GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Along with keeping people safe by fighting fires, fire departments offer education courses to show people what to do when seconds matter.
One of the courses that the Greensboro Fire Department offers to businesses is fire extinguisher training.
Greensboro fire recently conducted a training at HYFAB.
“There is a lot of welding and cutting. We try very hard to run a safe shop, but there's always that possibility,” HYFAB team leader Mark Bingham said.
Greensboro fire showed employees how to safely use a fire extinguisher using the acronym PASS – pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the lever and sweep from side to side.
The skill not only makes a difference for businesses, but also in homes.
“33 percent of the fires that we see in Greensboro begin because of cooking,” Greensboro Fire Department Assistant Chief Dwayne Church said.
“We have three phases of fire, you’ve got the incipient phase which is the beginning phase and that's where we want to use that extinguisher. Anything past that phase, we don't want to use an extinguisher," Church said.
For fires that are beyond the fire extinguisher phase, the focus should be on getting out.
It’s critical to have working smoke alarms and an escape plan.
“You always want to have a plan of at least two exits out,” Church said. “Know exactly what you’re going to do in case there’s a fire at the door. How you’re going to get out the window and have a meeting place outside that you can meet your family at.”
Once you escape a fire, remember to close the door to prevent the fire from spreading.
You can check with your local fire department for educational classes it offers.
Some classes may be exclusive to businesses while others may also be available to churches and civic groups.
You can also request a home walk through from a fire department to determine if your home has potential fire hazards.