5 Of The Most Common Causes Of Fire In The Workplace
- Faulty Electrics
Faulty electrics are the biggest cause of workplace1 fires, loose wires, plugs that are over loaded and old equipment can all make for a potential death trap. Every workplace is legally obliged to take good care of any electric al equipment, and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is an absolute must. These tests, undertaken every year, will ensure that your electrical goods stay in good working order and are fit for purpose.
- Flammable and Combustible Materials
Flammable and combustible materials represent a dangerous hazard to your employees as well as your business; whilst every workplace should place fire safety at the forefront of their risk assessments, this is particularly true of premises that hold any number of materials that are flammable or combustible. Appropriate storage, correct disposal and in-depth processes for handling these materials and or substances should be put in place.
- Human Error
Another common reason for fires in the workplace is down to human error, accidents such as knocking liquid onto electrical equipment, burning food in the kitchen or spilling flammable or combustible liquids.4
- General Negligence
Negligence can be differentiated from human error by the fact that such incidents are caused by proper procedures not being followed, or a member of staff undertaking an activity known as a potential fire hazard. Such instances are, again, easily avoided, and staff training on the dangers of certain areas within the workplace cannot be underestimated.
While many may get alarmed when they hear that arson is a common cause of workplace fires, it is indeed a relatively frequent occurrence. Factories and industrial estates are particularly prone to vandals and fires can spread quickly from unit to unit if proper fire control features aren’t installed.
If suitable, work places should fit fireproof shutters and a water sprinkler system to protect their property as far as possible; and deterrents such as CCTV and gating can all indicate to the would be intruder that your property is far from ideal for trespassing.
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