How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Effectively at Work

The most frequent emergency that must be planned for by small businesses is a fire. An important part of planning for a fire emergency is to have the proper fire extinguishers in place for quick and easy access. However, simply having fire extinguishers is not enough. Employees must know how to use a fire extinguisher effectively. Through a reputable fire equipment and services company, you can gain the tools, training and inspection services you need to help protect your business during fire emergencies.

According to OSHA, it is incumbent upon employers to train their workers thoroughly in how to assess a particular situation accurately, how to determine if or when evacuation is the safest option, and also how to use a fire extinguisher properly. Under OSHA regulations, employees are required to be trained in the use of a fire extinguisher on a minimum yearly basis.

The PASS Method
And easy training method to teach employees how to effectively use a fire extinguisher is referred to as the PASS method. It is as follows:

P – Pull the pin.
A – Aim low toward the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the handle – this releases the extinguishing agent.
S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side while aimed at the base of the flames. Continue until extinguished.

Fire safety training for employees, although including how to effectively use a fire extinguisher, also consists of other important training information, such as the following protocol:

Determine a safe evacuation route that avoids flames, excessive smoke, and heat before approaching the fire. Prevent this route from becoming blocked.
If necessary, sound the fire alarm or call the fire department right away.
Discharge the fire extinguisher using the PASS method. If the flames flare up, move back from the area.
Evacuate immediately if your extinguisher is empty fire is still burning.
Evacuate immediately if the fire develops beyond what can be safely handled with firefighting tools at hand.