Safety First and Second: Why Fire Extinguisher Training Is Vital

Posted on: 27 July 2018

If you've purchased fire extinguishers to place around your business, you've taken an excellent first step to improving fire safety for your employees and your premises. However, that shouldn't be the end of it. Just having those fire extinguishers to hand isn't enough; your staff need to know how and when to use them, too. Otherwise, they may as well just be safety decorations. Here's why it's not as simple as just pointing and spraying.

Different Types for Different Fires

A fact that more people ought to know about fire extinguishers is that they're not all made equal. Different fires and situations call for very different fire extinguishers. Even if you're aware of this and have the correct type of extinguisher on site, your staff will need to know what each type is intended for. For example, an electrical fire can be made much, much worse if a water-based or liquid extinguisher is used on it, as opposed to the correct dry or powdered kind. While this information is often displayed on the side of a fire extinguisher, few people would think to read that information in a panic if they felt they already knew what to do. 

How to Use

Having a general, theoretical knowledge of how to use a fire extinguisher and actually going ahead and using one are two very different things. Putting your staff through proper training will ensure that they know exactly what they're doing in the event of a fire, and they will be much less likely to panic. It will also give them the confidence they need to try tackling a fire in the event that one should occur; otherwise, they may not feel qualified.

Heroics and Safety

Sometimes, using a fire extinguisher can stop a would-be emergency in its tracks and save people and property from danger. It would be excellent if this was always possible. However, there will always come a point when a fire is too big to be tackled with a fire extinguisher, and training will help your staff to understand where this line is. That way, they'll be equipped to make a split-second choice about whether to try fighting the fire, or whether they should immediately look for an exit.

Of course, it's always better to have a fire extinguisher than not to have one. You certainly shouldn't wait until your staff are all fully trained up to purchase them. Still, make sure you prioritise that training to equip your staff with safety knowledge as well as physical safety tools. Check out sites like for more information.