During the past week I have been back to school. Well, I have been on a four-day training course to learn about the servicing and installation of fire extinguishers. Little did I know how challenging this course was going to be …
Back To School: A 4-Day Fire Extinguisher Course!
The first thing I had to do was to drive to the hotel where the course was running. Now, normally this journey takes about 35 minutes, so I allowed an hour which I thought was plenty. How wrong was I going to be!
The worst part of the journey was taking 20 minutes to travel just 300 yards between two roundabouts! Grrr! Traffic can be so frustrating sometimes! I arrived with about 10 minutes before the course started – just enough time to pour a coffee and introduce myself.
Once we were under way, it dawned on me what sort of challenge was coming my way, especially when the trainer said there was going to be 2-3 hours of homework each night. I still needed to ensure the business was ticking over and I thought some careful planning beforehand would help. Not a chance – this was going to be a real slog!
On the way home I was a little concerned. How I was going to do the homework? To be honest, my mind was already baffled with what had been covered throughout the day. The journey home was a nightmare and took over an hour and a half, so I hoped that the homework was going to be a little less taxing. Once I had eaten, I did try to do some of the assigned work but eventually I was so tired I could not focus on the words.On the first day, we spent nine hours on the theory relating to fires and the different types of extinguishers and their installation. I think the only highlight was watching our trainer run when he found out that Danish pastries were being served with the morning tea and coffee. I have to admit they were delicious especially as they were fresh baked and still warm.
Day two started and I hoped it was going to be a little easier, but as I drove down the A5 and got to the main roundabout I found that my route was closed due to roadworks! So annoyed! Oh yes, especially as there had not been any signage to say the road would be closed on that day. Lots of shortcuts and back street cut throughs and I was almost back on track. This time I did arrive with a little more time to relax, drink coffee and do a bit of the homework that I should have done the night before! Funnily enough, a few of us said the same thing – our minds were so blown from the day’s theory training that we all struggled to do the work.
Thankfully, day two was a little less taxing; well once the revision test was out of the way. I did badly on that test, but from then on we had more theory explained and chocolate covered shortbreads for coffee break. After lunch we moved on to being shown how fire extinguishers work and their different components then on to a demonstration on how to service an extinguisher.
We finished a little earlier, but on the plus side, I missed all the traffic and was home on time. With a nice cup of tea and my notes I started my homework.
Day three was pretty straight forward. We were given the opportunity to service the various types of extinguishers. There was one instance where the person I was paired up with, proceeded to explain how to reassemble the extinguisher and decided to refit the gas cylinder. I did ask him if he was sure but when I got a positive response from him, I panicked a little, and insisted he refitted the safety pin and seal first! Once the day was over, I spent most of the evening preparing for the next day.
Day four was all about exams. A two hour theory followed by the practical exam. I’m pleased to say that I did pass my practical, but I now have to wait for 10 nail-biting days until I receive notification of whether I passed my theory exam!
Until next time …I did answer most of the theory questions so hope that with the homework and revision that I was able to do, I might just have squeezed a pass then I can move my business expansion plans one step further along!