Peabody fire inspectors Joe DiFranco and Christopher Dowling recently stopped by the Northshore Mall to train mall employees on how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
They say many businesses don't realize they offer the hands-on safety training -- Dowling said most of the mall tenants they worked with "had no idea" the service was available, and that it was free.
Businesses just need to give the fire prevention office a call. Dowling said most of the companies that take advantage of the safety training are either required to do so and some of it's driven by insurance.
Thanks to a grant the Essex County Fire Chiefs Association recently secured, they also have some new simulation equipment at their disposal for training purposes. The regional association has four divisions: EMS, fire prevention, training and technical rescue. DiFranco and Dowling are part of the team fire prevention team and travel around the North Shore offering safety training.
The simulator seen in the video here cost about $10,000 and uses propane gas, replacing barrels or buckets full of water with a lit object floating inside them, which really wasn't all that safe, said DiFranco.
The BullEx simulator, by comparison, can be turned on and off remotely and also contains sensors that detect when a person is making proper sweeping motions with an extinguisher and then just kill the flames automatically.
The fire extinguisher is also a simulator that uses water and not the real piece of equipment. The simulator conserves water allowing it to be used for multiple trainings whereas an actual fire extinguisher has to be recharged each time for a fee.
You can reach the Peabody Fire Prevention Office at 978-531-2200.