If one of your employees detects a fire in the workplace, the first instincts are likely to alert coworkers, have someone call 911, and grab the nearest fire extinguisher. However, fire extinguishers are not as easy to use as they look. It’s important to properly train your employees on the types of fire extinguishers you have in your workplace and how to properly use them. This could mean the difference between containing a small fire and having it escalate into one that threatens the building, people’s safety, or even their lives.

What your employees need to know about fire extinguishers

Evacuate immediately if the fire has become too large to handle, it’s rapidly spreading, or the extinguisher is empty and the flames are still burning.

When it comes to fire extinguisher use, remember that not all fire extinguishers are the same. Each one has a label indicating the type of fire it’s to be used for.

Under a standardized letter coding system, most fires fall into the A, B, or C category. If your fire extinguisher is rated for all three, the label will have all three letters. The D and K categories are for more specialized situations.