What are the Most Common Commercial Fire Hazards?
If you own a business, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your customers, employers and any other people who set foot in your property. Meanwhile, you would also want to protect your building, important records and inventory. This can be done by having a well-designed fire protection system. However, that alone is not enough. It is highly important to avoid and prevent situations where a fire might occur in the first place. Therefore, we have put together a list of some of the most common commercial fire hazards that you should take note of.
People who work in industrial settings are typically aware of any flammable chemicals and materials they have at work. However, people who work in offices may be less well-informed. Offices are full of combustible materials, especially dues to the huge amount of paper in them. Other than that, furniture, carpet, curtains and other fabrics can also act as fuel for a fire. Many cleaning liquids are also flammable and must be stored correctly to prevent any incidents. No matter where you work, it is essential to ensure that combustible materials are located far away from heat sources to prevent a fire.
Faulty Electrical Equipment
Some fire hazards may be easily detectable, such as a frayed wire on an office machine. However, there are also hidden threats that people do not always take into account. For example, faulty wiring in electrical equipment can also be a fire risk. It is important to have an electrician inspect the electrical components of your faulty equipment to ensure they do not pose a danger.
Overloaded Extension Cords
It is not uncommon to use extension cords to increase convenience at work. They are safe to use if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Unfortunately, many people tend to use extension cords improperly, such as by overloading them. In such cases, they can act as a serious fire hazard. It is recommended that you educate your employees on the appropriate use of extension cords and the fire risks they can pose to prevent any incidents.
Any broken cables in your workplace should be removed as soon as possible. Leaving them lying around is highly dangerous and risks the safety of all workers. They may spark which can lead to the outbreak of an electrical fire.
Machines like photocopiers, printers, laptops and computers are present in all commercial buildings these days and they have a tendency to overheat. This is not usually a problem on its own. However, the heat generated by these devices can lead to a fire if there are combustible materials thereby, such as paper for example. It is important that you ensure that these machines are well ventilated and kept away from combustible materials, to prevent risks of a fire due to overheating. You should also remember to shut down these machines before leaving work to allow them to cool down over night.
Poorly Disposed Cigarettes
If smoking is allowed in your workplace, you should ensure that the designated smoking areas are far away from the main buildings and any flammable materials. Your employees should also be educated on the importance of putting out cigarettes properly to reduce risks of a fire.