Is Fire Extinguisher Training An Actual Requirement Or Just A Good Idea

Travis Jolliff

Most business have portable fire extinguishers located around the workplace to aid in the initial response to small fires or fires when they first start. BUT, as a business owner, did you know that OSHA prohibits you from allowing your employees to use one of those fire extinguishers in the event of a fire unless they have been specifically trained to recognize when and how to proper use portable fire extinguishers.

Businesses are required to not only provide this training when employees are first hired but are required to provide continued training on an annual basis thereafter.  As part of a business’s portable fire extinguisher training policy, the business should clarify which employees are qualified to use portable fire extinguishers, the situations in which they can and should be used, and the proper procedures for use.  The actual wording from OSHA is:: “Where the employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use in the workplace, the employer shall also provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage firefighting.”

Exemptions from OSHA portable fire extinguisher training

In cases where a business establishes and implements a written fire-safety policy that requires the immediate and total evacuation of all employees upon the sounding of a fire alarm and that includes an emergency-action plan and a fire-prevention plan that meet OSHA’s requirements, the business is exempt from OSHA’s portable fire extinguisher training requirements.

Also, when a business has an emergency-action plan that designates only certain trained employees to be the only ones to use the available portable fire extinguishers and  requires all other employees to immediately evacuate the affected area after the fire alarm sounds, these businesses are exempt from the requirement that all employees be trained.

OSHA advice

OSHA has two key points of advice for every business regardless of whether or not they install and train on the use of portable fire extinguishers.  Before trying to control a fire with a portable extinguisher, the employee who discovers the fire should activate the fire alarm, enabling others to evacuate to a safe area, and the fire department should be called.  If your facility has a sprinkler system, evacuate, letting the sprinklers run.

The Jay L Harman Fire Equipment team understands your firefighting needs and is ready to help

The team at Jay L Harman Fire Equipment understands that you will have many burning questions on your mind when it comes to choosing the right fire suppression system for your business. Jay L Harman is the best and one of the biggest firefighting equipment suppliers and service providers in the region, specializing in fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, fire fighting protective gear, fire hoses and more. Serving El Paso TX, Las Cruces NM and the surrounding areas, we pride ourselves on buying local and hiring local whenever possible.

Contact Jay L. Harman Fire Equipment in El Paso TX at 915-533-7021 or Las Cruces NM at 575-523-8880. Since 1925, we have protected businesses throughout the area from the harms and hazards of fires. Every Jay L Harman technician is licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Each of these technicians continually receives the most up-to-date factory training and certifications by our manufacturers. Contact Jay L Harman Fire Equipment today. Let our friendly and knowledgeable staff tell you more about our fire suppression systems and help you find the ideal fire suppression system for your needs. Learn more about our full offering of fire extinguisher trainingfirefighting servicesfirefighting productsrequest a quote, ask a question or request additional information.