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Most Common Causes Of Fires in Buildings & How You Can Avoid Them

It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in a small business or managing a building, all kinds of fires can and do happen, causing painful losses and negative publicity. While a fire breaks out, there are several instances that can cause it, some under your control, others not. By understanding the common causes of building fires and how to avoid them , you can play a part in minimizing the risks and safeguarding your business or community from unnecessary losses.

 

Commercial kitchens pose a special challenge in the building fires. The equipment and processes used are quite different from those found in homes. Most importantly, commercial kitchens work with high heat and flammable oils for longer durations, which are not as common in homes. When you factor in the hectic nature of commercial kitchens, you can see why they are the most common cause of commercial fires.

Commercial Cooking Equipment

Restaurants have their own kitchens, but other businesses that serve food may also have cooking equipment onsite. While the layout may differ based on the size of your business, there are some fire safety tips that apply to any building with a kitchen area:

A fire prevention plan is essential. Review your plans regularly and make sure everyone working with you knows what to do if a fire breaks out. Consider including instructions for anyone who will be visiting during off hours, such as a cleaning service.

If your restaurant has an exhaust hood, make sure it is working properly and check it after every use. An exhaust hood helps contain grease fires before they spread throughout the kitchen. If it is not working properly, do not use it until it has been repaired by a professional. Use sturdy cooking appliances that have been tested for safety and manufactured using safe materials.

Heating Equipment

Heating equipment is one of the most common causes of fires. With proper maintenance and upkeep, you can reduce the risk of your buildings experiencing a fire. The following are some of the most common causes of heating equipment fires and how you can avoid them:
Overloading a system – Overloading a boiler or furnace with more than the recommended amount of fuel, or overloading a space with too many radiators or heating units, will cause your unit to work harder than it should. This overuse can lead to system failure, which can cause a fire. Proper maintenance will allow you to avoid this issue.
Hot surfaces – Heating equipment that is not properly maintained can have hot surfaces. If these surfaces come in contact with clothing or other flammable material, it could cause a fire. Regularly check heating equipment for cracks and leaks and maintain it accordingly.
Checking for proper ventilation, especially in older buildings– When installing new heating equipment, make sure you are providing adequate ventilation for the installation in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless; if present in any concentration it poses a threat to human health because it interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen effectively, potentially leading to death.

Commercial heating equipment requires regular maintenance to ensure that it operates efficiently and safely. This type of heating equipment is susceptible to a variety of problems which can lead to injuries and property damage. Troubleshooting HVAC systems Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are complex pieces of machinery that require regular maintenance. If your commercial building has an HVAC system, it is important to schedule regular tune-ups with a qualified, licensed HVAC specialist. Regular maintenance helps prevent expensive and potentially dangerous breakdowns.

Safety tips Here are some fire prevention tips:

An annual inspection is the first step in preventing fires in your commercial building. Here are some other suggestions for keeping your building safe: Make sure that all electrical wiring, electrical outlets, and circuits are up-to-date and in good working order. Check all heating equipment regularly for wear or damage; if you find any problems, call a qualified technician to make repairs as soon as possible. Be sure that the technician is licensed and has experience working on your type of heating system. Follow all manufacturer instructions when making repairs or replacing parts on your system. Fire prevention tips for commercial buildings can help keep employees safe while they are at work and af

What Causes Electrical Fires?

Electrical fires burn at more than 670 degrees celcius, making them difficult to extinguish. They are commonly caused by short circuits, overload or fault in the wiring system, defective products, overloading sockets with too many plugs and sockets that are not earthed (grounded).
Electrical fires are the cause of more than 30% of all building fires. The first step to preventing electrical fires is to have a comprehensive electrical inspection done on your property by a licensed electrician. They will make sure that there is no frayed or cracked wiring or any other potential problem such as overloaded circuits. Many electrical problems are hidden behind walls and in the ceiling, so it is important to have this inspection done by someone who can identify these issues. If you have any older wiring in your building, you should also consider having it replaced with new wiring. In addition, if you have any halogen or fluorescent lighting, you should replace them with LED lights because they run much cooler than incandescent and halogen bulbs, which are more likely to overheat and cause a fire. Lastly, be sure to check the insulation around your wires for any damage that could potentially create a fire hazard. Electrical and lighting equipment sometimes malfunctions even when it is properly maintained and inspected. If you notice anything amiss with your electrical system, take steps to correct it immediately so that there is no risk of an electrical fire occurring.

Intentional

Although arson rates have been declining over the past several decades, the intentional setting of fires is still a common problem in many areas. It’s important to know what causes arson fires, how they can be prevented, and what to do if you suspect a fire is intentionally set. There are three major categories of intentional fires:
Arson by juveniles
Arson by adults
Incendiary Devices
It’s important to note that not all intentionally caused fires are arson. Some non-arson fires can occur due to carelessness or negligence. For example, some people choose not to follow proper safety procedures when operating stoves, ovens or microwaves, which can lead to accidental fires. In these cases, it’s important to remember that the fire was not intentionally set.

The most common causes of building and commercial fires can be prevented by taking the proper precautions. Although businesses differ in the type of fire protection they use, some preventive measures are common across the board.
Building owners and businesses should talk to their local Fire and Rescue and read through all relevant fire codes to find out what is required for their buildings.

Yours in Fire Safety 

Alex

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