How to manage the risk of fires in the workplace

Recent research has revealed that the majority of fires that rescue services attend to take place in commercial buildings, with many being recorded as ‘workplace incidents’.

A fire breaking out in the workplace is nothing short of a business nightmare. Not only is there the threat of losing costly business equipment and stock, but a fire poses an extreme hazard to the lives of staff, putting people at risk of injury, or even death.

Understanding the common causes of workplace fires is the starting point to preventing them.

Combustible materials onsite

In many office environments, materials such as paper and cardboard are often left lying around. A significant amount of these materials will act as fuel to a fire. Reduce the risk of a fire escalating by ensuring that combustible materials are correctly disposed of on a regular basis.

Heating equipment

It has been found that approx. 8% of warehouse fires are caused by faulty or unsupervised heating equipment. When heating up work environments such as these in the colder months, it’s important to keep a close eye on any heating equipment to ensure that it doesn’t overheat or start emitting smoke.

Negligence

Unfortunately, a large number of workplace fires occur due to a general lack of care. Examples of this include canteen environments, where hot oils and cooking products are left unsupervised, or if ventilation areas become blocked. To avoid this, ensure that your employees are adequately trained to recgonise fire hazards in the workplace and how to address them safely.

How can a fire be prevented in the workplace?

Appropriate fire extinguishers should be situated throughout the workplace, with suitable members of staff being trained in how to use them correctly. It is also important to ensure that the correct fire extinguisher is fitted to tackle the most likely type of fire that could occur in that environment. For example, a kitchen would require wet chemical fire extinguishers, but mechanic workshop would require CO 2

fire extinguishers.

Smoke and heat detectors should also be installed throughout the workplace, paying close attention to areas where a fire is more likely to occur. These should be tested regularly in accordance with the standards and health and safety regulations.

At Bull Products, we carry out a risk assessment service where we can assist in identifying the appropriate fire safety equipment for your workplace, whether that’s fire extinguishers for offices or fire alarm and detection devices for temporary and permanent applications.

For all of your workplace fire safety solutions, contact Bull Products on 01432 371170 or find out more about our alarms and extinguishers here.


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