My State:
October 09, 2006
Hot Training Topics for Fire Safety

Not only do your employees need to know how to respond to workplace fires, they also have to understand how to help prevent them. That's a lot of information to communicate about fire safety, and no better time than the present.

Teach workers what to do if fire strikes. All employees should know the essentials for responding effectively in the event of a fire.

  1. When you hear a fire alarm:
    • Evacuate immediately using your assigned evacuation route. If that route is blocked, use your alternate.
    • Close doors behind you as you leave.
    • Help others evacuate if you can do so safely.
    • If you encounter smoke, crawl low under the smoke.
    • Outside the building, move away from exits. Go directly to your assigned assembly area and report to the person who is taking a head count.
    • Remain outside until you are told it is safe to reenter the building.
  2. If you discover a fire:
    • Activate the nearest fire alarm.
    • Call 911--don't assume that someone else has already done this.
    • Evacuate the building.
  3. If you're unable to get out of the building:
    • Create an area of refuge in a room with windows. Use wet cloth to seal cracks under doors and seal vents against smoke.
    • Don't break windows. Open the window just a crack if you need air.
    • Stay low under smoke, and cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth.
    • Signal for help by using a phone or hanging something in the window.

If you expect employees to use fire extinguishers, make sure they're properly trained. Make sure they know which extinguisher to use for the different types of fires:

  • A for fires involving combustibles like paper
  • B for grease, gases, or flammable liquids like gasoline, oil, solvents, and paint
  • C for electrical wiring and equipment
  • D for combustible metals like magnesium or sodium

Also train them to use a fire extinguisher properly by teaching them the PASS technique:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep back and forth until the fire goes out.

At the same time you teach employees how to use an extinguisher,

Why It Matters...
  • According to OSHA, workplace fires and explosions kill hundreds of American workers every year and injure thousands more.
  • Fires cost businesses billions of dollars a year in property damage.
  • Some facilities are destroyed by fire, putting employees out of work and severely impacting the company's bottom line.

make sure they know when to use one and when not to. Portable fire extinguishers are made for small fires only. Employees should understand that if a fire is big or spreading, they should not try to fight it but instead call 911, activate the fire alarm, and evacuate the building.

Remember that preventing workplace fires is always better than fighting them. So don't forget to teach your employees some basic fire prevention strategies this month, too. For example:

  • Keep a clean work area, and don't allow trash and other combustible materials to collect.
  • Take proper precautions with flammable substances, always using and storing them safely.
  • Use and maintain electrical equipment properly, and report any problems immediately.
  • Avoid exposing flammable and combustible materials to ignition sources.
  • Don't mix chemicals that could react or store them near one another.
Copyright © 2024 Business & Legal Resources. All rights reserved. 800-727-5257
This document was published on
Document URL: