What is the Most Common Fire in the Workplace?

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What is the Most Common Fire in the Workplace?

For many employers, a fire breaking out on their premises is a nightmare scenario. Unfortunately for some, it can become a reality. 

The best way to prevent this from happening and to keep your property safe is to understand the most common fire risks for your workplace. This article will outline how common certain types of fire are in the workplace, and how you can prevent them from occurring.  

Electrical equipment 

According to Fireward, electrical fires account for 25% of workplace blazes with retail, industrial premises and the hospitality industry being the most at risk. Whether it’s loose wires, faulty plugs or overloaded sockets, there are a whole host of reasons why an electrical fire can break out. 

Almost every business uses electricity across its operations, meaning every company should be aware of the risks. One way to prevent this from happening is to ensure that all your electrical equipment is regularly maintained and inspected to ensure it’s safe to use. Sometimes it can be tempting to look for ways to cut costs when it comes to your electrical equipment, but it’s important to avoid this as subpar appliances can trigger a fire. 

As well as this, lack of training or understanding on how to use electrical equipment has been cited as a reason why this kind of fire is common- so it’s important to train all staff on the correct way to operate equipment. 

If an electrical fire does break out on your property, then a CO2 or dry powder fire extinguisher is the way to go in order to safely extinguish it. Never use water on this type of fire as it can conduct the electricity, meaning you could be at risk of electrocution. 

Arson

While it might sound extreme, arson is actually one of the main risks of fire for a workplace. According to the National Fire Chiefs Council, arson accounted for 50% of fires in the UK in 2018—showing how widespread the problem is.

In order to protect yourself from arson, there are a number of things you can do. This includes locking away any flammable materials that may be used as an exhilarant. 

But, the best way to prevent criminals from committing arson on your property is by installing security measures such as CCTV, alarms and secure door systems.            

Misuse of flammable materials 

If you’re a business that handles a lot of flammable or combustible materials, it is important that you deal with them appropriately. If you don’t store them correctly, then you run the risk of them catching light or exploding when you least expect it. 

For instance, if you work in a garage or warehouse that uses tools that produce sparks, it is important that any of these materials (such as oil, or chemicals) are kept well away. A rogue spark could trigger a fire or explosion that can go on to cause undue damage to property and human life. 

To remind people of the dangers these materials pose, it is important they’re correctly labelled and you regularly update your fire risk assessments. As well as this, staff members who smoke should be reminded not to do so in the proximity of these substances. A designated smoking area should be created on your property with staff educated on the fire safety risks they can bring.

As well as causing irreparable damage to your business, fire can cost lives, so it’s imperative that your business is aware of all of the risks. Our team at Hoyles are experts in fire safety, and can provide you with a number of services to protect your business and keep staff safe. Contact us today to find out more.

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