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Top Causes of Fires in the Workplace


Top Causes of Fires in the Workplace

Businesses must take great care to provide a safe work environment for employees. This includes protecting against the threat of fire. The best defense is learning more about the common causes of fire and how to prevent it from happening. When a fire occurs, it can cause damage and destroy property, which can cost thousands of dollars to correct. A fire in the workplace can also lead to injury or even death. Below are a few common causes of the fire that can occur in a business. By enforcing proper Chicago fire safety protocols and learning more about how fires start, you can better protect your business and employees.

Electrical Fires

A big cause behind business fires is electricity. From the malfunction of equipment or wiring, a fire can easily occur. One way to avoid such an issue is to create an electrical safety program. Employees should be taught safety procedures for on-site work needs, including how to properly use tools and equipment. Extension cords should be inspected when in use as well as removed if damaged. Outlets do not need to be overloaded as this can also cause unsafe conditions and start a fire.

Flammable and Combustible On-Site Materials

In the workplace, there are thousands of chemicals and/or materials that can be in use. According to Chicago fire safety protocols, materials that are combustible or flammable are a common cause of fire in the workplace. When materials are not handled correctly, it creates a higher risk of fire. A flammable liquid that spills will see vapors form immediately. The vapors can ignite which can lead to a severe threat of fire.

Employees need to know how to properly handle flammable liquids as well as combustible materials. Even when spilled flammable liquid is removed, the vapors can build in the area and lead to a fire. Guidelines need to be followed when handling such materials and caution taken, especially if spills occur.


Even if you teach employees how to act in the workplace and how to react in an emergency, human error will still occur. When negligence takes place, such as when an employee does not follow proper procedures, a fire can occur and everyone is in danger.

This could be an open flame that is not protected, careless smoking in areas where smoking is not allowed, hot surfaces being too close to heating equipment, etc. Every employee needs to be self-aware and practice good common senses. Continue to go over protocols regularly to ensure employees are doing what they need to avoid starting a fire in the workplace.

Proper Maintenance is Key

Even if you follow all the rules, a fire can occur at any time. Proper maintenance of fire safety equipment will ensure that your business has a chance to fight the flames. Sprinkler systems need to be maintained along with fire extinguishers placed throughout the building.

Exit plans need to be clearly listed and practiced on a regular basis. This give you employees an instant reaction and plan if a fire were to occur onsite.

Take time to go over your fire safety setup and see what you can do to make changes to better protect your facility.

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