Fire Extinguisher Tools You Need to Teach Your Staff
You might not be able to imagine a true emergency happening at work, but when you are ill-prepared for them, the outcome can be much worse. If your commercial building were to catch on fire, you need to know that there is a plan in place to ensure the best possible response.
There are some basic fire safety tools and techniques you should be teaching every member of your team, including how to use a fire extinguisher. An alarming number of people have never been trained on how to handle one of these, but with a few simple steps, you can create a much safer environment.
Start With the Fundamentals
In every business facility, there should be proper fire safety equipment. [OSHA requirements] state that if you have a fire extinguisher, you are also required to offer training to your staff in order for them to learn how to use it.
A good rule of thumb is to not only give your employees the basics on how fire extinguishers work but also to make sure they understand the different kinds of extinguishers they may need to use.
The best place to start is with the basics, so show your team how to hold and aim an extinguisher. Once they are able to securely hang onto it, then show them how to pull the pin and squeeze the handle. Flames should be extinguished with a sweeping motion, and make sure your crew knows to stay six to eight feet away as they fight the fire.
You may want to instruct your employees to use the acronym PASS as a way to remember the steps involved when it comes to fire extinguishers. Provide basic training for everyone who accesses your building once a year so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and relearn just how to respond.
While you should give everyone the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of fire safety, consider creating additional training for assigned staff members so that you can widen your response area in a disaster. When you have a reliable team that knows where to go you can get control of a situation much faster.
There’s a Time and a Place
As you put together your emergency strategy, you need to consider any unique circumstances your location or the industry your business is in could create. If your building is at a higher risk for a certain scenario, make sure that is highlighted in your training.
That might mean taking the team down to the warehouse to discuss potential chemical fires, or assuring that there is a grease fire response plan in the kitchen. There are different fire extinguishers that should be used in different situations, so it’s important to be prepared to use all of them properly.
Your safety training should also include when and how to get out if a situation warrants it. Fire extinguishers are powerful tools that can save lives and protect your property from extensive damage, but flames can quickly become out of control even with the smallest fire. It is crucial to understand when to stay and fight and when to evacuate.
Provide your staff with a communication plan and how it will be activated in the event of an emergency. This will ensure that the response time from outside help is just as fast as what is happening inside your building.
A general fire safety strategy can offer you a lot of peace of mind when it comes to protecting your employees and your assets. Once your team has the basics down, expand your plans to cover a multitude of situations and create the most effective and safe business in any emergency.
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