What Is Fire Extinguisher Training?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Fire extinguisher training is available through fire departments, fire safety organizations, and companies that install and maintain fire protection systems. Training will familiarize participants with the safe and accurate operation of fire extinguishers, including in situations like metal and chemical fires. In some workplaces, it is required for safety reasons, while in others, it is strongly recommended. Members of the general public may want to take advantage of a training if they have never received one or have never actually operated a fire extinguisher, as the training provides an opportunity to use one in a controlled environment.

Training sessions offer instruction on the use of fire extinguishers.
Training sessions offer instruction on the use of fire extinguishers.

Many fire departments provide free instruction to members of the public on how to use a fire extinguisher. A firefighter can come into a classroom, community workshop, or similar group setting for a fire extinguisher training. In some cases, the firefighter may light a small example fire and give participants a chance to put it out with an extinguisher so they will feel more comfortable in an emergency situation. Starting a controlled grease or chemical fire can also provide a chance for demonstrating what happens if people use the wrong tools to try and extinguish it; water, for example, can spread a grease fire. This serves as a reminder to buy multipurpose fire extinguishers.

Many fire departments are willing to teach fire extinguisher training to classes and community groups.
Many fire departments are willing to teach fire extinguisher training to classes and community groups.

Fire safety organizations independent of fire departments may also offer fire prevention training, along with chances to learn how to use fire extinguishers carefully. Such organizations hold periodic public classes and can travel to specific sites on request. Many offer their fire extinguisher training for free or at low charge in the interest of making sure every member of the public knows how to respond safely and quickly to a fire.

Fire control companies also provide fire extinguisher training. They typically offer a full employee orientation to familiarize employees with fire safety systems, what will happen in an emergency, and how to use fire extinguishers provided and maintained by the company. While the devices come with helpful illustrated instructions, receiving a quick orientation can be helpful for an emergency where employees need to be able to quickly grab and activate the fire extinguisher without checking to see how it works.

In a workplace with a high risk of fire, government regulations may require fire extinguisher training. Employees who have not received this training should request it, and it is also advisable to take periodic refresher courses. It can be easy to forget how to use safety systems if employees never have a need to interact with them, and this can lead to mistakes in an emergency.

Many fire departments offer free instruction on how to use a fire extinguisher.
Many fire departments offer free instruction on how to use a fire extinguisher.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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