Common Causes of Workplace Fires
Faulty Electrics are the very common or frequent cause of the workplace fires at work and include the loose wires and the antiquated or damaged equipment. Every employer must ensure that the electrical equipment has sustained on a regular basis and the annual or yearly Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) should be undertaken.
Flammable or Combustible Materials
Flammable or combustible materials represent the danger to your staff or workers and your business. Every three company should prioritise the fire safety when the company is going to undertaking the risk assessments, and this is essential in premises that hold any of the flammable or combustible materials or the substances that must store appropriately and the disposed of correctly. All the staff should attend the fire safety training program to ensure the correct procedures or plans.
The Human Error represents the common cause of the fires at the workplace, be it the incorrect use of the electrical appliances or the equipment, burning food or the leaving cooking unattended in the staff kitchen as well as the lack of the proper care or the knowledge of procedures or plan around flammable or combustible liquids and the materials. Fire safety training is invaluable to avoid this.
The Negligence may not seem a great deal different from the human error but tends to the result of sloppy or the irresponsible behaviour, or not following the rules, regulation or correct procedures, from staff who should probably understand better.
Examples include the blocking or the covering of machinery and the equipment which needs the venting thus causing the overheating, not accurately disposing of the cigarette ends, inadequately storing flammable items or objects – even paper – and the overloading plug sockets. Again, the robust fire training is essential.
Arson is the common cause of the fire around the business premises, which can be especially prone to the vandalism. This type of fire can quickly spread if there are no proper fire control systems in the workplace.
If suitable, workplaces should install the fire shutters and the sprinkler systems to protect the property as far as possible & deterrents such as the CCTV and the gating can deter potential vandals.
The main consequence of fire is:
Death – Although this is a real risk, comparatively few people die in the building fires that are not in dwellings. In 2005, 21 (4%) people died out of total 485 in all the fires.
The leading causes of all the deaths were:
- Overcome by the gas or the smoke – 46%
- Burns – 27%
- Burns & overcome by the gas or smoke – 20%
- Other – 7%.
Obviously gas and the smoke are the main risks:
Personal injury – some 1395 people were injured (12%) of total casualties in all the fires.
Building damage – It can be very significant, mainly if the building materials have the weak resistance to the fire and there is a little or no built-in fire protection system.
Flora and fauna damage – It can be significant, especially in a hot draught or the forest fire.
Loss of the business and the jobs – It’s concluded that about 40% of companies do not start up again after the significant fire. Many are under – or not insured, and the small companies often cannot afford the time and the expense of setting up again when they apparently still have old debts to the service.
Transport disruption – The rail routes, roads and even the airports closed because of the severe fire. The worst case was, of course, 11th Sep 2001 in the USA when the airports around the world were disturbed.
Environmental damage from the fire and/or fighting the fire – The fire-fighting water, the products of the combustion and the exploding building materials, such as the asbestos cement roofs, can contaminate significant areas around the fire site.