Can you think of one piece of fire safety equipment which fire protection services companies get asked for more often than any other? Most of you who tried to answer would likely have said a fire extinguisher, and you would be correct. From the smallest one-roomed office to the largest manufacturing plant you can imagine, one or more fire extinguishers will be there.
The reasons for this are many, including the fact that fire extinguishers are convenient, they do not take up much space, they are relatively easy to operate, and in terms of their cost, they are affordable, compared to many of the more comprehensive fire protection options. As such, unless fire regulations state otherwise, and your building requires fire sprinklers for example, a fire extinguisher is going to be the first available option when it comes to putting out a fire.
We mentioned that fire extinguishers are easy to operate and that is true. In most cases, it is a case of removing a pin, pointing the hose or outlet at the appropriate part of the fire, and then pressing the lever. Despite this simplicity of use, it is advisable that all staff are given brief instructions fire extinguisher use as part of their induction or initial training.
Part of that training also should include details about the different types of fire extinguisher that are on your premises. We say this because in Australia, and indeed most parts of the world, there are different classifications of fire extinguisher. In Australia, the number of classifications is 5, and the larger and more complex the premises you have, the more likely it is that you have two or more of these.