Top Causes of Commercial Fires
Fires are viewed as one of the most destructive and dangerous disasters. They not only threaten people’s health and well-being, but they can also cause severe damage to properties. Fires are especially concerning in commercial settings, because they affect business operations, employees, and any visitors/customers.
Commercial fires can happen in a myriad of ways, and they’re something that no business owner wants to deal with. But you need to be prepared for such an occurrence, and the best defense for commercial fires is to know its risks and causes.
Continue reading to learn more about commercial fires, the top causes, and how to prevent such fires.
1. Cooking Incidents
The dangers involved with cooking are no secret. The combination of high temperatures and flammable materials, such as grease and cooking oils, can make for a very hazardous situation if people are not careful. Kitchens in commercial settings can also be hectic, which can contribute to potential cooking mishaps. That said, it’s no surprise that cooking incidents are to blame for a great number of commercial fires. In fact, cooking accidents are the top cause for commercial fires.
While restaurants are more likely to experience a commercial fire, there are many other businesses that can suffer from cooking mishaps. Most businesses that serve food likely have a kitchen or kitchen-like area where cooking fires can occur. More than half of the fires that occur in healthcare facilities are caused by cooking equipment.
Knowing this, make sure you, your staff, and anyone else who goes to your business’s kitchen knows the dangers of commercial fires and their ties to cooking incidents. Consider reviewing cooking safety tips and practices to ensure everyone understands how to minimize the risk for commercial fires. Stock your business’s kitchen with the proper fire extinguisher as well. That way, if a fire does break out, your staff has a chance to properly handle it right away before it gets out of hand.
2. Heating/Warming Equipment
Depending on the area you reside in and the climate, some businesses will use heating equipment more than others. Some equipment that businesses may use to warm their properties include furnaces, radiators, and boilers. No matter the type of mechanical heating equipment, these items can overheat. When the equipment overheats, it can result in a fire.
While overheating is one way for heating equipment to cause fires, it isn’t the only way. Improper installation of such equipment can prove to be hazardous and cause a fire. Neglecting to maintain the equipment can prevent it from staying in good working condition, leading to a fire. Having combustible materials near the equipment can also easily start a fire.
That said, be smart about your business’s warming equipment. Have them maintained on a regular basis, and never keep combustible materials in the same area. If you are having equipment installed, make sure a trusted professional does the job.
3. Lighting/Electrical Issues
Whenever electricity is involved, there’s a fire risk involved. From old wiring to faulty fuses to overloaded circuits, there are several electrical and lighting issues that can be at fault for a fire. People, however, can also be to blame for such commercial fires.
If unqualified people work on circuitry and electrical outlets, then you put your business and potentially your staff and visitors/customers at risk as well. These individuals may violate electrical codes that can result in commercial fires.
Similar to heating equipment, you can prevent lighting and electrical issues from causing a fire by being smart, conducting proper maintenance, and having only certified professionals work on electrical systems. Teach your staff to be smart and not overload on electricity use. Have a qualified professional inspect the system on a regular basis ― especially if you suspect electrical issues ― and don’t use any faulty electrical equipment.
If employees or visitors smoke cigarettes or cigars in your commercial property, then these items must be disposed of properly. Otherwise, they can start a fire. Smoking may have become less popular, but it’s still important that any people who smoke in your business know how to safely dispose of their cigarettes and other smoking materials.
Unless your business is a smoke-free facility, you cannot stop individuals from smoking. But you can make sure they know to properly dispose of their items. Make sure there are proper places for any cigarettes to be extinguished and disposed of to prevent smoking from causing a commercial fire.
5. Arson/Intentional Actions
In some unfortunate instances, a commercial fire may occur intentionally, which is referred to as arson.
Fires that occur due to arson tend to cause the most property damage and injuries. These intentional fires tend to happen after the workday. Likely starting locations for these commercial fires include dumpsters, garbage cans, bathrooms, and garages.
This act is something you don’t have control of, but you can, however, minimize the damage that occurs as a result of arson. For example, you can take the time to empty trash cans every day so that nothing in them can be burned. Also try to keep some distance between any dumpsters and the building; that way, if a fire starts there, it can’t spread to the building as easily.
Fire Damage Restoration Help for Commercial Fires
If you discover that your business is or has been the site of a fire, then stay calm, but act quickly. Make sure the building has been evacuated and that everyone is safe and accounted for. Then call your local fire department to have the flames extinguished.
Once the fire is out, turn your attention to the restoration by seeking help from professional fire damage restoration services. It’s important that you get help immediately, because the damage can become permanent if not addressed soon enough.
With fire damage restoration services, you will get professional help from technicians who are qualified to tend to fire-damaged commercial properties. These technicians will assess and contain the damage, stabilize the structure, conduct emergency pre-cleaning to prevent permanent damage, clean the property, make repairs, restore damaged materials and contents, and deodorize the area. This will restore your business to a healthy environment for you, your staff, and any visitors, customers, or clients.