguishers

Clearwater fire suppression installation

If you own or manage a business, you probably know how important it is to keep yours safe from fire. Having the right fire extinguisher service is not enough to keep your place safe from fire. You also need to have fire extinguisher inspections done, work on getting fire extinguisher recharge taken care of and take other fire protection measures to keep your business and your people safe.

Part of this will be to make sure your employees know how to use the fire extinguishers you have at your business. Having them around does no one any good if your staff cannot use them properly or if you have not had the fire extinguisher recharges done as recommended by your fire extinguisher services company. The other part is the proper training on these important pieces of safety equipment. Here are some tips to train your people properly:

  1. Prepare your people for different kinds of fire. There are a lot of different kinds of fire that can threaten your business or home. Now, the chances are good that you will not have to fight off a wildfire in your commercial kitchen but your people should be able to deal with multiple types of fires. To make sure they can deal with the kinds of fires they may experience (or more, just because you manage an office supply store does not mean your people should not be ready for a kitchen type fire), have them practice on different kinds of fire. You can work with your fire extinguisher servicing company to do this in a safe setting.
  2. Look into simulating fires with digital technology. If you are not able to have your people practice on actual fires, there are often options to help them learn how to control fires using digital technology. These simulators can be great for getting your staff comfortable with the fire extinguishers and other tools that you have to combat fires at your business. You should make sure your simulations deal with common problems people encounter when dealing with fires at work such as a malfunctioning sprinkler system.
  3. Make sure your people know how to use all of your fire extinguishers. The chances are good that you have different kinds and sizes of fire extinguishers. You need to make sure your staff take the time to practice on all of the tools they will be able to use if there is fire in your business. They should also understand when they should use smaller or larger units to fight fire. A small fire in a waste basket will not need the same response as a larger fire in a kitchen.
  4. Train your staff how to check the fire extinguishers. Your staff may not be able to handle the fire extinguisher recharges that they need to have done but they should be able to tell if a unit is working and has the correct pressure. That means they need to be able to read the gauges that are located in each fire extinguishers. Not being able to see when they have the right pressure may make all of the difference when a fire breaks out. Fire extinguishers are no good if they are not maintained at the right pressure.
  5. Make sure everyone knows where they are. Your staff will not be able to properly use your fire protection equipment and tools if they do not know where they are. Keep them in centrally located spots in your business and made sure everyone knows where they are.

Most business owners know how important it is to have a plan for emergencies. They also understand that it is important to have a plan in place just for fires. This includes getting the right equipment and making sure that equipment is maintained properly. You want to schedule your fire extinguisher recharges and inspections done as recommended by local fire officials and fire experts. Your responsibility does not end there, it is also important to have a plan for your workers when there in a fire. This should include an evacuation plan. You should practice this with your employees just as you practice using your fire protection and prevention equipment and gear.

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