Fires can be some of the most dangerous situations at any workplace. Therefore, it’s important for every workplace to have proper fire safety steps. Fire extinguishers should be a key part of any of these plans. However, it’s crucial to make sure you have the right ones and know how to use them…
Fire Extinguishers: Use Them Properly
Not many people know that fire extinguishers come in different types. Rather, they think any extinguisher will work on any fire. In particular, there’s four classes they can be in, ranging from A to D. Each type is specifically meant to be used for different types of fires.
For instance, class A extinguishers are for “ordinary” fires (like wood and paper), and class B types are for flammable liquids like grease and oil. Class C types are for electrical fires, and class D types are for any flammable metals. Many times, you’ll find extinguishers with that cover multiple classes, like A-B-C or B-C.
All fire extinguishers should be in easy-to-access locations. That way, if a fire does occur, it’ll be easy for anyone to grab an extinguisher. This can make all the difference between a small fire either getting put out or growing out of control.
Most places will have their extinguishers located on the walls, usually behind breakaway glass. Others may have them placed in cabinets, depending on the workspace. Make sure that all employees also know where these extinguishers are as well! This will make sure they know where to go if a fire does start.
Fire extinguishers aren’t all that hard to use. Still, it’s important that everyone is familiar with how to work them. Pretty much every type can be use by way of the P.A.S.S system. This is an easy-to-remember system which’ll help you and others not get anything mixed up.
First, you “pull the pin” in order to break the tamper seal. Then, you “aim low” with the nozzle pointing at the base of the fire. Next, “squeeze the nozzle” to release the extinguishing material. Finally, “sweep the nozzle” back and forth until the fire is out. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last three steps.