What Could Cause Fires in Your Business | SERVPRO® of Western Essex County
Business owners have many responsibilities, with one of them being safety factors to take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of those risks that needs some extra consideration is planning for and working toward preventing fires.
Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires
According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the leading causes of structure fires in office properties were (in order):
- Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
- Heating equipment, 11% of fires
- Intentional, 10% of fires
- Smoking materials, 9% of fires
- Exposure, 4% of fires
- Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires
Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.
In more recent studies, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires at office properties per year. Those fires were responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
Protect Your Business
By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you can take steps to protect your business from a fire risk and help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, you must assess the fire hazard risk. Fire marshals are often offered in some areas by the local government. During a visit, the fire marshal can offer advice and help identify your business’ risks, providing guidance on your fire prevention plan.
You’ll want to make sure you have chosen the right fire protection equipment. This should include an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Finally, and more importantly, consider your employees and visitors. By creating a fire prevention and evacuation plan and reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct regular fire drills at least annually to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and routes and also the location of first-aid kits.
Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Western Essex County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."