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The Top 4 Causes of Fires in the Workplace


Fires are a danger in any environment and the risks they can pose are often underestimated.


Although the necessary training is needed to properly assess and deal with fires, in this blog, we detail the top 4 most common fire hazards in the workplace.

  1. Poor Staff Training

  2. Defective Electrical Equipment

  3. Storage of Combustible Materials

  4. Maintenance of Work Site

Poor Staff Training

Arguably the leading cause of fires in the workplace is poor staff training and it can result in many potential fire hazards.


When addressing fire safety in your workplace, the first port of call should be investing in quality training.


With the right training, your staff won’t just be able to spot potential hazards in their environment and correct them, they will also be able to react and take the appropriate actions if a fire should occur, limiting or preventing damage and injury in the first place.


Defective Electrical Equipment

A malfunctioning piece of equipment, loose wire or damaged plug are a fire waiting to happen.


Chances are, wherever your workplace is, whatever work you carry out in it, there will likely be some form of electrical equipment present, or at the very least a plug socket, and faults in electricals aren’t always obvious.


It’s a legal requirement to ensure that all of your electrical equipment is maintained, and kept in a safe condition.


It’s highly recommended that you arrange regular portable appliance testing, or PAT testing, as well as conduct regular visual inspections of equipment.


This will help you to identify any malfunctions or damage that could result in a fire.


Storage of Combustible Materials

Materials such as wood, paper and cardboard are commonplace in many workplaces. Others will also have flammable chemicals on-site, so the risks of fire can be high.


Combustible materials should always be stored in a way that keeps them separated from sources of ignition, for example, keeping chemicals in specifically designed fire resistant cabinets.


You should also consider the amount of combustible material you are storing, and try to only keep hold of the minimum you need for the work you are undertaking.


Finally, some materials should be stored separately from others. Think about the consequences of a potential chemical leak and what would happen if the two chemicals mix. Could this result in a fire? If so, keep them in separate areas of your workplace.


Maintenance of Work Site

An untidy work environment can present many potential fire risks, as well as other health and safety issues.


A workplace that’s not regularly cleaned can lead to dust and dirt build up in equipment and machines, potentially causing them to overheat.


General waste, dust, and grease are also all potential fuels, which if exposed to a source of ignition such as sparks generated by using power tools, may catch fire.


This could be particularly dangerous in an unattended area where a fire could quickly grow out of control before the alarm can be raised.


Our Fire Awareness Courses

Safer at Work’s mission is to deliver best-in-class health and safety training to a wide variety of industries.


Specialising in the wind industry and other high risk sectors, our fire awareness course provides attendees with all the relevant skills and knowledge needed to control and mitigate fire risks while working in the field.


You can learn more about the course here, and our full collection of courses here.

To discuss your training needs in more depth, you can also contact us by emailing info@saferatwork.com or calling us on +44 (0)330 660 0959.

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