Fire extinguishers are serious business and responsible business owners should train themselves and their employees on the basics. Here’s some things we think every business should know about their fire extinguishers.
Fire Extinguishers are not ‘one size fits all’
The most important thing a business can do for fire prevention is to make sure it has the correct fire extinguishers in their buildings. Depending on the materials present- some extinguishers are better equipped for the job than others. Make sure you have the right extinguisher for your setting.
Whenever you use the fire extinguisher, use the PASS acronym
- Pull the Pin – hold the extinguisher and make sure the nozzle is pointing away from you. Then pull the pin or locking mechanism.
- Aim low – always point the extinguisher at the base of a fire, that’s where it’s feasting, so hit it there.
- Squeeze the lever – but make sure you do it slowly and evenly. Keep your cool. Just don’t squeeze hard and turn into Rambo. Even, controlled bursts should do the trick.
- Sweep – Almost imagine the nozzle of the fire extinguisher is a broom. Sweep from side to side of the fire, not directly on top of it and downward.
All extinguishers should be inspected
Flat out – this is a state requirement. We have a 12 point check that we run to make sure each extinguisher is safe for use.
Install extinguishers near exits.
This is important because you have a better chance of clearing a path for escape in the event of a fire. Your priority whenever there is a fire is NOT TO PUT OUT THE FIRE, but rather ensure everyone in the building gets out. In fact, make sure everyone is a safe distance from the fire as a whole before even using the extinguisher.
Train your employees
Honestly, we get it – most employees hate training, but even if it’s for a half hour or an hour each year – it’s important and could save lives. And we’ll do the training for you if necessary. But make sure there’s first aid training, CPR, fire safety, emergency preparedness and others. OSHA and AHA has compliance courses on these topics as well that are a fantastic resource and a great place to start.