Fire Extinguisher Training

We often think about fire extinguishers as something the civilians use as first aid fire fighting equipment. Extinguishers are very valuable tools and we should train with them more frequently.

Often we don’t train because of monetary reasons as agent and extinguisher maintenance is costly.

Let’s just look at some basics of what fire extinguisher training should be like.

* Briefly discuss fire behavior the fire triangle and tetrahedron.

* Discuss the five classes of fires.

A – Normal combustibles wood paper etc.

B – Flammable liquids and gases

C – Energized electrical equipment

D – Combustible metals

K – Commercial cooking equipment, and oils

(More on class K later on but check it out, not many folks know it and it is not in the Essentials manual but it is in the new Delmar publication on Essentials.)

* Review the different types of agents and their various properties.

CO 2 , water, dry chemical, foam, etc.

* Talk about inspection of extinguishers

* Talk about extinguisher ratings and how they are rated by square footage of area and the use of a trained operator. Explain the limitations of size and duration of agent discharge.

If you decide to conduct small pan fire evolutions using extinguishers please check the following:

* All students will wear full protective gear.

* All students will properly carry and handle the extinguisher.

* All students will test fire the extinguisher before approaching the fire.

* Students will approach fire from upwind.

* Students will approach but maintain a safe operating distance.

* Students will use the P A S S method of extinguisher operations.





* Students will complete;y sweep vigorously across the surface.

* Back away from the fire while facing forward.

* Insure the fire is extinguished from a distance.

If you have the chance, use dry chemical extinguishers in conjunction with a fog water stream. The fog stream can provide cooling and the dry chemical can be fired into the water pattern from behind the nozzle.

* Live fire training should be conducted by a qualified instructor.

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013