Location, Location, Location: Should You Choose On-Site Or Off-Site Fire Extinguisher Training For Your Workforce?

If any company's fire safety procedures and drills are to be effective, their entire workforce must be trained well in fire safety techniques and the use of fire safety equipment. As such, any good company will put its employees through fire extinguisher training, and a number of training services offer courses in safe and effective fire extinguisher use. These training courses can be conducted at your place of business or at a dedicated training centre, and choosing between these two approaches can be difficult; on-site and off-site training courses both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of on-site fire extinguisher training?

The key advantage of conducting fire extinguisher training on-site is that your employees gain fire extinguisher skills in the same environment they work in, and allows them to familiarise themselves with extinguisher use in the same places they may one day be forced to use them. This can be particularly useful if your company deals in products that may present an unusual fire hazard, such as electrical components or flammable oils and liquids. On-site training also helps minimise travelling expenses for your employees, and ensures that everyone who should attend the course is able to do so.

However, the practicality of on-site training is limited by the confines of your work spaces, and difficult environments such as compact offices and heavily-mechanised factory floors may be considered unsuitable for extensive fire extinguisher training. You can get around space issues by having your employees trained in smaller groups, but this can increase costs and create considerable distraction for employees who are currently working.

What about the advantages and disadvantages of off-site fire extinguisher training?

Off-site training is recommended when you want your employees to undergo more extensive extinguisher training, and this is largely because they can be used for live-fire training and demonstrations. Having your employees fight real (albeit controlled) fires in safe conditions can be a tremendous boon to their confidence and effectiveness should the worst come to pass. Off-site training is also a smart choice if you have employees from a number of locations coming in for training at the same time, and having a dedicated training space free of work-related distractions can help your employees get the most out of their training.

Unfortunately, the extra facilities afforded to your employees by off-site training usually come at a cost, and off-site training courses tend to cost considerably more than on-site courses, even before the extra travel expenses involved are taken into account. Off-site training can also particularly difficult for disabled employees, so if you choose this option make sure that the training building used is suitably accessible.