Protect Your Business: The Importance of Fire Extinguishers in Workplace Safety
By TOI Staff November 16, 2023 Update on : November 16, 2023
Fire safety should be an essential component of your business plan. Training employees on how to use a fire extinguisher effectively in the workplace should also be part of this plan.
An effective employee training can make the difference between a small fire and its being extinguished swiftly and catastrophically. This article covers fire extinguishers, the types of fire they can be used on and the PASS method for using them correctly.
There are numerous strategies you can employ to safeguard against fire in your workplace, including conducting a fire risk analysis and training on how to use fire extinguishers effectively. Staff should understand their proper usage if this form of safety precautionary measure becomes necessary.
Fire extinguishers may only be useful against small fires (larger blazes will require assistance from emergency services), yet their use can help limit property loss and shorten recovery time – making them an integral component of any business’ fire protection plan.
Fire extinguishers should be strategically positioned within your workspace so they are easily accessible for employees. Label them clearly to indicate which types of fire they can extinguish as well as any necessary fire safety instructions, making sure they remain easily accessible for regular inspection. A professional fire service company will assess your workplace to determine which extinguisher will best fit the environment in which it’s situated.
Fire extinguishers for your business are essential tools tо ensure compliance with fire safety regulations, protect assets, and minimize damages caused by fires.
Fire extinguishers should be the ideal way to combat any fire hazards present in your workplace, and can be broken down by letter rating system. Office spaces typically need class A and B extinguishers while restaurants should consider having A, C, K extinguishers on hand as a safeguard.
Fire extinguishers should be placed in easily accessible locations to ensure all employees can quickly access them in case of emergency and to stop fires from spreading unnecessarily. Furthermore, annual inspections by certified professionals should take place to maintain top working condition of fire extinguishers.
Smoke detectors should be strategically installed in areas prone to fires, with at least one installed along every escape route. Ionization- or photoelectric detectors may be suitable; dual-sensor alarms may also be a possibility.
Ionization-based detectors can identify slower burning “smoldering” fires more effectively by detecting small black particles, while photoelectric detectors are ideal for identifying larger white or lighter colored particles produced by flaming fires. Whatever type of detection system is employed, regular maintenance and inspection are crucial.
Every second counts when it comes to fires, so it’s essential that employees receive proper training regarding what steps to take if they detect flames. Knowing where their nearest extinguisher can be found and being familiar with its capabilities are two things employees need for swift action in an emergency situation. PASS training also helps employees stay aware of which classes of extinguisher cover which situations.
Every business should maintain adequate fire safety equipment to prevent small flames from spreading uncontrollably and destroying property. Fire extinguishers play a critical role in fire safety measures and must be strategically positioned based on your building’s risk assessment process. Generally, your team should have access to carbon dioxide, water, dry powder and foam fire extinguishers.
Employees unfamiliar with how to use these products could put themselves in jeopardy when trying to put out fires, so you must ensure all employees receive training on how to safely manage a fire situation. You should also implement emergency procedures covering how you will respond if a fire breaks out as well as how and when evacuation should take place (check out Australian Safe Work emergency plans fact sheet for more info on this).