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The Four Major Causes of Fires in the Workplace

By February 6, 2017Fire Safety News
The Four Major Causes of Fires in the Workplace

Fire – we’ve all heard or seen a building that’s burned to the ground, ravaged by flames, and firefighters were unable to save the building. It’s horrible to think that, with the damage to property and even lives, these sorts of crises might be averted.

Fire protection is the business of everyone at the workplace, both management and employees, so it’s critical that everyone who works at a location knows the leading causes of fires at workplace and how to prevent them.

Electrical Fires

Electrical fires account for a large percentage of fire damage, work-related or otherwise. Wiring in a building may go bad, or frayed and/or damaged appliances may be left unattended for too long.

If you see anything that appears to have the signs of damaged wiring, from desk lamps to hand dryers, make sure to report it as soon as possible to management. Seemingly without provocation, damage electrical items could spark a blaze that takes down an entire building.


Despite rules designed for fire protection, many people at the workplace smoke in areas that aren’t designated as smoking zones. There are many reasons why workplaces forbid smoking outside of smoking areas, but one of them may be to protect against a workplace fire.

There are many places of work that are littered with flammable objects – smoking in the wrong places at these locations could spark a fire very quickly. Additionally, a cigarette butt discarded in an interior trashcan can easily catch fire to the discarded refuse in the can, and this is how many fires have started. Be responsible with your smoking: smoke only in designated zones, and discard of your cigarette butts in receptacles designed for their use.

Improperly Stored Chemicals or Flammable Substances

A real threat to the workplace environment is improperly stored chemicals and/or flammable substances of any kind. There are generally very strict procedures by which these substances should be stored – either due to human error or negligence, these items are sometimes not stored properly.

It’s up to those who work at the location to keep an eye out for anything that looks unusual, and speak up if they see something out of place. Likewise, employees and management alike need to keep their eyes peeled for spilled materials, or materials that look like they’ve been toppled, as they materials are prime targets for a fire.

Kitchen Fires

For workspaces that have kitchens, there is no risk more real than that of a grease fire. These fires can spread incredibly fast and do enormous amounts of damage to personnel and property.

Most kitchens at a workplace will have strict fire protection measures in place, such as fire sprinklers and alarms, that will trigger in case of an emergency. Despite these safety measures, it’s still proper protocol, for those working in the kitchen space, to be mindful of their cooking and always keep a close eye on it. Follow the procedures closely for your kitchen, and grease fires should be something you never need to worry about.