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Common Workplace Fire Hazards & How To Avoid Them

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Over half a million structure fires occurred in the U.S. in recent years, causing thousands of deaths, injuries, and direct property damage. This makes it clear that it’s vital for business owners and managers to take steps to identify and eliminate potential fire hazards.

At Fire Pros, we believe forewarned is forearmed in preventing workplace fire hazards. Along with installing modern fire suppression systems, we recommend that our customers create and implement a fire protection plan that addresses common workplace fire hazards to safeguard their employees, visitors, and assets.

6 Common Fire Hazards in the Workplace

Here’s a look at common workplace fire hazards and how to avoid them:

Flammable Materials & Liquids

Whether it’s paper, cardboard, janitorial supplies, or industrial liquids and gases, these substances can ignite quickly and cause a fire to spread rapidly.

To avoid this hazard, store combustible materials and liquids in designated, well-ventilated areas away from ignition sources, and be sure to dispose of waste materials regularly.

Electrical Wiring & Equipment

Faulty and overloaded electrical circuits are a leading cause of workplace fires. Have your building’s or facility’s electrical systems regularly inspected by qualified professionals. Avoid overloading outlets and use surge protectors when necessary to prevent electrical fires.

Faulty Heating Equipment

Malfunctioning or improperly used heating devices can ignite nearby flammable materials. Verify your building’s heating equipment is in good condition and don’t store flammable materials near it. Regular maintenance and adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions can prevent such hazards.

Poor Housekeeping or Clutter

Excessive clutter can fuel a fire and block escape routes or access to firefighting equipment. Maintain a clean and orderly workspace by regularly disposing of waste and ensuring debris doesn’t accumulate in halls and stairways. For buildings with frequent dust buildup, consider installing extraction fans.

Blocked or unmarked exits can also trap people inside a burning building. All exit routes should be clear and well-marked, and regular maintenance is vital to ensure the compliance and functionality of your emergency and exit lighting. Practice evacuation drills to familiarize employees with escape routes.  

Designated Smoking Areas

While smoking areas often have ashtrays and other ways to dispose of burning cigarettes, these spaces still create a significant fire risk. For your safety, all designated smoking areas should be at least 25 feet away from the main building and any entry points.

Kitchen Facilities

If your building has a kitchen, its cooking equipment, open flames, and greasy surfaces create a higher risk of fire than those without a kitchen. Even breakrooms with toasters, ovens, stoves, or microwaves increase the fire risk.

Clean kitchen areas regularly to remove grease buildup and ensure fire extinguishers are accessible. Train your staff in the proper use of cooking equipment and the appropriate actions to take in case of a fire. If you operate a restaurant or commercial kitchen, consider installing a kitchen fire suppression system.

Implementing these safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of fire in the workplace, ensuring the safety of employees and property.

Commercial Fire Safety Equipment Services

Our certified technicians and inspectors at Fire Pros can help you protect your West Michigan business against fire-related risks. We perform fire protection system inspections for fire alarms, fire sprinklers, kitchen fire suppression, extinguishers, fire pumps, and more for a variety of industries.

We also install, repair, and maintain a wide range of fire safety equipment to ensure your system is fully functional and poised to respond quickly during a fire. 

Call Fire Pros at 800-968-2871 to learn more or request a quote.

Category: Fire Protection