Posted on: 8 April 2016Share
If you run an agricultural business, such as a farm, one of the pieces of safety equipment that you need to make sure that all your employees can use correctly is a fire extinguisher. You should have all your employees complete a short training on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. This will make your workplace a safer place.
Understand The Classes Of Fires
The first thing you need to teach your employees is the class of fires. There are three primary classes of fires, and each class is made to fight specific types of fires. You may need to have different classes of fire extinguishers around your farm, so it is important that your employees know which one to use.
On the side of all fire extinguishes, there are symbols for Class A, B and C. If any of those symbols has a slash going through it, it is not made for that particular fire type.
- Class A fire extinguishers are made to put out fires that involve ordinary household combustibles. This includes items such as paper, wood, cloth, plastics and rubbers.
- Class B fire extinguishers are made to put out fires caused by flammable liquids. This includes liquids such as paints that contain oil, grease, gasoline, tar and lacquer.
- Class C fire extinguishers are designed for putting out electrical fires as well as fires on your machinery.
Your employees should know which type of extinguisher is located where on your farm, so they can act quickly if there is ever a fire.
Determining If You Should Fight A Fire
The second thing you need to teach your employees is how to determine or decide if they should even use the fire extinguisher and try to fight the fire in the first place. Stress to your employees that they should never use a fire extinguisher to fight a fire if they cannot do it safely. Here are the steps your employees should go through to determine if they should fight the fire:
- 911 should be called before any attempts are made to fight the fire.
- All other personnel should have evacuated or be in the process of evacuating the area.
- The fire should be small and confined. If it has spread, they should leave the area and let the professionals fight the fire.
- There should be a clear and unobstructed escape route where the fire will not spread to or reach while the fire extinguisher is in use.
Using The Fire Extinguisher
Finally, you need to teach your employees how to use the actual fire extinguisher. Have them follow these steps:
- Stand back from the fire at least an entire body's length.
- Pull the pin out of the top; this will open the lever and allow you to spray out the foam.
- Aim the fire extinguisher towards the bottom of the flames.
- To discharge the foam from the extinguisher, you need to squeeze the lever or push the button that is located below the handle.
- Sweep the extinguisher slowly left to right and then right to left as you work on putting out the fire.
After you go through this training, have your employees practice responding to a fake fire. Then, have them all sign paperwork showing that they have completed this training; this can be useful for insurance purposes.
For more information, talk with companies that supply fire extinguishers, like Echo Fire Protection, or that offer training programs.