Ensuring adequate fire safety levels in your workplace requires complying with different codes and regulations. Teaching your employees how to properly use fire extinguishers is one of them as it falls under the required fire safety training and prevention plan.
Using fire extinguishers in a correct manner is essential for containing and preventing a fire, eliminating business losses, and, most importantly, protecting your employees. This should be done in collaboration with experienced fire safety and prevention providers, so don’t hesitate to reach out to experienced professionals in Southern California for any assistance you may need.
When should you use fire extinguishers?
Under California state regulations, employers are legally obliged to include training into their fire safety and prevention plans. Among other things, this entails discussing when the right time to use fire extinguishers is. Although this might be obvious, there are still a few considerations to take into account before actually using fire extinguishers.
Here are a few important factors to keep in mind before operating fire extinguishers:
- The fire should be contained to a small area.
- There should be no smoke in the room when using fire extinguishers.
- Employees should be aware of the situation and evacuate the building.
- You should contact the fire department and make sure everyone is safe.
- The person using a fire extinguisher should have an unobstructed exit route.
Only when you’re certain these conditions are met and everyone is safe should you use a fire extinguisher. If you’re in doubt whether you can control or put out even a small fire using this type of equipment, contacting the fire department is a priority.
What are the 4 steps in using a fire extinguisher?
When it comes to fire extinguisher use, you and your employees need to follow the most important principle: PASS. This is actually an anagram used to facilitate and ensure the correct use of fire extinguishers. It stands for:
- Pull: This is the first step and entails pulling the pin. The pin is located at the top of a fire extinguisher and it’s used for releasing the lock. This enables the discharge of the fire extinguisher agent.
- Aim: After completing the first step, you need to aim at the fire base to extinguish the fire. If you aim at the flames, you will cause the fire to spread because the flames will disperse around the area.
- Squeeze: To release the agent, you need to squeeze the fire extinguisher lever. Make sure to do this slowly and steadily.
- Sweep: Move the fire extinguisher nozzle from one side to the other across the base of the fire. Continue doing this until the fire has been put out, but make sure to wait for a few seconds to make sure it’s completely extinguished.
What to do after you use a fire extinguisher?
After successfully containing the fire and protecting your employees and colleagues, you will need to clean up the fire discharge. This may seem like a simple task, but there are a few important steps to follow:
- Consider the type. Since there are different types of fire extinguishers, you need to be familiar with the specific instructions of yours. Consult with your provider if you’re not sure what the exact guidelines are.
- Get protective equipment. You’ll need gloves, a protective mask, and goggles. The material may vary depending on the fire extinguisher type.
- Clean the discharge. This will either entail soaking up the foam or liquid or vacuuming the powder. Either way, it’s important that you remove the residue, including the paper towels used for cleaning, in a safe manner using a plastic bag. Clean the powder residue off the furniture with a damp cloth.
Learn how to use fire extinguishers properly
Here at Red Truck Fire & Safety, we enable businesses and employers to adhere to OSHA requirements for fire extinguishers and other important regulations. Thus, we organize safety training on the correct use of fire extinguishers, so feel free to reach out to us and we’ll schedule a course at your workplace.
Contact us today and protect your employees and business!