Unit of competency details

PRMPFES05B - Use portable fire fighting equipment (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CPPFES2005A - Demonstrate first attack firefighting equipmentUnit updated and equivalent to PRMPFES05B Use portable fire fighting equipment 09/Jan/2012

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 30/Mar/2009


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  06/May/2004 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency enables the service technician to demonstrate to customers how various portable fire protection products are used in emergency situations. The unit covers demonstrating the use of a portable fire extinguisher, a fire hose reel and a fire blanket. All work in this area must be completed in accordance with relevant legislative, industry, customer and organisational requirements, including occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and procedures.

Application of the Unit

Not Applicable

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 Use portable fire extinguishers to extinguish a simulated fire

1.1 Determine the classification  and fire type 

1.2 Select the appropriate fire extinguisher  to attack the fire

1.3 Demonstrate usage of fire extinguishers  safely according to manufacturers' instructions, and in accordance with relevant OHS and workplace policies and procedures 

2 Demonstrate correct usage of a fire hose reel

2.1 Demonstrate usage of the hose reel  safely according to manufacturers' instructions and in accordance with relevant OHS and workplace policies and procedures 

2.2 Turn off water in the approved sequence and check the hose reel for leaks

2.3 Rewind the hose reel  correctly after use

3 Demonstrate correct usage of a fire blanket

3.1 Demonstrate usage of the fire blanket safely according to manufacturers' instructions and in accordance with relevant OHS and workplace policies and procedures 

Required Skills and Knowledge

Refer to Evidence Guide

Evidence Guide


Knowledge needed to achieve the performance criteria 

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this unit of competency in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts, and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this unit are listed below.

  • The theory of fire including the Triangle of Combustion.
  • The implications of incorrect use of fire extinguishers and hose reels on classes of fire.
  • How fire can be spread by conduction, convection, radiation and direct burning.
  • Why cooking oil and fat fires require special attention.
  • Basic methods of locating a fire.
  • The meaning of secondary damage.
  • How water pressure influences the discharge distance for hose reels.

Specific skills needed to achieve the performance criteria 

To achieve the performance criteria, some complementary skills are required. These relate to the ability to:

  • apply appropriate decision-making techniques
  • use equipment appropriately and safely with regard to OHS issues and requirements
  • apply language, literacy and numeracy skills to:
  • communicate with others in a clear and concise manner in both written and verbal modes
  • read, understand and comply with work instructions/specifications
  • read, understand and record measurements
  • utilise effective customer service skills and relate to people from a range of social and cultural backgrounds.

Other units of competency that could be assessed with this unit 

This unit could be assessed on its own or in combination with other competencies relevant to the job function, for example:

  • PRMPFES04B Identify fire protection equipment
  • PRMPFES06C Prepare for installation and servicing operations.

Resources required to assess this unit 

The following resources should be available:

  • actual or simulated work environment
  • assessment documentation
  • training and assessment record book.

Gaining evidence to assess this unit 

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, competency should be demonstrated over a period of time and be observed by the assessor (or assessment team working together to conduct the assessment). The competency is to be demonstrated in a range of situations, which may include customer/workplace interruptions and involvement in related activities normally experienced in the workplace.

Assessment may be by way of a single practical demonstration, using simulated fire situations. Due to safety and cost factors, methods of extinguishing Class D, E and F fires are confined to oral explanations and role-play/simulations only.

Oral questioning or written assessment and hypothetical situations (scenarios) may be used to assess underpinning knowledge. (In assessment situations where the candidate is offered a preference between oral questioning and written assessment, questions are to be identical.)

Supplementary evidence may be obtained from relevant authenticated correspondence from existing supervisors, team leaders or specialist training staff.

Performance and assessment of this unit must be carried out within the relevant requirements of the following legislative and industry framework:

  • building Acts/regulations/codes
  • Australian Standards identified as relevant to the required maintenance procedure
  • environmental regulations
  • manufacturers' specifications
  • organisational requirements, including OHS policies and procedures
  • OHS legislation, codes and regulations.

Note: All practical demonstrations involving the use of simulated fires must adhere to the safety and environmental regulations relevant to each state or territory.

Key competency levels 

There are a number of processes learnt throughout work and daily life that are required in all jobs. They are fundamental processes and generally transferable to other work environments. Some of these work processes are covered by the key competencies listed below. Information provided to each question highlights how these processes are applied in this unit of competency.

The number in brackets indicates the level to which the key competency should be demonstrated.

Perform the process

Perform and administer the process

Perform, administer and design the process

How can information be collected , analysed and organised  ()?

Gather information from regulatory and organisational sources in relation to the portable fire fighting equipment to be utilised in demonstrations.

How can communication of ideas and information  () be applied?

Communicate using significant verbal communication skills and appropriate questioning techniques in order for knowledge to be imparted to customers.

How are activities planned and organised  ()?

Demonstrate different sound planning and delivery techniques.

How can teamwork  () be applied?

Provide support and assistance within work groups.

How can the use of mathematical ideas and techniques  () be applied?

Demonstrate application of basic mathematical techniques and appropriate space required.

How can problem-solving skills  () be applied?

Discuss and identify problem-solving requirements throughout the fire type demonstration.

How can the use of technology  () be applied?

Discuss technological principles and demonstrate physical skills to be applied throughout the demonstration of using portable fire fighting equipment.

Range Statement


The range statement links the required knowledge and organisational and technical requirements to the workplace context. It describes any contextual variables that will be used or encountered when applying the competency in work situations. It allows for different work practices and work and knowledge requirements as well as for differences between organisations and workplaces. The following variables may be present for this particular unit.

Classifications of fires include  Classes: A, B, C, D, E and F.

Fire types  may include:

  • ordinary combustibles
  • flammable and combustible liquids
  • flammable gases
  • energised electrical equipment
  • combustible metals
  • cooking oils and fats.

Appropriate fire extinguishers  may include:

  • water
  • foam
  • powder
  • CO
  • wet chemical
  • vaporising liquid.

Relevant OHS and workplace policies and procedures  may be located in quality assurance and/or procedures manuals relating to:

  • appropriate techniques to use in relation to emergency management of fires
  • personnel practices and guidelines outlining work roles, responsibilities and delegations
  • OHS policies, procedures and programs including:
  • safety procedures including:
  • working safely around electrical wiring, cables and overhead powerlines
  • working safely around tools and equipment
  • working safely on ladders and raised platforms
  • risk and hazard recognition
  • emergency procedures
  • awareness of electrical hazards
  • following confined spaces procedures
  • First Aid
  • utilising personal protective equipment including:
  • safety glasses or goggles
  • safety boots or shoes
  • hard hat
  • ear muffs or plugs
  • assessing the work site for hazards and risks prior to preparing the work site for the work procedure
  • displaying signs and/or utilising barriers in the work area.

Hose reel  types may be:

  • wall-mounted
  • swing-hinged
  • vehicle-mounted.

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable