There are many fire hazards in the workplace that can lead to devastating, and even fatal, fires. According to the NFPA, a fire department in the US responds to a fire every 24 seconds. The same report also states that a structure fire occurs every 63 seconds and a house fire occurs every 88 seconds.
In order to reduce the number of structure fires that happen in the workplace, it’s important to identify and eliminate potential fire hazards. In this blog, we will discuss the leading causes of fires in the workplace. This will help business owners better understand how to keep their building safe and reduce the risk of a fire.
Top Fire Hazards in the Workplace
Whether it’s paper, cardboard boxes or other flammable materials, it’s common to have them in your office building. However, these materials can act as a significant source of fuel to a fire if they ignite. That’s why you should always keep things clean and orderly. You should store all flammable materials in a safe, easy to access spot that is away from the main building. Also make sure to discard any trash, unnecessary documents, etc. to keep things less cluttered.
Combustible and Flammable Liquids
If you work with combustible and flammable liquids/vapors, then you’ll want to be extra cautious when it comes to the storage and safety of your building. Because a single spark could ignite a flammable liquid quickly and vapors could lead to an explosion, you should always ensure your substances are securely contained. Make sure your flammable liquid containers are completely sealed and kept in a dry, secure place — like a closet or cupboard. Also make sure someone keeps an eye on the containers and if some happens to spill, it gets cleaned up right away.
Dust and Debris
Dust and debris build-up can be a huge problem when it comes to fire safety. If there isn’t proper ventilation in your building and a fire occurs, the dust and debris can cause an explosion. That’s why you should always keep your office building clean. It’s also a good idea to invest in extraction fans, which can help clear the dust out of the air. Make sure to also clean any machinery that heats up when it’s on. If a machine has a lot of grease and dust on it when it heats up, it could result in a fire.
Overusing the Power Socket
If you’re using a defective extension cord or plugging too many devices into a single outlet, then it could lead some serious issues. By overusing the power socket, it could overheat and potentially ignite a fire. That’s why you should always ensure that you only use one plug per socket. Also you shouldn’t use more than 13amps or 3000 watts per power socket.
Electric heaters and appliances should always be shut off and unplugged when not in use. Never leave electrical equipment on overnight and be sure to clear the surrounding space of paper and other flammable materials. You should also check for any loose cables, damaged plugs or broken electrical wires, which can be a fire hazard as well. It’s important to have your equipment regularly inspected by an expert.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of fires in the workplace. If a cigarette isn’t properly extinguished and it’s near flammable materials, it can easily ignite and spread rapidly. That’s why it’s so important to have a designated smoking area at your workplace. The area should be far enough away from the building and provide ashtrays and bins so people can properly dispose of their cigarettes.
A huge factor to workplace fires is negligence. Whether it’s food left unattended on a burner in the kitchen, a piece of bread that catches fire in a toaster oven, or drinks being spilt on electrical equipment — human error is one of the top fire hazards in the workplace. Make sure everyone in the office is responsible and understands the hazards of negligence.
Contact a Fire Safety Professional
Now that you know about the top fire hazards in the workplace, you should ensure your building is up to code. Contact Frontier Fire for any of your fire safety services, including fire alarm, fire sprinkler and inspection services. Our team of certified technicians and inspectors will make sure you don’t have any potential fire hazards. We can also install, repair or inspect any of your equipment to make sure you have the best of the best.
Contact Frontier Fire today at any of our Rocky Mountain locations in Colorado and Utah.