Fires, whether in the house or commercial building, are preventable. However, there are instances where accidents happen and unintentional fires ignite. Having a fire escape plan in place can save lives.
It is just as important to know what the most common causes of accidental fires are so that you’re aware of their existence.
Here is a list of common reasons for fires in the workplace:
- Faulty electrical system: this includes an older electrical system with poor circuit as well as loose wires, and overloaded plugs. It is part of fire code to make sure a workplace’s electricity be updated.
- Flammable materials: it is not uncommon to come across flammable substances and materials in the workplace, but how they are handled and stored is where mistakes are made and fires are started.
- Inadequate training of staff: human error is a major cause of workplace fires. When staff are not trained properly, they are at risk of making catastrophic mistakes.
- Negligence: failure to follow protocols and procedures as well as failing to update systems so they meet code is general negligence which can result in a fire.
- Arson: no one likes to think about an intentional purpose of starting a fire and solving the crime should be handled by professionals.
Here is a list of common fire starters in the home:
- Grease mishandling from cooking, pots and pans overheating and combustible material being too close to burners (newspaper, paper towels, oven mitts, glass).
- Ignored maintenance of heating equipment. Each year you should have your furnace and air conditioning unit looked after by a professional. When your furnace fails, you are at severe risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Careless smoking: this is a given. No one should be smoking in or around the home and cigarettes should be completely put out and properly disposed of.
- Electrical appliances should be unplugged at the end of the day or when you are out of the home. Toasters, coffee machines, irons, etc. are known causes for accidental fires.
- Candles are an unfortunate common cause of accidental fires in the home. If you must light them, be sure you’re in the same space when lit and blow out when you leave.
- Paint, aerosol cans, gas and other flammable liquids should be kept away from heat outlets and sunlight. When these liquids reach a dangerous temperature, they can ignite.