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Cintas Study Reveals Gender Gap in Fire Extinguisher Use and the Need for Better Fire Protection Training

Poll shows nearly three in four Americans have never used a fire extinguisher

CINCINNATI — May 1, 2014 – International Firefighters' Day, which is observed on May 4, recognizes the bravery of firefighters across the globe while highlighting the need for improving fire protection efforts. Fire extinguishers are often a first line of defense in the event of a fire, and a recent study from Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) shows that more than half (55 percent) of adults have never used or received training on the proper operation of a fire extinguisher. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll among 2,051 adults ages 18 and older.

“Knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher could limit the spread of a small, contained fire to a much larger one with severe consequences,” said Tommy Thompson, Vice President, Cintas Fire Protection. “Our survey findings suggest that this is a real issue unless more people receive proper training on how to use a fire extinguisher. Whether you’re at home or at work, knowing how to properly operate a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between life and death.”

The survey indicates that while some adults may have used a fire extinguisher in the past (only 26 percent), nearly two in three (64 percent) have not received any training. Lack of training is a cause for concern as improper use of a fire extinguisher or using the wrong type of extinguisher could potentially make a fire worse.

Survey results also revealed surprising gender gaps between fire extinguisher use and training. Men were more likely to have operated a fire extinguisher (39 percent) compared to women (15 percent). The gap was a little narrower when it came to fire extinguisher training, however, with 44 percent of men having received training compared to 29 percent of women.

“Just having a fire extinguisher in a facility isn’t enough,” added Thompson. “To increase confidence during an emergency and reduce the potential impact of a fire, organizations should work with a fire protection provider that offers streamlined programs including fire extinguishers, tests and inspections, and training, to save time and ensure ongoing safety.”

For more information on Cintas’ fire extinguisher training program, please visit www.cintas.com/firetraining.

Survey methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Cintas from April 15-17, 2014 among 2,051 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Miranda Scott and mscott@mulberrymc.com.

About Cintas Corporation:
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services and document management services for more than 1 million businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.