NDSC trains businesses how to effectively put out fires

BISMARCK, N.D. - Businesses across the state want to be prepared in case of a fire. Now they're training on how to react.

The North Dakota Safety Council is using simulators to teach employees of businesses how to use a fire extinguisher before the fire department shows up.

When an emergency strikes, "Most businesses have no idea how to use them properly, much less efficiently to save their employees or save their business," said Brenden Dockter, a trainer with NDSC.

The fire extinguisher course gives people hands-on training on how to effectively put out a fire.

"It’s about as realistic as you can get without lighting a fire and using a real life fire extinguisher to put the fire out," said Dockter.

Strata Corporation, headquartered in Grand Forks, makes the course mandatory for all employees.

"It’s very important for someone in our shop location to control a small fire, so it doesn't turn into a big fire," said James Thorson, safety director at Strata Corporation.

And the results are effective.

"We've had a couple of instances of small fires in the shop around welding and cutting. And we've also had truck drivers that have had to use them not on their own vehicle, but have come across another vehicle where they took the fire extinguisher out of their truck and used it to extinguish a vehicle fire," said Thorson.

Trainers say these courses help further educate those who would jump in to stop the flames.

"This way those people who are going to jump in and help anyway will at least know exactly what they're doing and make sure they're doing it property," said Dockter.

Training those who will step in when seconds matter most.

Business who are interested in coordinating a fire extinguisher training course can contact the Safety Council community protection manager at 701-751-6105.