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Do I Need to Schedule Fire Extinguisher Training for my Employees?

Last Updated: January 9, 2016

Do you have fire extinguishers placed in strategic locations throughout your office building? You’re one step closer to ensuring improved fire safety (and meeting OSHA codes), but don’t forget: a fire extinguisher is only as useful as the person operating it. If your employees don’t know how to operate a fire extinguisher, we recommend you schedule training as soon as possible.

Importance of Fire Extinguisher Training

Why should you make it a priority to schedule fire extinguisher training for your employees from a professional fire protection company? While you can’t predict when a fire might break out, you can make sure your employees are ready to combat it—and hopefully minimize injury, risk, or loss if the fire were to grow uncontained.

Consider the benefits of fire extinguisher training:

  • Your employees feel more confident in an emergency situation. Their fast response could be enough to diffuse a fire at the source and stop it from spreading.
  • The fire extinguisher is more effective when the person using it knows how to hold and aim it properly.
  • The person operating a fire extinguisher is less likely to hurt themselves attempting to put out the fire when they receive proper training first.
  • Using the wrong type of extinguisher could make the flames worse. Training ensures your employees know what symbol on the front of the fire extinguisher corresponds with which type of fire.
  • Taking the time to train your employees could potentially save lives, reduce property loss and minimize recovery time.
  • Fire extinguisher training could allow for possible deductions on your building’s insurance premiums.

Aspects of Fire Extinguisher Training

Since you never know which employee could be called upon to operate a fire extinguisher, make sure every employee receives training. When you hire a new team member, be sure to offer fire extinguisher training at the first available opportunity, or on a regular basis so that all employees feel comfortable and confident.

In order for training to have a lasting effect on your employees, you should do more than simply gather in the conference room and play a DVD about using fire extinguishers. Your employees may become bored and inattentive. Plus, without hands-on training, they may still feel uncomfortable using a fire extinguisher in real life.

What you need is for a professional fire extinguisher instructor to visit your business location and offer a hands-on opportunity to put out a virtual fire. That’s the sort of fire extinguisher training State Systems offers businesses throughout the Mid-South.

State-of-the-art virtual reality fire training puts a real fire extinguisher in your employees’ hands, without the mess or cost of using real fire extinguishers or potential complications due to weather. They learn PASS (Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the trigger fully and Sweep side to side) to extinguish a virtual fire projected on the screen in front of them. Each employee can practice multiple times and ask questions of the professional fire extinguisher instructor until they feel like they could handle putting out a real fire.

State Systems’ fire instructor, Paul Krodel, talks with FOX13 about our approach:

Other Fire Safety Tips for Offices

In some instances, evacuating the building is safer than trying to suppress a fire with an extinguisher. If the fire is too large or growing quickly despite efforts to put it out, it’s best for your employees to escape the building before it’s too late.

Your workplace should have a fire safety plan, including evacuation routes posted on the walls. You should also establish a specific outdoor meeting place so everyone can be accounted for in an emergency.

For professional fire extinguisher training at your business of building, please contact State Systems today! We offer training for businesses throughout the Mid-South region of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

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