Friday, 19 July 2024
Business

The 5 Most Common Fire Hazards in Businesses: How to Mitigate Them

The 5 Most Common Fire Hazards in Businesses: How to Mitigate Them

Fire prevention is critical for every business organisation since avoiding legal ramifications, reputational damage and financial losses are all reliant on the quality of investment in preserving the lives and property of employees, customers, and suppliers.

Fire prevention is critical for every business organisation since avoiding legal ramifications, reputational damage and financial losses are all reliant on the quality of investment in preserving the lives and property of employees, customers, and suppliers.

There were 19,410 fires in commercial premises in England in 2019/2020 alone, with 17 deaths and 1,027 injuries reported by the Home Office. Businesses might have avoided or mitigated the severity of many of these incidents if they had recognised and handled the most prevalent fire dangers on the site.

This post will cover the five most prevalent causes of fires in UK businesses and the best practises for preventing them.

  1. Electrical Equipment

When it comes to commercial buildings, electrical systems are a significant source of fire. Sparks or overheating from faulty wiring, overloaded sockets, broken plugs, or poor usage of extension cables can ignite flammable materials nearby. Electrical fires can be avoided if you:

  • Inspected and serviced electrical appliances and fixtures regularly.

  • Swap out frayed wires and faulty plugs/sockets.

  • Do not use too many adapters or overload outlets.

  • Keep electrical appliances away from combustible materials or heat sources, and always unplug electronics while not in use.

2. Cooking Equipment

Businesses, notably restaurants, cafés, bars, and hotels, sometimes have fires caused by cooking equipment such as overheated grease, oil, food debris, and paper towels on stoves, ovens, grills, fryers, and microwaves, which pose a severe fire hazard. For commercial kitchen fire safety, consider:

  • Not letting grease and oil accumulate in kitchen areas.

  • Storing combustible materials away from stoves and ovens

  • Cooking with metal or heat-resistant utensils and containers

  • Having fire extinguishers and fire blankets nearby

3. Smoking Materials

The improper disposal of smoking products like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, matches, and lighters can also cause fires in businesses. Trash cans, furniture, rugs, drapes, and other flammables are all in danger of catching fire from embers or ashes. However, a few things companies may do to avoid fires caused by smoking materials are:

  • Provide dedicated smoking places outdoors with appropriate ashtrays and dumpsters.

  • Enforce a strict no-smoking policy inside the premises.

  • Extinguish all smoking items thoroughly before discarding them; inform staff and customers of the potential fire hazards posed by smoking.

  • In the event of a fire, be sure to have smoke alarms and sprinklers set up.

4. Arson

Arson is the deliberate and malicious destruction of property by fire. Motives for such behaviour range from vandalism and vengeance to insurance fraud and terrorism. Damage to commercial properties from arson can be extensive, putting the lives of employees and customers at risk. For fire safety, companies need to:

  • Lock all doors, set off alarms, and install surveillance cameras.

  • Get expert aid if you suspect arson by reporting any suspicious behaviour or evidence of tampering to the authorities.

  • Work with the police and fire departments if an event occurs.

5. Human Error

Accidental fires caused by carelessness, negligence, or ignorance are examples of human mistakes. Lapses in concentration, such as leaving candles and heaters on, spilling flammable substances, or utilising broken machinery are all examples of carelessness that can lead to a fire. Still, human blunders can be mitigated by:

  • Conducting regular fire drills and audits

  • Encouraging a culture of responsibility and accountability

  • Posting clear signs and instructions on how to use equipment safely

  • Training and educating employees and customers on fire safety

Conclusion

Every business runs the risk of fire, which may have devastating effects on both people and their possessions. However, you can reduce the potential for fire accidents and maintain a secure and productive workplace by recognising and eliminating frequent fire dangers on your site.

If you live in London and need fire risk assessment Croydon professionals to help with this fire identification and elimination process, GF Fire Solutions is a BAFE SP205 accredited risk assessment company servicing Croydon, Surrey and Greater London.

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