When we say don’t gamble with your employees’ lives, we mean in and out of the workplace. We believe it’s just as important to train your employees on fire safety in the workplace as it is to train them for when they’re home.
There is some overlap between the workplace training we do and what you should do at home, but how can you relay the important stuff like a family evacuation plan, and how to know how to react swiftly and safely?
First off, the importance of training like this for employees and anyone, in general, is that as much you think you would know how to react in the situation, that is not always the case. Part of safety training includes setting those mental expectations about how to react. In an emergency situation, fear, confusion, and stress can overtake even the most basic instincts when it comes to getting yourself and others to safety. Having that mental grounding to know how and when to react can mean all the difference in those situations.
Fire Extinguisher Training
You walk by it every day on your way into the office, but do you know how to use it if the time comes? That fire extinguisher in the hallway is a very important tool when it comes to a fire emergency in your office. Fire extinguisher training is the most hands-on safety training that can be done in your office, and something all of your employees should be comfortable with during an emergency situation.
Whether your workplace is an office setting, or a laboratory with flammable materials, you likely have a mounted or portable fire extinguisher. No matter the risk, it’s just as important for employees to know where these are and how to use them. OSHA has certain requirements when it comes to employers providing these to employees, but the same cannot be said for homeowners. There is no law stating a homeowner must have a fire extinguisher in the home, but there should be at least one fire extinguisher in your home. The kitchen and garage are both areas that have the highest risk of fire in your home.
The fire extinguisher training done through First Response Trainers can easily overlap into training that would make people fully capable of using an extinguisher in the workplace or at home. Learning how to pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the handle, and sweep the extinguisher over the fire is the P.A.S.S. method and can be easy for your employees to remember no matter where they are. Basically, what your team will learn in a workplace fire extinguisher safety training class will give them the tools to properly identify the classes of fire, what to do during a fire, types of extinguishers, hazards of fighting fires, when NOT to attempt to extinguish a flame, and safety tips that can save their lives and those of their families.
Building a Fire-Safe Home Environment
Send your employees home with tips on prepping a fire-safe home, with fire-proofing tips and tricks, and avoidable hazards. The American Red Cross says that in the case of a fire, you may have as little as two minutes to escape. Here are some safety tips you can share with your employees on fire prevention at home.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms or right outside sleeping areas, and in hallways to quickly alert you of a fire.
- Test your home fire alarms monthly.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher and put it somewhere easily accessible for any family member.
- Teach young children what the smoke alarm sounds like, and what to do when they hear it.
- Note two ways of escape from every room in your home.
- Make sure all young children know how to call 9-1-1, and to do so only in emergencies.
- Teach your family STOP, DROP, and ROLL.
- Practice escaping your home from every bedroom, and time it, trying to keep it under that two minute mark.
- Go over kitchen safety with your family, such as not leaving frying, grilling, or broiling food unattended, and keeping the stove area clear of anything that can catch fire.
- Make sure your house number is readable from the street, especially at night, for emergency vehicles.
- Have a well laid out escape plan with the family, and run through it a few times a year. Encourage your employees to practice their home evacuation plan the same week you do in the office!
First Steps in an Emergency
Part of safety training includes what to do right away during a fire emergency in your home. This entails staying calm and knowing your plan through and through so it can be executed in that stressful time. Many of the first steps in a workplace emergency coincide with first steps at home. There may be fewer people to evacuate, but the effort is no different.
- Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher – thanks to the First Response class!
- Alert others of the fire, and get out immediately.
- Use stairs, not the elevator, and leave your belongings – get yourself out.
- If a door or door handle feels hot, or smoke blocks your route – use an alternate escape route. Do not open a door that is warm to the touch.
- If you must escape through smoke, stay low and close doors behind you.
- Once you’re out, do not go back inside, and CALL 9-1-1.
When your workplace is doing fire safety training, make it a priority to relate what your employees are learning to their fire safety at home. The fire extinguisher safety, mental preparation techniques, and evacuation plans all go hand in hand. For employees with families and small children, get the kids involved in the process. Though fires are no joke, children can benefit from a little friendly competition such as a contest for the best-drawn evacuation plan, or which family member got out of their house the fastest. When the time comes where they need to be sharp and ready to respond, a game, acronym, or competition can help them easily remember the steps.
First Response safety courses will help you and your employees be prepared no matter where they are. Contact us to set up a safety training demonstration at your facility.