Why fires break out at work

24 November 2018

A fire in the workplace can put many people’s lives at risk.

 

Thankfully, people are usually aware of how fires can start and know how to use a mixture of common sense and safety protocol to prevent them.

 

That being said, a crowded area filled with busy working people will always increase the chance of a fire breaking out.

 

Here are five of the most common reasons why fires break out in the workplace.


1. Electronic equipment

 

Computers and other electronic equipment are common in the workplace. When equipment is not switched off, overheats, or becomes faulty, it can become hazardous and a key reason why fires break out at work.

 

Be sure to undergo regular electrical tests, replace older electronic equipment and where possible, switch electronics off at the end of each working day. If you are allowed to use a mobile heating device at work, ensure it has cooled down, been turned off, and is not left stood next to another item before leaving it unattended.


2. Flammable materials

 

If your workplace requires the use of materials that are flammable, such as chemicals or even paper, your working environment is already at an increased risk of a fire break out.

 

To combat this, ensure appropriate training is regularly carried out, and that employees are always aware of the associated risks of handling chemicals, alongside inspecting appropriate storage and handling of any flammable materials.


3. Negligence of fire safety hazards and procedures

 

Negligence in staff members can be a common occurrence in the workplace – even if they don’t mean to be neglectful at all.

 

If an employee is slacking in their duties or neglecting to follow safety instructions in chemical storage or use of electronic equipment, fire safety can be put at risk.

 

Always provide and enforce rigorous safety procedures and tests, to ensure your employees are reminded of the importance of safety in their professional environment.


4. Accident or error

 

While negligence implies that the member of staff was deliberately not following procedure due to a lack of concern for safety, accidents and errors can be a result of improper training or a fault where procedure was attempted to be followed correctly but crucial steps were missed.

 

It’s a reminder that safety tests and procedures should be carried out on all work staff to ensure all staff members understand what they need to do. Accidents can happen, but informed and deliberate conduct significantly cuts the risk.


5. Arson

 

It might be hard to believe that some fires in the workplace are deliberate attempts to cause damage.

 

Any industrial or commercial area is susceptible to break-ins or vandals, which is another key reminder to ensure your workplace has all the correct and properly working fire safety equipment in place at all times.


Wrapping up

 

Although preventing a fire break out at work can seem like a matter of common sense, highlighting these five main reasons why can further avoid them.

 

Reminding employees of proper procedures and ensuring safety equipment is always on hand are just two ways to prevent fire in the workplace.

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