Services that work in commercial fire protection help businesses not only to protect the business and those inside it in the event of a fire, they also work hard to bring awareness to prevention of fires occurring in the first place. Sadly there are fires in businesses each and every year, and the causes are often found to be similar. With this in mind, these are the top 10 indoor fire hazards that all businesses should be aware of.
Combustible Waste Stored On Site
Whilst a spark is always required to kickstart a fire, the most common reason for large scale fires breaking out is waste goods stored on site. This could be paper from an office or cardboard stored in a factory. Regular clearing of waste should be a top priority for businesses.
Not all businesses use heavy amounts of flammable liquids but some use much more than others. As part of designing a fire protection system for a business, any flammable liquids should have regulated use and be stored away correctly when they are no longer in use.
Faulty Electrical Equipment
A great many fires that start in older buildings are as a result of faulty electrical equipment. As we said, all it takes is a spark and these old units and machines can easily cause that. All electrical equipment on site should be regularly tested, repaired and upgraded where necessary.
Power Sockets Overloaded
Most businesses will have an electrical system that is designed to break if any aspect of it is overloaded, but not all. Additionally this is a great amount of faith to put in a system, and overloading may not always mean that the circuit breaks, before any sparks fly. Hooking up all machines to a single socket is just asking for trouble, and it is another common reason why fires start in the first place.
Liquids and Electrical Equipment
We use more electrical equipment in the workplace than ever before, with POS devices, PDAs, computer equipment and many other devices. Human error is often a cause for fires in businesses and liquids that are spilled onto these devices can easily set the wheels in motion which then start a fire.
Many businesses use naked flames in their operations, such as in kitchens and in laboratories. Whilst everyone should be trained on using the flames, and in many cases are, accidents can happen and a fire can quickly spiral out of control.
Dust Build Up
Dust particles, if left for long enough, can in fact cause a large scale fire and in some cases even explode. The dust that is left on surfaces such as wood, plastic and metal, can become laced with toxic bacteria that is then prone to causing fires when it is heated through pipework or electrical devices.
Hot Work Activity
Workshops in the fabrication and manufacturing industry can often be a danger zone because of the hot work that is carried out. Operations like welding, brazing and grinding produce huge amounts of heat and sparks, that can easily result in a fire beginning.
Whilst smoking is outlawed indoors, there are still some who flout these rules and their discarded cigarettes can easily cause a fire to breakout. Tight controls are needed around this illegal behavior.
Kitchens have a huge array of fire risks, beyond the naked flames that we have already mentioned. Hot oil is so often the cause of fires in businesses that have kitchens and it is exactly why training is a must under the fire protection system that has been implemented. Good training and solid management is required when kitchen staff are involved.
These are just some of the most common indoor fire hazards that companies face.