Posted February 11, 2019
If your employees are expected to use portable fire extinguishers to put out a fire, OSHA requires that those employees receive training on how to properly use the fire extinguishers.
Proper training includes teaching employees to:
- Immediately activate the fire alarm system when a fire is first detected,
- Gauge the severity of a fire,
- Select the correct type of extinguisher, and
- Effectively use the extinguisher in an emergency situation.
Unless employees are trained to handle the emergency situation, they should evacuate the building.
Only employees with the proper training should evaluate whether a fire can be put out using a portable fire extinguisher. These employees should also be trained to:
- Know what types of materials are burning and choose the correct type of fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
- Evaluate the possible dangers posed by hazardous or highly flammable materials.
- Use proper techniques for extinguishing small fires.
- Always have an unobstructed route away from the fire.
Give employees a PASS
One method for extinguishing small fires is the PASS method, which trained employees should use as follows:
- Pull the pin to unlock the extinguisher's operating lever to allow discharge of the contents;
- Aim low, and point the extinguisher toward the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever to begin discharging the contents of the extinguisher.
- Sweep the nozzle back and forth as you move closer to the fire. Keep the extinguisher pointed at the base of the fire until the fire appears to be out.
Should a fire start at your facility, your employees need to know what to do. With this Fire Extinguisher Use online training, employees will learn how to assess the situation and decide the best course of action — evacuate and report the fire or put out the fire themselves with an extinguisher.