Thousands of workplace fires break out each year, resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths and millions of dollars in property loss. Fires can be unpredictable, but there are still plenty of ways to lower the risk of fire and keep people and property safe. Let’s look at five common fire hazards to identify and eliminate in the workplace so that you can protect your business and the people and things within it.
Flammable Liquids & Vapors
This is a huge risk in factories and restaurants, but it can happen anywhere flammable products exist. When exposed to a spark or flame, flammable liquids and vapors combust. Vapors are especially dangerous since they can cover a greater area than liquids and are more likely to explode. Fortunately, you can keep fire and explosions at bay by ensuring the containers holding these liquids and vapors are sealed and cleaning up any spills promptly.
Another common fire hazard to identify and eliminate in the workplace is dust. Dust may seem harmless, but what if we told you that dust explosions are more common than you’d think? Under circumstances in which dust has built up in a confined space, and an ignition source is present, dust can fulminate. To prevent dust explosions, take the time to regularly dust off the floor and any machinery and install extraction fans to remove particles from the air.
Damaged Electrical Equipment
Faulty electrical equipment is another common fire hazard. Faulty outlets, overloaded power strips, and frayed wires can all lead to disaster if left alone. To ensure electrical safety, have your equipment regularly inspected and maintained by a professional. If you notice a machine acting oddly, instruct people to steer clear of it and contact an expert immediately.
Combustible materials like paper and cardboard can ignite when exposed to a flame. If there’s a buildup of combustible materials, this fire can spread quickly and uncontrollably. The best way to prevent fires caused by combustible materials is to throw out any trash. And if you do need to keep combustible items on site, store them away from the main building and away from any potential ignition sources.
Smoking and Cooking
These simple everyday actions are some of the biggest causes of workplace fires, mainly in offices, senior care facilities, and restaurants. Ideally, smoking should be done outside and away from any buildings, and cigarettes should be properly doused and thrown out. If you need to cook on site, ensure all cooking equipment is clean and damage-free. And, of course, never leave a lit burner or oven unattended.
As you can see, many of the top causes of workplace fires are simple things. By being vigilant and taking even the small things seriously, you can reduce the risk of workplace fires.
That said, fires sometimes occur without warning and without any obvious cause. If you need help pinpointing the source of a fire, get in touch with Dreiym Engineering. We offer forensic fire investigation services led by a team of experienced and certified fire investigators. Contact us today to learn more!