Preventing Workplace Fires
The U.S Fire Administration estimates that there were over 110,000 fires in non-residential buildings in 2019, resulting in almost $3 billion in damages. A majority of these fires were caused by things that could’ve been avoided with proper preparation and training. Here are some of the more common causes of fires in commercial buildings and ways to help prevent them.
- Cooking Fires
- Cooking fires accounted for almost one-third of the nonresidential building fires. Make sure that employees are trained on proper cooking safety with the elements provided to them. Avoid clutter in the kitchens and breakrooms and if you have a stove/oven make sure to keep those areas clear of combustible materials. Regular cleaning can help to reduce dirt, dust, and grease build-up, all of which can contribute to causing fires.
- Flammable Items
- In addition to making sure the kitchen and cooking areas are clean, it’s also important to ensure that the rest of the building is free of clutter and that combustible materials like paper, cardboard, and wood are properly disposed of. In the event of a fire, a buildup of these materials can greatly increase the risk of the fire spreading and being more difficult to put out.
- Arson or otherwise intentionally set fires are in the top three causes of nonresidential fires. You can help reduce your risk of being affected by these kinds of fires with properly maintained security systems such as CCTV, motion sensor flood lighting, and fire detection systems.
- Human Error
- While you can’t always prevent accidents from happening, ensuring that your employees are properly trained in fire safety programs can greatly reduce the risk to your property. Consider putting in place annual safety briefings to make sure the knowledge is up to date and fresh in everyone’s minds.
- Going along with human error, electronics are also a huge cause of commercial fires. Regular inspections and maintenance of electronics can reduce the risks of faulty equipment. Make sure employees are trained on safe equipment usage and be mindful of loose wires and equipment placement.
Remember that fire prevention is not something that is a one-time only action. To help ensure that you’re doing everything you can to reduce the risk of fires on your property, you’ll need to regularly keep up with these tasks and check with employees to make sure they are following proper procedures. We hope these tips will help you to prevent fires in your workplace, however if you unfortunately find yourself dealing with a fire in your building SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is available 24/7, 365 days a year to help make your fire damage “Like it never even happened.”