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OSHA fire extinguisher training: Importance, requirements, courses


May 24, 2024


Bea Maureen Cayone


OSHA fire extinguisher training: Importance, requirements, courses

Accidental fires are more common than you think. While fire extinguishers are must-haves in the workplace, not all companies invest in fire extinguisher training for their employees. But this complacency is dangerous, as fires can cause irreparable damage to your business.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of OSHA fire extinguisher training, the requirements for implementation, and several courses to enroll your employees in to improve workplace safety.

What is fire extinguisher training?

Fire extinguisher training equips your employees with the relevant skills to operate fire extinguishers, select the best one to use, and manage incidents calmly. Such awareness training also teaches them to assess whether the fire can be put out, or if they should evacuate the premises entirely.

OSHA fire extinguisher training - Definition

Commonly, fire extinguisher training aims to satisfy Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) requirements, keep workplace operations safe, and eliminate property damages and loss. But while it’s easy for anyone to grab a fire extinguisher in a rush, most employees aren’t aware of where to aim it, or the recommended distance to maintain from the fire. This lack of understanding puts them and your company at risk if not addressed promptly.

Before going into detail about the value of fire awareness training, we’ll first address the common causes of fire at work.

What are the common causes of fires in the workplace?

Many fire-related incidents are reported from non-residential buildings. In the US, fire departments receive over 3,300 reports annually from offices alone. Fires cause irreversible damage and are costly for your company, so it’s best to avoid them entirely.

OSHA fire extinguisher training - Common causes of fire in the workplace

If you’re just getting started, don’t worry. We’re here to help you out. Here’s a list of the five most common causes of fire at work to incorporate into your fire awareness training:

  • Defective equipment - Start by steering clear of any faulty equipment. Examples of this are loose wires and overloaded sockets since they can potentially overheat or cause sparks.
  • Cooking machinery - When left unattended, cooking appliances that are too old or faulty can cause fires too. There’s a reason why gas stoves are mostly prohibited in workplaces. Regardless, remind employees to be alert when using kitchen appliances, and replace worn-out cords to prevent accidents.
  • Messy workplace - Lack of regular cleaning causes clutter to grow, which can lead to the buildup of grease and dust. These are potentially flammable elements, even more so if they’re stationed in areas with poor ventilation.
  • Flammable materials - When you rack up items like wood, paper, and cardboard, they can serve as fuel to sudden fires. Prevent this by initiating proper storage of these materials or disposing of them when they become unneeded.
  • Carelessness - No matter how careful we are, human error is impossible to avoid. What you can prevent, though, is leaving workers untrained. Teach them how to operate a fire extinguisher so they’ll know how to respond quickly when a fire-related accident comes their way.

What is the importance of fire extinguisher training?

Make employee welfare a priority by adding fire safety training to your compliance programs. Investing in fire extinguisher courses helps employees act confidently under pressure when necessary. Rather than being panicked or staying frozen in shock, they’ll act fast since they’ve been equipped with the proper procedures for putting out a fire.

OSHA fire extinguisher training - SC Training Reporting and Analytics

Fire extinguisher training helps prevent small fires from becoming larger and lessens property damage. For companies to maintain a safer workplace, this is where OSHA fire extinguisher training requirements come in.

What are the OSHA requirements for fire extinguishers?

The general requirements for fire extinguishers as stated by OSHA are the following:

  • Employers must allocate portable fire extinguishers in the workplace that are readily available to employees, in areas free from potential injury.
  • Only approved portable fire extinguishers must be used to satisfy OSHA guidelines.
  • The portable fire extinguishers in the workplace must not be composed of carbon tetrachloride or chlorobromomethane extinguishing agents.
  • Employers must make sure that portable extinguishers are readily accessible, stored in their designed place, and in working condition at all times except when in use. 
  • Avoid mounting soldered self-generating soda acid, or self-generating foam or gas cartridge water types of portable fire extinguishers.

Keep your workplace safe with these 5 OSHA fire extinguisher training courses

To kickstart your training, we’ve handpicked 5 OSHA fire extinguisher courses you can add to your collection of safety training topics with your team.

1. Fixed Extinguishing Systems (US)

Created by experts, SC Training’s (formerly EdApp) OSHA fire extinguisher course instructs learners on the key features of fire preventive systems. Lessons include maintenance, operation, and worker responsibilities.

2. OSHA Fire Safety Training

This general industry course appeals to a wide audience. Learn the basics of fire prevention and hazards, and what to do in case of emergencies. Note that this course differs from those working in the construction industry.

3. Fire Extinguisher Safety

This course by Lion equips employees with how to operate portable fire extinguishers. They’ll also learn how to choose the right model for the job, and the general principles for safe use.

4. Fire Safety - Essential Concepts, Prevention & Control

Alison’s course on fire safety instructs learners on the proper classification and usage of fire extinguishers and smoke alarms. It also offers a safety guide for homes and businesses.

5. Portable Fire Extinguishers (US)

Verified by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), SC Training’s fire extinguisher course is a good annual refresher program to invest in. It goes over the basic principles of fire extinguishers and the risks attached. Review the fire triangle model and operation of portable fire extinguishers.

Create your fire extinguisher course with SC Training

Maintain safe and smooth workplace operations by investing in fire training software. Learning management systems (LMS) like SC Training specialize in crafting courses to grow your employees’ skills. Whether you need a refresher or introductory training, they’ve got just the right course for you.

Here are some of the ways SC Training can help you with your fire safety training initiatives:

  • Course Library: SC Training houses a vast course library with over 1,000 lessons and 80+ templates to choose from so you can deliver branded training to your employees in minutes. All the fire extinguisher and compliance training courses are fully editable so you can customize them however you like.
OSHA fire extinguisher training - SC Training Course Library
  • Microlearning: Tired of fighting short attention spans? No worries! Each SC Training course can be completed in under five minutes. Bite-sized lessons have been proven to boost knowledge retention, so you don’t have to stress about your employees spacing out during their fire protection training.
OSHA fire extinguisher training - SC Training Microlearning
  • Reporting and Analytics: Gain access to employee performance and analytics — all in one place. This fire training software allows you to view and export data, so you can assess your training strategy and note any points for improvement.
OSHA fire extinguisher training - SC Training Reporting and Analytics

With SC Training’s real-time insights, you can quickly identify top performers and those who need extra help. This keeps everyone’s workflow running smoothly, so no time is wasted.

Prevent accidental fires at work by enrolling your team in OSHA fire extinguisher training courses. Join SC Training for free.


Bea Maureen Cayone

Bea Maureen Cayone is a content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), an eLearning platform that delivers advanced solutions for companies to seamlessly train their teams. Beyond the workplace, she enjoys catching up on her never-ending reading list, playing the piano, and spending time with her dogs.

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