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5 Reasons Your Staff Needs Professional Fire Extinguisher Training

Posted October 13, 2015 by Koorsen Fire & Security

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Since you're required to have fire extinguishers on-site at your facility, you no doubt have these units placed throughout the building. In fact, regulations require that your fire extinguishers be located close enough together, so that you never have to travel more than 75 feet to reach one. While this probably gives you a sense of security, these units are only useful if your staff knows how to use them. That's where professional fire extinguisher training comes in. Here are the top 5 reasons you should provide this course for your staff.

Reason #1: It's Required by Law
Fire extinguisher training for your staff isn't just a good idea – it's the law. OSHA requires that if your emergency action plan includes the use of fire extinguishers, then your staff must be trained on how to use them.1 Just like everyone receives training before getting their driver's license, fire extinguishers require some instruction to become proficient with using them.

Reason #2: It Can Prevent Injuries
Rushing up to a fire if you've never used a fire extinguisher in your life, can be a recipe for disaster. You may stand too close to the flames or extend your arms near enough to be burned while holding an extinguisher. Or, you may try to fight the fire when it's between you and the exit, which training will teach you is extremely dangerous (and can lead to you getting trapped in the building with no means of egress). A short 1.5 hour course will teach you and your staff how to avoid these types of mistakes, and give you the tips that you need to be safe while effectively extinguishing a fire.

Reason #3: It Can Prevent Property Damage
A small fire that can be easily extinguished can quickly turn into a large-scale blaze that engulfs major sections of your building. This is especially true if you have a lot of combustible materials on-site, such as office furniture or stored items that burn easily (like in a warehouse). Even if you have adequate insurance to cover the damage, the time it takes to clean up and rebuild can be extremely damaging to your business. You may be unable to make delivery deadlines, which can lead to losing customer accounts. The ripple effect can be devastating and it may be felt for several years. That's if you're able to reopen your doors at all, with more than 40% of businesses that suffer a major fire going out of business for good.2

The good news is, if your staff has the right training, they'll know exactly what to do if they see a small fire. This means they can intervene when the problem is small, before it escalates out of control and causes widespread damage. In other words, professional fire extinguisher training may just save your business one day – making it an extremely worthwhile investment.

Reason #4: Limited Time to Take Action
A typical 5 pound ABC fire extinguisher only has about 15-30 seconds of use before it is empty, which means there is not much time to actually extinguish the fire. Because of the short time of operation, it is imperative that individuals know the proper way to use an extinguisher, to put out the fire promptly, before it becomes a bigger problem.

Reason #5: Help Staff Feel Safe in the Workplace
Knowing that they're expected to use fire extinguishers in an emergency, yet not having any training on how to do so, can make staff feel uneasy. It's important for your employees to feel safe in the workplace, as this leads to better attitudes and it may even improve productivity. Going through the professional fire extinguisher training class may also build a sense of teamwork, improving overall office morale.

Don't endanger your staff and facility for a moment longer. Get the professional fire extinguisher training you need to ensure compliance and to safeguard your personnel and property. Contact Koorsen by calling 1-888-KOORSEN or visiting /fire-extinguisher-training-program to schedule your in-depth 1.5 hour training class today.

SOURCES:
1 Occupational Safety and Health Standards 1910.157(g)(1) - https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9811
2 http://www.cityofdayton.org/departments/fire/Documents/Preparing%20for%20an%20Inspection.pdf

Topics: Fire Protection, Fire Extinguisher, Fire Safety, Fire Training