According to 2017 statistics, there were around 18,000 fires that started in offices and stores resulting in 778 million dollars of property loss. The top five fire risks that exist in many offices can be avoided if the appropriate precautions are taken. Those five most common office fire risks are as follows:
Overloaded electrical sockets
- This is usually caused by too many things, like appliances in a break room, being plugged into one socket via an extension. This will end up drawing out too much electricity which causes overheating which then can spark a fire.
- To prevent this, use extensions wisely. They should not be used for every and all appliances in breakrooms or in office spaces.
- Damaged and exposed wiring is a risk that often ends up causing sparks to ignite anything in the office that might be flammable. Not to mention electric shocks that can happen when wires are not properly taken care of.
- To prevent this, make sure that maintenance and checkups on code compliant wiring are scheduled and recorded.
Cluttered office space
- Offices tend to hold a lot of paper at each employee’s desk as well as in drawers and cabinets. Paper, sticky notes, books, tissues, etc. count as combustible material since they can be so easily lit.
- Another type of clutter exists from a lack of consistent cleaning in the office. There may be a buildup of dirt, dust, and grease that may lead to electrical problems involving overheating.
- To prevent this, have a scheduled cleaning regiment that is consistent, and simply keep your space neat and tidy.
- Any sort of portable heater can be dangerous when used inappropriately. These tend to either overheat or be too close to something that is flammable, hence the large risk factor.
- If there are too many plugged into one socket this may cause an overloaded electric socket problem that can also spark a fire.
- To prevent this, avoid using space heaters in a place that have various fuel sources. Also make sure to read the instructions on proper use.
- When referring to human errors, these usually are instances such as leaving a kitchen appliance on, a stove, improper use of electrical equipment, drinks being spilt, or wires being tripped over.
- The way to prevent these accidents is to just be more aware of your surroundings.
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- How many fire extinguishers should a workplace have?
- What are flammable and combustible liquids?
- How are flammable and combustible materials an explosion hazard?
- What are flammable or explosive limits?
- What are fire safety regulations and standards?