Training Employees to use fire extinguishers properly in the workplace is a pivotal part of any safety training program. Portable fire extinguishers are a handy and effective way to extinguish small fires, but employees need to be comfortable in their use. The familiarity will lead to a quick response and a successful outcome in an emergency situation. The following are the most important places where fire extinguishers are used. Have a look at Francis Fire Protection Services Ltd.
Preventing fires is the best way to combat them. When you do not know what you are doing, putting out fires with an extinguisher can be dangerous. Fires start with heat, and anything that generates heat can start with them. Once a fire has started, it will generate more heat, and will continue to grow as long as it has oxygen and fuel. Fuels may include paper, wood, and certain metals, or flammable liquids, as well as ignitable gas. It is the vapors that flame out from a material mixed in the air with oxygen. Since fire is a chain reaction between heat, fuel and oxygen the fire will stop when one of these is removed.
You need to know what fire classes that occur at your plant, so you can use the appropriate fire extinguisher to counter them. Fires are broken down into four groups-A, B, C , and D. Fires in Class A are fuelled by “ordinary” combustible materials such as paper, cardboard and wood. Class A fires can be extinguished with water, foam, and some dry chemicals. Class B fires are fuelled by flame retardant gases and liquids such as petrol or propane. On these fires, dry chemical extinguishers, foam, and carbon dioxide are used. Class C fires involve electrical hazards in living conditions. Class C fires are extinguished by non-conductive extinguishing agents which prevent electrocution but it is always best to cut the electricity before extinguishing it. Class D fires are fuelled and extremely dangerous by combustible metals such as potassium , sodium, and magnesium. Class D fire extinguishers must be used for their extinguishing.
Fire extinguishers need to be mounted in plain sight and regularly checked and inspected annually. Extinguishers should be ready to use at any time. Never put an extinguisher in a wardrobe, on the floor or behind anything. When a fire begins you want to reach the extinguisher in seconds. OSHA and local and state laws allow fire extinguishers to be kept in the vicinity of any fire hazard and are allowed by the DOT in commercial vehicles. Once a month, extinguishers must be checked if they are kept indoors and once a week if they are outdoors. Never try out an extinguisher to see if it works. This could lead to a loss of pressure. Check the extinguisher for corrosion, the nose and horn are in good shape and unblocked, the pressure gauge is fully displayed and the seal of the locking pin and tamper is in place. Finally , make sure all of your extinguishers are checked annually by a professional technician.