Your Guide to Using a Fire Extinguisher in the Workplace
According to the organization OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the most common emergencies that smaller businesses and commercial enterprises need to plan for are fires. Having a building that is properly equipped with fire extinguishers that are appropriate for the environment’s needs is vital to workplace safety, and could spell the difference between a small and swiftly-dowsed fire and a full-scale building evacuation.
OSHA standards require all employers to properly train their workers in using a fire extinguisher, as well as provide training regarding how to assess the relative danger of a situation and determine whether an evacuation is necessary. OSHA requires employers to provide training in the use of basic fire extinguishers on an annual basis, at the minimum.
However, a quick review from AMC Fire Protection regarding the procedure for using an extinguisher can come in handy, especially for employees who, for whatever reason, have not received appropriate training in their use.
The PASS Method and Safety Protocols
A popular training technique in the use of fire extinguishers is the PASS method:
- Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
- Aim the hose nozzle low, towards the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the extinguisher handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the hose nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until the fire is extinguished.
However, there is more to safely using an extinguisher than just the PASS method. Other critical protocol details establishments are responsible for include:
- Sounding the fire alarm or calling the local fire department if appropriate.
- Determining an evacuation route that is safe from flames, smoke, and excessive heat before approaching a fire with an extinguisher. Evacuation routes should never remain blocked.
- Backing away from the area if the fire flares up again after being extinguished.
- Evacuating the area if the extinguisher is empty but the fire continues to burn.
- Evacuating the area if the fire is too large to quell with an extinguisher.
Is your establishment in need of state-of-the-art fire protection systems? To learn more about what AMC Fire Protection can do to protect your property, reach out to our team today by calling 856-209-5887 or toll-free at 877-781-7878.