Keeping yourself and others safe in your home and Melbourne workplace is essential. One risk you may face is fire, which can lead to severe injury, the destruction of property, and even death. One of the best ways to minimize the risk of a fire causing devastation is to have a fire extinguisher strategically located and available. Fire extinguisher training and understanding their uses are critical, and we will establish why below.
Why You Might Choose This Course?
Our Fire Extinguisher training course in Melbourne or greater Victoria ensures that your employees receive adequate training in the use of Fire Extinguishers, Fire Hose Reels, and Fire Blankets. This training course includes a theoretical and practical component to ensure that your employees safely handle workplace emergencies. An STG Fire Safety Trainer can come to your workplace to assess your fire safety procedures and training requirements. STG Fire Safety can also provide you with supervised evacuation drills.
Fire extinguisher training and why it’s critical
The first time you use a fire extinguisher shouldn’t be during an emergency. You must have the training and have used one during training, so you have the best chance of ensuring your safety and others around you.
There are several different classifications of fire extinguishers in Australia based on the six categories of fires. Each of these types of fire extinguishers has a specific use to suppress a small fire. Fire extinguishers are labelled with letters and identifying bands and symbols to indicate the types of fire for which they are suited.
To give a better understanding of their applications and various types of fire extinguishers. Training is an integral part of selecting the correct extinguisher for a given situation. For example, a fire extinguisher used for a car fire is slightly different from the one used for a grass fire. Which fire extinguisher to use is a question we need to answer. Firstly, let’s look at how much training has become more relevant?
How has fire extinguisher training changed in the last few years
In the recent past, fire extinguisher training sessions have concentrated on general equipment components, procedures for safe use, identification, and fire classes, designed to prepare the fire warden or other employees for effective decision making during fires and other emergencies. These are essential factors; even so, there are numerous other vital items relating to emergency management.
Other firefighting and emergency equipment
The building code of Australia and state-based regulations require builders to install specialist emergency equipment.
Fire safety equipment is essential in most structures, whether a factory or home. The building’s type, size, and class will determine the equipment requirement. Fire extinguishers are just one component. Other equipment may include fire hose reels, fire doors, first aid kits, fire sprinklers, and more active and passive systems.
General emergency management in a business (facility)
Most activities we perform in our daily life follow a process, whether washing the dishes at home or operating a high tech machine in the workplace. Dealing with an emergency is no different. Fire extinguisher training now includes basic information on prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Data is provided to trainees to recognise an escalating emergency and what is required to keep yourself and others safe.
Here is an overview of Australia’s six fire and fire extinguisher classes.
The classes of fire and extinguisher identification
Class A- Ordinary Combustibles
A class “A” fire involves basic flammable materials, such as textiles, paper, wood, and plastics. Typical examples of this type of fire include but are not limited to. Candles are catching curtains and starting a fire in the home and igniting rubbish bins from placing unsuitable hot material in it.
There are four types of fire extinguishers that are suitable for this type of fire. They are water, foam, wet chemical, and to a limited degree, powder ABE fire extinguishers. You will notice that these fire extinguisher types are water-based and provide a slight cooling. Except for the fire extinguisher dry powder.
Class B- Flammable Liquids
Flammable or combustible liquids cause this type of fire. Such as petrol, alcohol-based solvents, oils, and cleaning products. Fires started from combustible or flammable liquids are most common in workplaces such as petrol stations and mechanic’s workshops. Sparks from machinery often ignite them.
There are three types of fire extinguishers that are suitable for this type of fire. These include CO2, powder ABE, and foam fire extinguishers. You must never use a water fire extinguisher on an oil fire as it will create and spread the fire and potentially make it much worse. In the worst-case scenario, it could cause an explosion.
Dry Powder extinguishers are ideal for fighting a car fire if safe. Firefighters often use this type of extinguisher when fighting a car fire, and the petrol tank has split and leaked fuel.
Click the image to download the PDF version.
Class C- Flammable Gases
Class C fire is created when flammable gases are ignited. Examples of gases include propane and methane. Gases are often used in workshops, garages, and kitchens.
Many class C fires are caused by gas leaks in kitchens or gas-powered tools. The only type of fire extinguisher is recommended for use for this type of fire. Accordingly, is a powder ABE fire extinguisher?
Class D- Combustible Metals
Magnesium, titanium, and aluminium are examples of combustible metals. These fires are infrequent in domestic settings as metals require extreme igniting temperatures. These fires only usually occur in an industrial setting. Therefore, you should only use special-purpose fire extinguishers specifically designed for combustible metals.
Class E- Electrical Equipment
Class E fires are one of the most common of all fires. Ignited by misusing electrically energized equipment. Conversely, this can include items such as home electronics, kitchen appliances, fans, and heaters. Fires may occur if electrical equipment is faulty, they become overheated, or they have frayed wiring.
You must not use a water fire extinguisher on an electrical fire as this can make the situation worse. Water-based extinguisher like foam or wet chemical is dangerous when on these fires. Instead, you should use a CO2 fire extinguisher or a powder ABE fire extinguisher.
Class F- Cooking Oils and Fats
Class F fires are cooking oils and fats, which ignite when they become too hot. The two most common causes are fat building upon a surface. Sometimes ignited by sparks or when unattended. You should never use water or a water fire extinguisher on this type of fire as it may cause an explosion and spread the fire quickly. Finally, the only fire extinguisher categorized as a class F fire extinguisher is a wet chemical fire extinguisher. An alternative for this type of fire is a fire blanket.
Overall, there is no single fire extinguisher that you can use for every type of fire. Therefore, it is essential that you get a combination of fire extinguishers that best meet your needs. So that you have all the fire extinguishers you need. In turn, capable of tackling the fires that are most likely in your home or place of work.
You must place these in areas where different fires are most likely to occur. Moreover, so that you have them close to hand in times of need. If you would like a worksheet for fire extinguisher training, it has been provided above, in PDF format, by clicking on the image. STG Fire Safety Training is both nationally accredited and non-accredited across Melbourne and Regional Victoria.