Fire safety isn’t a top concern in any medical centre’s today,  perhaps because a good deal of misinformation prevails regarding the topic. Several of the more prevalent misconceptions include (1) Fires don’t take place in today’s medical centre’s; (2) in case fires do happen, they weren’t preventable; (3) fires only happen at substandard facilities; as well as (4) all employees in the medical centre’s know what to do if a fire occurs.

Medical staff emergency awareness, continuous training and careful coordination for those attending healthcare professionals are actually needed to reduce the chance of this potentially fatal issue. Since fire might happen in a number of places throughout the medical centre, many departments must be actively involved in training: anesthesiology, surgery, surgical services, nursing, delivery and labor, facilities management, as well as the safety division.

Most fires start as a controllable flame, fire extinguisher becomes the first line of defense, thus, a significant part of the fire safety requirements. Learning how to use a fire extinguisher is one of the most important tools in achieving a successful fire safety response in medical centres.

The Importance of Fire Extinguisher Training

 

hospital staff fire safety training

Photo Credit: Ed Uthman

Although having a fire extinguisher is crucial, it is equally important for medical staff to be properly trained in understanding how to use one. The law requires business owners to properly train their employees so they know the basics of using a fire extinguisher and can successfully put out a fire with the correct method. The fire extinguisher training exercise is important because the medical staff should clearly understand the different types of fires and the class of fire extinguisher that is designed to address the fire.

Four Kinds of Fires and Their Corresponding Fire Extinguisher Types

 

Class A fire involving ordinary combustibles

 

Image Credit: onnawufei

Class A Fire Extinguishers are utilized for fires which involve paper products, textiles, plastics, wood-based products, along with rubber based items. The kind of training A extinguishers which fall under this particular group are Powder ABE, water, foam a and wet chemicals.
 

Class B fire involving flammable liquids

 

Flammable Liquid

Photo Credit: Robert Hest

Class B extinguishers are utilized to out fires which started because of combustible or flammable fluids. In the workplace, this may include chemical-based cleaning solutions, electric contact cleaner, along with lubricants used for equipment. The class B extinguishes which address these materials are Powder ABE and BE, and foam.
 

Class C fire involving electrical equipment

 

electrical fire
 
Class C extinguishers are utilized for fires that started with flammable gases. Conditions, where these gases are utilized to run machinery, might result in fire or probable explosion. These extinguishers can put out the fire just before pressure builds and produces further damage. The kind of category C extinguishers utilized for these fires are Powder ABE and BE.
 

Class F fire involving cooking oils and fat

 

cooking fire

Image Credit: kitchn

Class F extinguishers control fires due to fat based products and cooking oils. They address fires which could happen in a cooking area in the workplace. Class F extinguishers are Powder BE and wet chemical.

Basic Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

 

  • No one should ever operate a fire extinguisher unless it is safe. If in doubt, a person should leave the scene of the fire and call for help.
  • To use a fire extinguisher, one must first pull the safety pin. When the safety pin is pulled, this will break the seal.
  • It is best people work in pairs when trying to extinguish a fire, for safety purposes.
  • One should approach a fire from a safe distance so they can extinguish it without fear of being burned or consumed by smoke inhalation.
  • It is important a person carefully squeezes the two handles together to discharge the extinguisher. To stop extinguishing the fire, simply let go of the handles.
  • One should always use a sweeping motion when attempting to extinguish a fire. Once the fire appears to be out, it is important to look for smoldering areas that may need to be sprayed again.

 

Safety tips

 

  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
     
    How to Use Fire Extinguisher

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

In order to conduct fire extinguisher training for medical personnels, it’s ideal to work with a training provider which has extensive knowledge in this specific area and recognizes the Australian Standards. A comprehensive training plan can help decrease the chance of property damage, injury, or even death in your workplace. The training will even provide medical staff peace-of-mind so you are able to carry out daily task properly.