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Five steps to ensure your employees know how to fight fires

by , 13 August 2013
When it comes to fire, there's no room for mistakes. Especially considering you only have seconds to stop a small fire from spreading out of control and damaging all your property. Make sure you're not caught off guard. Use these five steps to ensure your employees know how to contain small fires before they grow into large ones.

Buildings under construction are vulnerable to fires. That's because you're often installing flammable materials such as carpets, woodwork, finishing materials and other highly flammable adhesives and paints.

But it's not just new buildings that are under threat. There are a number of daily tasks that are putting your business at risk.

That's why it's crucial you equip your employees with the knowledge they need to contain fires in your workplace.

Fire safety 101: Here's how to ensure your employees know what to do

Fires generally take around 30 seconds to spread. This doesn't give you a lot of time if you're not fully prepared. That's why you must ensure that:

Step #1: Your fire-fighting equipment is clearly demarcated, accessible, not blocked and can be handled by all your workers. This includes female workers.

This means 'you must ensure your extinguisher is at a height everyone can reach comfortably. Also place two 4.5kg dry powder extinguishers instead of one 9kg extinguisher to accommodate your female staff,' says the Health&Safety Advisor.

Step #2: You service your fire-fighting equipment to guarantee it works at all times.

Step #3:  All your employees know how to use the firefighting equipment near their work stations. Remember, it's not enough to train only the fire-fighting team members, you must train all your employees to use emergency firefighting equipment such as portable fire extinguishers and fire hose reels effectively.

Remember to verify your firefighting training service providers to ensure you've received high level and proper training for your employees.

Step #4: You appoint someone to take charge if you fail to extinguish a fire immediately. This person will decide if evacuation is necessary and issue the necessary instructions on how to contain the fire until the fire department arrives.

Step #5: You appoint and train a fire team to assist the fire emergency supervisor to carry out his instructions. You'll appoint the fire team from staff members who want to take on this additional duty.

Ensure you put these steps in place to ensure your employees can put out small fires before they spread out of control.

Get five legally compliant safety training modules for less than R200 each when you order the Health and Safety Training Manual.


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