As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide fire
extinguisher training for all of your employees.
Type of Fire
Extinguisher Training to Provide
Employers in Canada are obligated to provide instruction and training for
on the location, use and operation of fire extinguishers and
other fire-fighting equipment on the premises. The government includes
brochures, pamphlets, educational films, lectures, and hands-on training on the
list of acceptable instructional methods.
The method you choose will depend on the size and type of
business that you have. You may find it easier to find a fire extinguisher company or
expert to instruct your employees.
If you run a small office, you may find simply explaining
how to use a portable fire extinguisher is enough. Every employee should know
where the fire extinguishers are located in the building. Even if you believe a
front office employee won’t be near a fire in the warehouse, it can save money
and lives to ensure that everyone can use the available fire-fighting
For labs, repair garages, printers, warehouses and other
higher hazard businesses, it’s important to provide hands-on training. More
remote worksites should include training on where fire extinguishers are, along
with a standpipe and hose system if needed.
Where to Start
It’s important that your employees know that different types
of fires need to be fought with different types of extinguishers.
For many businesses, a multi-purpose fire extinguisher
filled with compressed dry powder is enough to put out common fires. This type
of fire extinguisher works on fires containing ordinary combustible materials,
live electrical equipment, and flammable liquids, such as grease or cooking
An important part of fire extinguisher training is to
impress upon your employees how important it is to use the right fire
extinguisher. Using the wrong fire extinguisher may result in personal injury
or even death. It can also cause the fire to spread faster.
Part of the responsibility lies with you. The right fire extinguisher
needs to be in an easy-to-reach place for your employees. For example, you
can’t use a fire extinguisher that contains pressurized water on a fire
containing live electrical equipment. This can cause an electric shock for the
person using the fire extinguisher. During an emergency, being knocked
unconscious by such a shock could result in serious injury or even death.
It’s important that you let your employees take the fire
extinguisher down from the wall or remove it from where it’s stored. The
stronger the fire extinguisher, the heavier it often is. You need to know if
everyone can wield the fire extinguisher in an emergency situation. The most
powerful fire extinguisher available won’t slow down or stop a single fire if
it is too heavy for your workers to use. Every employee should know how to
remove the safety pin. It’s helpful to affix instructions to the storage case
or the fire extinguisher itself.
Good fire extinguisher training should be an essential part
of your workplace’s fire prevention strategy.