Office fires are serious hazards that threaten organizations’ equipment, information, and employees. Most people are aware of the dangers of residential fires. After all, over 19,600 of which were attended by English fire and rescue services in 2021. However, many underestimate the likelihood of lethal workplace blazes, such as a recent office fire in Japan that killed dozens. Accordingly, everyone from leaders to interns should treat workplace fires with an appropriate amount of respect. You must take precautions to ensure they do not break out. So, what are the main causes of office fires and how can you prevent them?
Faulty electrical equipment can start fires, even during later hours when no one is in the office to fight the flames. Lights, wires, sockets, and all manner of equipment in the day-to-day running of an office are hazards. You must pay attention to them to stay safe.
The best way to reduce this hazard is to make sure that employees switch off applications and unplug them whenever possible.
Beyond this, it’s a prudent idea to test equipment regularly using PAT Testers like those from RS, to ensure the electrical components are functioning correctly.
Most office fires begin with cooking equipment. Burning a bagel in a toaster or burning the wrong materials in a microwave are probably the most realistic workplace fire scenarios you can think of.
Luckily, most of these fires don’t destroy property or harm employees. Even so, they need to be taken seriously. To mitigate cooking equipment fires, you should ensure the safe operation of all equipment, as well as proper training around fire suppression.
Using heating equipment in an office is essential, especially during winter. However, heating equipment is also a major threat to safety, being another key cause of fires in the workplace.
So, what are the most important ways to safeguard against this risk?
Firstly, never leave heating equipment on for too long. Secondly, ensure that there are no flammable materials left nearby. Additionally, carry out regular inspections on heating equipment. In particular, heaters that use electricity for power.
The number of office fires is relatively small. This is due to the increasing amount of legislation to prohibit workplace smoking. Still, care must still be taken to prevent the extreme danger that smoking materials bring.
Employees must extinguish smoking materials after use and then dispose of them in a specific area outside.
The easiest way for organizations to prevent office fires is to continually educate on the main causes. Teach employees how to prevent them and create a culture of vigilance. This will ensure your workplace is safe.