Top 5 Causes Of Fires In The Workplace July 5, 2018 Taking measures to fireproof your business’s premises will significantly reduce these common causes of a fire in the first place, while also ensuring you and your employees proceed appropriately in the case of a fire emergency. Electrical Fires All it takes for a workplace electrocution incident is one faulty or poorly installed piece of electrical equipment. Electrocution can be fatal, and non-fatal electrocution can have severe consequences that vary depending on shock duration and severity – from permanent skin burns to cardiovascular damage. Then there are injuries that come as a consequence of the shock, for instance, falling off a ladder, or collapsing on the floor, losing consciousness and/or breaking bones as result. Only registered electricians should be performing electrical work and removing faulty electrical equipment in the workplace, and they can also ensure that the space meets electrical safety standards. A step that you can take to reduce electrical fire risk in the workplace: Do not overload power sockets with double adaptors; opt for power boards instead. Clutter Piles of paperwork can provide fuel for a fire sparked by a frayed electrical wire or two metal pieces clashing. Overflowing garbage bins and boxes of files placed in corners or the hallway so that they’re ‘out of the way’ can end up being in the way of the emergency exit. Make a conscious effort to keep the hallways clear and your paperwork under control. Go ‘print free’, store paperwork offsite, or use a paper shredder and discard its contents in the outdoor recycling bin once full. It is also worth investing in a sprinkler system, an active fire suppression system with a fire detection function, and automatic dousing-of-fire function. Flammable and Combustible Liquids A flammable liquid has a flash point (ignition point) of 93°C or less, with common flammable liquids in the workplace including ethanol, acetone and petrol. From their storage and handling to their fire-protection systems, there are a number of government regulations surrounding flammable liquids in a commercial space. As a general rule, they should be stored in tightly-sealed containers in a cool and dry isolated space – away from ignition sources, sunlight oxidising agents, clothing and food sources. Fire safety measures for flammable materials vary according to their class or flash point. Fire Safety ANZ can help to ensure flammable liquids are safely situated, while also ensuring you have a fire extinguisher designed for the flammable liquids onsite. Find out which fire extinguisher might be best suited to your business. Human Error Even the top fire-protection equipment will provide next-to-no benefit if individuals in the workplace have not been adequately educated on how to use them; using the incorrect extinguisher can literally add more fuel to the fire. To avoid human error, Fire Safe ANZ can provide your business with emergency management procedures, emergency evacuation diagrams and periodic emergency training services. Negligence Negligence in the case of a fire occurs due to an employee taking an action that they know from their fire safety training or from good common sense, could be a fire hazard. Not checking that the communal kitchen stove is switched off after use is one example. Another is smoking indoors despite smoking restrictions, or carelessly throwing away cigarette butts, ashes and matches. Fire safety signs in the workplace’s kitchen, bathroom and other common areas serve as a reminder to employees to always err on the side of caution while going about their day. A single fire can sweep away an entire workplace. To ensure the fire safety hazards within the vicinity of your business are minimised, and that fire safety education amongst you and your employees is up-to-date, get in touch with Fire Safe ANZ today.