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Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

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Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

Workplace fires are, unfortunately, all too common. In fact, there are still around 16,000 commercial fires every year here in the UK, despite the fact that fire safety regulations have tightened. To raise awareness of this, this month, we will be looking at common causes of fire in the workplace.

Faulty Electrical Equipment Causes Fire in the Workplace

Given how much electrical power is required to run an office, and the different devices and appliances that we use, it’s unsurprising that faulty electrical equipment is one of the most common causes of workplace fires.

Whether it’s loose wires, overloaded plugs or faulty connections, electrical equipment which has been damaged or neglected can have extremely dangerous consequences.

To help prevent these kinds of fires, electrical equipment and wiring should be installed correctly, checked regularly and fitted with breakers. When triggered, breakers stop the electrical flow through an object when it is overloaded.

Heating can Cause Fires in the Workplace

Perhaps unknown to many, boilers, radiators and heating sources in general pose a significant fire risk in winter. This is because, if it isn’t maintained correctly, your heating system could overheat, or if flammable objects like paper are left nearby, they can set alight.

Flammable Materials Causes Fires in the Workplace

Particularly in places like garages and warehouses, the improper storage of flammable materials is a huge fire risk. Whether it’s flammable chemicals or oil barrels, these should all be labelled appropriately and stored correctly – well away from ignition sources.

In fact, flammable materials such as those listed above are so dangerous, they are even fire risks when stored correctly, so it’s vital that the proper handling of these materials is taught to your employees.

Poorly Equipped Workplace can Cause Fires

While legislation dictates that all workplaces require a certain amount of fire safety equipment, businesses still find ways of neglecting this. Without the right equipment in the right place at the right time, small, manageable accidents turn into fatal blazes. 

With this in mind, it’s absolutely vital to make sure that there are enough fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in your building, and that this equipment is inspected and serviced regularly.

Human Error Causing Workplace Fires

Unfortunately, accidents are an unavoidable aspect of human nature, and eventually, we will get things wrong. Whether it’s using equipment incorrectly, not reporting faulty machinery, or even leaving cooking equipment unattended, human error is always present but difficult to account for. 

The best way of dealing with human error is to provide the best fire safety training possible for your employees. Not only will this help them know what to do when things go wrong, it will decrease the chance of these things happening in the first place.

If you think your employees could benefit from fire safety training, we can help. Health & Safety Training offer a thorough fire safety training and awareness course which ensures that your employees will know what to do in the event of a fire and, importantly, how to prevent one. For more information, contact our team today.

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