Unfortunately, building fires prove extremely costly for many business owners each year. Although an event like this may not have ever happened to you, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards so your hard work doesn’t go up in smoke.
In this article, we’ll cover three common causes of business fires, and give you tips on how they can be avoided with proper precautions.
1. Cooking Equipment
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the most common cause of fires in a business, accounting for 29%. Staff should be reminded that the same safety precautions they take at home should be applied when cooking at the office. Specifically, you should:
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use a timer to remind yourself of food that is cooking.
- Keep flammable materials (sheets, towels, paper, etc) away from stoves or other heat generating appliances.
- Regularly clean cooking devices to prevent grease build-up.
2. Electrical and Lighting Equipment
Electrical issues are another leading cause of business fires, accounting for 12% per the NFPA. As a business owner, the onus is on you to be selective when hiring contractors to do any electrical work at your building. If an unskilled worker improperly installs or services your wiring or outlets, you could find yourself a victim of fire. We encourage you to do your due diligence in an effort to find and hire a qualified contractor to install, service, and maintain your equipment.
3. Heating Equipment
According to the NFPA the number three cause of fire in a business is heating equipment, which accounts for 11% of all fires. These items can range from a space heater in your office to hot plates commonly found in staff kitchens. Here are a few ways you can prevent fires related to heating equipment:
- Keep flammable equipment several feet away from heating equipment.
- Turn the heating equipment off if you’re leaving the room.
- Use a timing device if you have one.
- Schedule all your heating equipment to turn off at specific times of day.
- Follow manufacturers instructions on how to use the heater, or have a professional install the system for you.
As you can see, fires can easily be avoided if you take the necessary preventative measures. In addition to the steps mentioned above, some common safety measures you should incorporate include:
- Make sure you have adequate fire extinguishers around the office.
- Keep the batteries in your smoke detectors fresh, and test them monthly.
- Consider fire alarm and smoke detector monitoring.
You’ve invested countless time, effort and money into your business. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself against fire hazards, and train your staff on how to prevent fires in the work place.
For 19 years, Bulldog Fire and Security has been an expert in fire alarm system installation and service having installed a variety of systems throughout Southwestern, Ontario.