en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

Fire Extinguisher Training - A Critical Component of Your Life Safety Program

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 12/6/10 4:46 PM

Fire Extinguishers are your organization's first line of defense against fire and a critical part of your life safety plan.  They are designed to put out or control small fires, but it is vital that building occupants understand and get trained on the basics of fire safety and fire extinguisher use. 

Why is fire extinguisher training important? 

According to the University of Norhtern Iowa:

A fire is the most common type of emergency for which all businesses must plan. A critical decision when planning is whether or not employees should fight a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher or simply evacuate. Small fires can often be put out quickly with a portable fire extinguisher. However, to do this safely, the employee must understand the use and limitation of a portable fire extinguisher and the hazards associated with fighting fires.

What does fire extinguisher training consist of?

For an individual to properly assess and react in a fire situation, Fire Extinguisher Training generally consists of several components.

Fire Basics.

The components of fire, how fires start and spread.fire_extinguisher_training

Fuel Classifications. 

Understanding the four types of fuel sources for fires.  A. General Combustibles like wood, cloth, paper, rubber; B. Flamable liquids, gases, greases, Petroleum products; C. Energized electrical equipment, and; D. Combustible metals like sodium, potassium, magnesium

Types of Extinguishers. 

What are they types of extinguisher and which types of fires they can be used on.

How Fire Extinguishers Work. 

Components of a fire extinguisher, how they suppress various types of fires, pressure systems, etc.

Rules for Fighting a Fire. 

What to do before fighting a fire, understanding what is burning, understanding how to approach a fire, identifying your evacuation path, assessing a fire's progress, etc.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Properly. 

How the P.A.S.S. (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep) technique works, why it is important and how it is put into practice..

Fire Extinguisher Training is more than just pulling a pin and squeezing.  Implementing a fire extinguisher safety program, informing occupants of the specific building's fire safety procedures, understanding the different classes of fires and different types of fire extinguishers, and receiving training on how to fight a fire CAN save lives.  There are many professional organizations that can provide detailed fire extinguisher training for your organization.  We encourage all businesses to consider this important life safety step.

Electronically monitoring extinguishers with the en-Gauge system ensures these vital life safety tools are available, accessible and in working order 24/7/365.

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