Common Causes of Workplace Fires

There’s a lot that can be done to avoid workplace fires and the best defense is always prevention. But sometimes despite our best efforts, fires can still occur – causing injuries, damage, and countless other issues.

While fires can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, here are a few of the most common causes of workplace fires.

Electrical fires

A good portion of fires are electrical fires and they can happen from a whole range of things that could go wrong. Sometimes it’s an equipment malfunction, sometimes it’s a power overload, and sometimes it’s just a freak accident.

It’s important that every workplace has an electrical fire safety plan in place, specifically. They should know what extinguishers to use and what will work to fight the fire in the event they need to. You should also be sure that you’re inspecting wires, keeping up on your suppression system’s maintenance, and the like.

Flammable materials

There are literally thousands of chemicals that are used in workplaces all over the United States. Improper handling of these materials can cause a fire. Worse yet, when these liquids or compounds are spilled, they give off vapors that can be harmful to your lungs and the air around you. Those vapors can also ignite – making them doubly dangerous. Flammable liquid spills should be cleaned up immediately.

Be sure your employees are trained thoroughly on all OSHA guidelines when it comes to flammables.

Human error

Things happen and as humans, we’re not immune to error. Sometimes the water supply is turned off when there’s a fire. Sometimes people mishandle materials. Sometimes people don’t pay attention during safety training. Whatever it is – humans are a major cause of workplace fires.

The best you can do is to make sure your safety systems are in good, working condition and that you’re doing your best to make sure that your staff is prepared in the event a fire happens.

At the end of the day, fire prevention should be something that is considered part of everyone’s job. That means keeping workspaces clutter-free and safe from fire hazards. It means not plugging too many things into a wall. It means taking care of chemicals and flammable materials. As is the case with anything – the best prevention is education and training, so make sure that fire prevention is an integral part of what you do.

If you have questions about this or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.

It is Essential to Protect Your Building During COVID-19

With non-essential employees working from home, buildings have been left empty. Of course, the most important thing to do is to protect your employees and follow government guidelines, but don’t forget about the health of your building as well. When buildings are empty, they are at risk for fire and vandalism.

Recently, NFPA has recommended “All commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings should maintain fully operational fire and life safety systems as required by the applicable codes and standards. (NFPA 25, NFPA 72®, NFPA 101®) .” Whether your building is occupied or not, it is important to keep these systems maintained.

NFPA went on to say, ” Those responsible for these buildings should adhere to the expected schedules for inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) that are vital to their operation. If they are unable to do so, they should contact their local authority having jurisdiction.”

Since fire protection has been deemed essential, fire protection companies can continue to inspect, test and maintain your buildings. This way, when your business is ready to resume operations, you will be all set.

Besides NFPA, FM Global agrees about the importance of maintaining fire protection. They say, “It’s important to keep fire protection in place. Have maintenance staff check daily to ensure sprinkler valves are locked open. Remove debris and ignitable liquids, and closely monitor any welding or other ‘hot work’ taking place on the property. Alert the local fire department of the building’s change in use.”

Unsecured properties are more susceptible to incendiary fires than secured properties, so please continue to maintain your fire protection systems. This way, your building will remain safe and be ready when your business resumes normal operations.

If you need help maintaining your fire protection needs, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.

NFPA Article Referenced

FM Global Article Referenced