Workplace fires are not something you hear a lot about in the news, and thankfully not many people experience them in their lifetime. This is why many employers don’t think it is necessary to train their staff and employees on fire safety.
Imagine a workplace full of people that don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher. What if a fire occurs? People will be spraying and praying it hits the fire and calms down the flames. But what if they are using the wrong extinguisher and fueling rather than taming the beast? This can lead to serious loss of life and property.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it is the responsibility of the employers to train their employees to use a fire extinguisher. The Australian law also includes several legal standards that concern the duty of care in case of fires. Each workplace must be installed with fire detection alarms, fire sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers. The Australian law also requires all the workplaces to get their fire extinguishers inspected every six months. This is to ensure that these are in a good working condition when needed.
In addition to all these measures, it is also important to train your employees on how to use a fire extinguisher. Here are 4 reasons why fire extinguisher training should be essential at each workplace.
1. It Teaches Employees about Different Kinds of Fire Extinguishers
There are many different types of fire extinguishers designed to fight different kinds of fires. Using the wrong fire extinguisher during a fire can lead to many issues. The wrong fire extinguisher may fuel the fire further instead of containing it.
Having fire safety training experts training employees, will teach them about the different kinds of fire extinguishers. They will also teach them about the best kind of fire extinguishers to be used in different situations. This can help prevent costly damages to life and property in case of a workplace fire.
2. It Teaches Employees to Use a Fire Extinguisher Effectively
What’s the benefit of a fire extinguisher at a workplace if no one knows how to use it?
There is a specific way to use a fire extinguisher and your employees must know about it. Anyone can try and use a fire extinguisher but using it effectively is what matters the most. Not using it the right way will not extinguish the fire. It will also drain the extinguisher.
With fire extinguisher training, fire training experts will teach your employees about how to use a fire extinguisher effectively. This can help save vital seconds in case a fire erupts at your workplace. The employees will know how to hold and use the extinguisher. They will be in better condition to control the fire from spreading.
3. It Will Reduce the Risk of Major Loss
Most businesses are not able to fully recover from fire accidents. Sometimes fire spread could have been prevented if the right equipment or people were containing it. This is because not many employees are trained on fires or the equipment to prevent them. As a result, there is a lot of monetary damage and in worst cases, loss of life as well. Businesses find it impossible to recover financially from such huge losses.
Using the wrong fire extinguisher can also fuel fire which can lead to further loss of life and property. Therefore, you must train your employees so that they can prevent the fire from escalating to a point where nothing remains.
4. It Prevents Fire from Escalating
Using a fire extinguisher is the first and the most important tool that can help contain fires from spreading. A fire will not spread far and beyond if someone extinguishes it on the spot. Fire extinguisher training will make your employees confident enough to use a fire extinguisher which can help prevent the fire from spreading. They may also be able to put out the fire completely.
The Final Word
As an employer or business owner, it is your responsibility to provide a safe working environment for your employees. In addition to other things, make sure you include compulsory fire extinguisher training in their orientation. This can help save precious lives and property.
Furthermore, the workplace must also be installed with the latest fire extinguishers and fire sprinkler systems. This can help contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to an uncontrollable level. Make sure that the fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems, and other tools for fire control are regularly maintained. Change them if they have reached their expiration date.
Ken Thomas is the director at Total Fire Solutions, leading fire service contractors in the Pacific Rim and one of the top 3 independent distributors for the Asia Pacific region. His vision is to create a ‘one stop shop’ fire protection company committed to NSW mining and heavy industry. He is passionate for and excited by the latest developments in fire protection technology.