Fire and Safety Australia reviewed various studies with other research partners and found alarming statistics about workplace fire safety in Australia.

The research found that workplaces are underprepared for emergencies, and building occupants do not feel confident about emergency procedures. In particular, what guidelines to follow during an emergency or how to operate a fire extinguisher.

The top 5 workplace fire statistics are:

1. Less than 50% of occupants feel confident in an emergency

The research found that over 50% of occupants do not know what action to take. Nor where they should gather following an evacuation.

Annual evacuation exercises are a mandatory requirement under AS3745-2010. Conducting annual exercises helps occupants to gain more confidence in emergency procedures.

Evacuation exercises help staff better understand the emergency actions they should take to protect themselves and their work colleagues.


2. Less than 50% of occupants feel confident operating a fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are quick and easy to use. They can significantly assist when waiting for emergency services to arrive.

It is crucial for your team to have a basic level of fire extinguisher training. When trained, they can identify the type of fire that is burning, choose the appropriate class of fire extinguisher and effectively operate it in a range of circumstances.


3. Less than 25% of people can locate their nearest fire extinguisher

In an emergency, you must think quickly. However, when surveyed, less than 25% could identify the nearest fire extinguisher from memory.

By undertaking regular safety training, your team can improve their knowledge about the location and operation of site firefighting and emergency equipment. It enables them to act quickly and locate equipment from memory.


4. Over 50% of the people who operate a fire extinguisher do so incorrectly or dangerously

People operate fire extinguishers incorrectly or dangerously by not selecting the correct type of extinguisher and not sweeping across the fire. Without correct training people also do not know to continue to spray after the fire is our or to aim at the base of the fire.

The research found that over 90% of people could operate a fire extinguisher correctly on their second attempt after attending a fire extinguisher training course. As a result, they were 33% more effective in putting out a fire because they knew which type of fire extinguisher would work best. They knew where to aim and cooled the area once the fire was out.


5. Only 13% of people are aware of the different types of fire extinguishers

There can be hazardous results when using the incorrect type of fire extinguisher on a fire. Fire extinguisher training increases your team’s knowledge and response actions when confronted with a fire or emergency.

Both Australian and International fire statistics show that 95% of all fires are extinguishable if the correct fire extinguisher is used promptly on the fire.

All Australian workplaces should have fire extinguishers installed throughout the building to comply with Australia Standard AS1851 and the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Without the proper training, most occupants fear fire extinguishers. They do not understand how to operate one correctly in an emergency.

Providing occupants with basic fire safety training increases their knowledge and confidence in emergencies. Fire extinguisher training, in particular, can give your team the courage to extinguish small workplace fires before they grow large and potentially interrupt business operations.

For more information on how to protect your business and reduce risk, contact Clear Insurance today.


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