Hartson Fire has been supplying fire safety equipment to the commercial premises for a huge variety of industry sectors for the past 17 years. During that time, we have learned to identify which are the most common causes of fires in the workplace.

So, we’d like to share with you some tips and precautions to help you prevent a fire occurring in your place of work.

Common Cause #1 - Faulty equipment

From frayed computer cables to broken kitchen appliances, these are common problems in a commercial environment that can potentially cause a fire. All electrical equipment should be PAT tested by a qualified electrician to ensure it’s up to date; and don’t encourage employees to bring in their own equipment from home as it probably hasn’t been PAT tested.

Businesses also need to ensure that their fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment is in good working order and regularly serviced in line with the Regulatory Fire Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 regulations.

If kitchen equipment is being used or if you are using a deep fat fryer for example, you need to make sure you have the appropriate fire extinguishers for this environment as well as a fire blanket. Ideally you will need a wet chemical fire extinguisher which can be used on Class ‘F’ fires, involving cooking oils and fats.

Common Cause #2 - Misuse of equipment

Employees are expected to use various types of electrical equipment in the workplace such as computers, mobile phones and printers for example. It’s easy to overload four-way adaptor cables without realising so it’s best to use a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a square block adaptor.

It’s also important you have measures in place to ensure that your fire safety equipment hasn’t been misused. Any issues would be picked up when the equipment is serviced by your accredited supplier. However, should any fire equipment be misused in between each service, you’d be in trouble if a fire did break out. Ideally, you need to ensure someone in the organisation has responsibility for checking your fire equipment regularly and reporting any issues.

Common Cause #3 -Clutter

Highly combustible materials like paper, plastic wrapping and cardboard can be a big problem in many types of office and work spaces, especially if they are allowed to build up around areas like bins and computers. You should get rid of any materials like this regularly to reduce the risk of it acting as fuel if a fire should break out.

Even if you have just a few employees, working in a small space, you must still install a fire extinguisher to protect your employees, depending on the type of work you carry out.

Common Cause #4 - Arson

Arson is the most common cause of fires in commercial buildings and the effects can have a devastating impact on any business. A serious fire can destroy lives as well as livelihoods so we always recommend putting deterrents in place. For example, all entrance and exit doors, windows and roller shutters should be locked and in good working order. Fencing and gates around your perimeter should be secure and strong to protect against any intruders. You should also have security lighting in place.

There is no predicting when arson can or will take place, so again we can’t emphasise enough the importance of having the most suitable fire safety equipment in your premises to prevent the building burning down and lives being lost.

Depending on the size of your building and the nature of your business, you may need more than a few fire extinguishers dotted about the place. For example, you may also wish to consider installing fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire safety signage

Hartson Fire

Through the provision of an extensive range of fire safety equipment combined with expert equipment servicing, Hartson Fire has been helping to protect local businesses to deal effectively with fires in the workplace for a number of years.

If you don’t have a robust fire safety strategy in place in your commercial premises, call us today for a free consultation.