Is your office staff well-trained to handle fire extinguishers? If not, they will commit one or more of the mistakes explained in this article.
Installing a fire extinguisher is a great safety step to safeguard your property. If you’ve installed one in your office space, you should not only regularly maintain it to keep it in working order but also ensure that your employees understand how to use it.
Not training your staff on the proper usage of fire extinguishers will inevitably lead to mistakes when the time comes to fight fires. We’ve compiled some common mistakes people make with fire extinguishers so pay particular attention to these when training your staff on its proper use.
Not Caring About One’s Own Safety
Some people tend to rush to fire extinguishers when faced with a fire incident without caring about their own safety. While fire accidents create a sense of urgency, you must stay calm and think whether it’s even feasible to put out the fire.
If the flares are huge, attempting to fight them using a fire extinguisher can prove extremely dangerous. In severe cases like these, you must immediately evacuate the building and seek professional help.
Not Removing the Pin
Fire extinguishers comprise of a safety pin that’s intended to prevent accidental spraying. You must remove this pin before you can use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire. During an emergency, even trained individuals can easily forget to pull out the safety pin.
Keep in mind that not removing the pin renders the fire extinguisher useless, thus giving the fire more time to spread. Hence, users must remember to pull the pin out before trying to spray.
Leaving an Extinguished Space too Early
Even after you’ve successfully extinguished fire in a room, the slightest of sparks can cause the fire to erupt again. A common mistake users commit is leaving the space quickly after putting out the fire, thinking that the area is safe.
Instead, you must observe the room for any signs of fire or sparks and effectively extinguish the area before leaving. However, be sure to protect yourself from the smoke and soot inhalation, which is enough to seriously harm your health.
Spraying at the Top of the Blaze
While using a fire extinguisher, many people tend to extinguish the blaze top to bottom. Adopting this approach proves ineffective as the fuel that’s feeding the fire from the base remains in place.
Therefore, you must point the nozzle of the extinguisher right at the base or the fire source and sweep toward the top. This should not only prove effective in putting out the fire but also prevent it from growing or spreading.
Standing Too Close
To extinguish the fire, some users stand too close to the blaze. Keep in mind that while standing too far may lead to ineffective extinguishing, standing too close can cause the fire to spread even further due to the pressure applied.
Maintaining the right distance is thus critical for effective extinguishing. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), users must stand about 8 feet from the fire.