Why You Need Training Before Using a Fire Extinguisher

It’s all well and good having a fire extinguisher in your office but how many people know how to use it? If a fire breaks out, it’s vital to have someone on site who knows what they are doing. Training for using a fire extinguisher doesn’t just involve how a certain device operates but includes understanding of how fires start and propagate within buildings together with the tools to assist with the development and implementation of emergency evacuation arrangements.

Why You Need Training Before Using a Fire Extinguisher

Why You Need Training Before Using a Fire Extinguisher

It’s the Law

Fire extinguisher training has been the law since 2005 and every office needs at least one person who has been on a course. The person who has been on the training is usually appointed as the fire warden or marshal and generally needs to be a permanent member of staff. Most businesses, to cover for when staff are off, ensure that more than person is trained in fire awareness and are appointed as a Fire Warden.

Fighting Fires Effectively

When a fire breaks out, it can be easy for people to panic and get things wrong often making the situation much worse. Having someone who is properly trained on site means the fire is more likely to be tackled efficiently there and then and won’t spread, causing more damage. It can also help keep people safe. Training in the use of an extinguisher also includes when it’s not appropriate to tackle a fire.

Giving Employees Confidence and Reducing Risk

If an employee knows what to do and has had the appropriate training, they’re more likely to be confident in dealing with an outbreak of fire. The training also gives staff an understanding of the types of different fires and the sort of extinguisher which works on them. For instance, extinguishers can be of several types including water, dry powder, foam and CarbonDioxide (CO2) and various specialist use extinguishers.

A lot will depend on the type of business you run and its location. A warehouse will need different extinguishers and fire safety regulations compared to an everyday office. Fires can be caused because of an electrical fault, flammable liquids or gases or involve substances such as wood or paper. Each requires a different type of extinguisher and how these are operated also varies depending on the type of fire.

Providing the training for people in the workplace, in how to use a fire extinguisher can also help improve the safety procedures in your own workplace. You’ll be able to easily identify where general safety can be improved and ensure the safety of all staff as well as your property.

What will they learn

In short, someone who has been given training in using a fire extinguisher should:

  • Know where all the fire extinguishers in the workplace are located.
  • Know how to operate the fire extinguisher and understand whether it is appropriate for dealing with the outbreak.
  • Be able to assess the fire and whether there is a chance of tackling it or whether it should be abandoned. This can include assessing the level of smoke, how quickly it is likely to spread and the imminent threat to life.

While it is a legal requirement for businesses, the added advantages of having trained personnel on site cannot be underestimated, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a fire, it means you can be sure your staff and property are better protected.

We provide training suitable for Fire Wardens and also general Fire Awareness Training, if you have any concerns regarding the level of training your team requires or the types of Fire Extinguishers you have on site please contact us on 0330 6600264 or email [email protected]

Until Next Time… Stay Safe

Andrew Mitchell

FTS Safety Solutions LtdPAT TestingFixed Wire TestingThermal Imaging SurveysEmergency Lighting InspectionsFire Extinguisher Servicing  – Fire Alarm MaintenanceHealth and Safety TrainingRisk AssessmentsCable ManagementCommercial Microwave Testing Fire Door Inspections – Legionella Risk Assessments

Tel: 0330 6600264 Email: [email protected]


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