How Often Should You Train Your Employees on Fire Safety?

If you own or operate a business, fire safety is crucial. Not only should you ensure your employees won’t take any unnecessary risks, or not understand how to operate hazardous equipment, but you also want to make sure they know how to escape if there is a fire. Employee fire safety training in Lawrenceville, GA could literally be the difference between life and death.

In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prevents employees from using fire extinguishers until they’ve had appropriate training—so if you have untrained employees, it’s crucial that you teach them right away. Here are some guidelines about employee fire safety.

Training employees about fire safety

The best time to teach an employee about fire safety practices and procedures is as soon as they’re hired. Most importantly (at least when it comes to OSHA), they need to know when and how to use a fire extinguisher. If you have a customer-facing business, make sure they understand what they need to do to get others out the door during a fire. Remember that laypeople often panic during a fire alarm, so it’s key to make sure your employees know how to safely shepherd them out the door.

The most important points to teach your employees include:

  • What to do if a fire breaks out versus hearing the fire alarm
  • Best escape routes and fire exits
  • How to turn on the alarm if it’s not automatic
  • Who is responsible for calling 911
  • How to evacuate customers and visitors, especially those with mobility issues
  • Where you keep your extinguishers and other useful equipment
  • Other safety procedures as necessary

Train your employees upon hiring them, but make sure to refresh their recollection every year or so—it could save lives.

Responding to a fire

Responding to a fire as an owner or manager is somewhat different. As you have a position of authority, it’s your job to make sure your employees and customers are safe. That means you might need to oversee your employees during an extremely stressful, panic-filled time.

The best way to handle a fire at work is to immediately start delegating responsibilities. For example, while one employee calls 911, the next can start to look for safe evacuation areas. Another can use the fire extinguisher to keep the fire from encroaching on the evacuation path, taking special care to aim low and pass over the fire in broad, sweeping strokes.

Make sure someone helps disabled customers escape. If the fire extinguisher is exhausted, evacuate everyone immediately.

While every fire and every workplace is different, having a good system—and a few people willing to step up as leaders—can help keep everyone involved safe. The better trained your employees are, the less likely your business will suffer devastating consequences.

To learn more about fire safety, fire prevention and how often you should train your employees on fire safety in Lawrenceville, GA, get in touch with the team at AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. today. We’d be glad to discuss best practices as well as recommend the right equipment for your setting.

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