Fire Hazards In The Workplace

Thursday 27th July 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Fire fighter holding a fire extinguisher CONTENTS

Every year there are roughly 22,000 fires in workplaces across the UK. You must be aware of the potential fire hazards in your workplace to reduce the chances of yours being next. Should a fire break out, contact professional cleaners to make your workplace clean and safe again.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer rapid response, comprehensive fire damage cleaning services. Our fully qualified technicians can remove all traces of soot and ash, collect waste, and neutralise lingering smoke odours. They can be on site in a matter of hours in an emergency.

In this blog, we have compiled a list of fire hazards in the workplace, and explained how to minimise and eliminate them.

Electrical equipment

Faulty equipment, overloaded outlets, exposed wiring, and broken plugs are some of the most common causes of fires.

Regularly check the electrical equipment in your workplace to ensure it is in working condition and is safe to use, and keep equipment aerated in case it overheats. It is also recommended you have portable appliances PAT tested every year and conduct training on potential electrical hazards.

Dust

Dust from materials like wood and plastic can quickly build up in equipment and machinery, leading to faults and even explosions.

Machinery that heats up when in use must be kept free of any dust. You should make sure the workplace is properly ventilated, too, like installing extraction fans or local exhaust ventilation if your workplace contains lots of dust.

Flammable liquids

If not stored correctly, flammable chemicals, like cleaning products, can quickly lead to a major fire when in contact with a source of ignition.

You must keep these substances in lockable, ventilated cabinets away from exits so they are not near other fire hazards. Keep your fire safety equipment close by and have spills cleaned up as soon as possible, as well. You can learn more about our chemical spill clean up services on our website.

Smoking

Although smoking is illegal in enclosed workplaces, there is still a chance that employees might not follow the rules or put their cigarettes out properly.

Make sure your company’s smoking policy is clear and enforced, and, if you have a designated smoking area, ensure your employees know where it is. You should have ashtrays installed in these areas to prevent cigarette butts that have not been fully extinguished from starting a fire, too.

Excess waste and combustible materials

Some waste, like cardboard and paper, provide fuel for a fire should one break out. Overflowing bins, cluttered workspaces, and storing all the rubbish in one place can help create large, quick-spreading fires.

Make sure staff always throw all waste and litter in the bin, and keep the workplace clutter-free. You must also store rubbish away from main buildings and sources of ignition.

Cooking equipment

Restaurants and cafes usually contain industrial equipment like deep fat fryers and ovens. When accidents occur, fires can break out. Even small kitchen appliances in offices could cause fires, such as appliances malfunctioning. You can learn about more fire hazard examples in the office in this blog.

Provide employees with fire prevention training to minimise the likelihood of accidents and make sure they know what to do when equipment malfunctions or a fire starts. Keep fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers and safety blankets nearby in the event one breaks out.

Human error

Improper use of equipment, spilling flammable chemicals, letting machinery overheat, and ignoring dangerous situations are some of the biggest causes of fires in the workplace.

Ensure your employees are fully trained in fire safety and prevention, like how to use a fire extinguisher, and keep the appropriate fire-fighting equipment nearby.

Hot work

Workplaces where welding, heating, and soldering takes place are at high risk of fires breaking out due to the production of very hot sparks which can travel long distances. You can find out more about the hazards associated with hot work here.

Your employees should be trained in using the equipment and are supervised while using it. You must also regularly inspect the tools and machinery to ensure they are functioning correctly, as well as make efforts to improve the overall fire safety in your workplace.

Unprotected site

Construction sites are particularly vulnerable to fires as hot work may take place there and trespassers could commit crimes, like arson. They could go without fire protection systems like fire alarms or smoke detectors for a long period, too, as safety installations are late-stage projects.

You should have a fire plan in place in case one breaks out, and train all your staff in fire safety and prevention.

Get in touch

Our reliable technicians can provide our fire damage clean up services for residential and commercial properties. They have been accredited by a range of organisations including IPAF, SafeContractor, and BICSc, and are available nationwide, day and night, 365 days a year.

Contact our team today on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to find out more about our fire damage restoration services, and get a free site survey and no-obligation quote.

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