Fire Extinguisher Training – A Key to Protection and Prevention

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that employers implement fire protection and prevention programs in the workplace. Fire alarms, intercom systems, and special hazard fire suppression systems are all electronic and dependable in the case of fire, but when it comes to the true protection, it is recommended that all employers install a fire extinguisher. Illinois State Fire Marshal Officers recommend employers provide proper training in how to use one properly.

Instructors Provide Classroom & Tactile Instruction
Prevention is key, but if a fire starts knowing exactly where a fire extinguisher is located and how to use it may be the difference between someone living or dying. If an employer is providing a portable extinguisher, OSHA requires they provide professional training by hiring someone in Illinois with experience in using fire protection equipment and certified to provide classroom and tactile instruction.

Once complete, the employees will have familiarized themselves with the general principles of fire extinguisher use, its uses, limits and the hazards that incur when fighting the fire. Fire safety experts recommend employers package this training with general First Aid instruction, which is often offered through the same company.

Types of Extinguishers
As part of employee training, a certified instructor will provide information on how to choose the right extinguisher, and if multiple exist on the premises, the training will show how to use each one properly. This is vital, as using the fire extinguishing equipment can be life threatening and cause irreparable property damage.

A Class “ ” fire involves any material that has a burning ember such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber or plastic and a multi-use fire extinguisher that uses air pressurized water would be appropriate in this case. But it is widely known that putting water on a grease fire, electrical fire or any fire involving exotic metals because it will cause the flames to spread and end up causing extensive property damage.

Therefore, look into dry chemical or carbon dioxide extinguishers that are suitable for fires involving flammable liquids known as a Class “B” fire or electrical equipment known as a Class “C” fire. CO2 extinguishers have an advantage over dry chemical extinguishers since they don’t leave a harmful residue, which experts say is a good choice for electrical fire on a computer or other favorite electronic devices such as a stereo or TV.

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