Most workplaces contain a number of inherent fire risks, but they’re not always obvious.
It’s a perilous thought that you could be walking past, inadvertently talking about or even interacting with fire hazards on a daily basis, but this is an inevitability in the modern world.
In this blog, we’re going to look at five fire hazards that can be found in almost every workplace and which are the biggest threat to the health and safety of employees:
1. Human error
Yep – us.
We’re only human, and that means we’re capable of certain actions that may put both our own health and that of our colleagues at risk.
Simple human error often lays at the heart of many workplace fires. For instance, leaving combustable materials in a dangerous place or throwing a still-burning cigarette into a bin full of paper may lead to the worst possible fire incident.
Regular health and safety training and building a safety-first work culture are therefore vital investments you business should make in both time and money.
2. Hot objects
There are plenty of devices, pieces of equipment and large machinery that produce heat – sometimes, too much heat.
If the correct maintenance and supervision isn’t provided for such gear, it may become dysfunctional, overheat and cause a fire – it’s that simple.
Equally, objects that are likely to reach a significant temperature should never be placed near flammable materials – and you’d be surprised by how often that happens.
You might not think it, but dust is one of the biggest causes of fire in workplaces.
If plastic, wood and other waste material starts to gather, day-in, day-out in machinery and computer terminals, it will prevent proper ventilation, cause overheating and – well… you know the rest.
This is why dust and grime should always be kept at bay and extraction fans placed in environments where dust is likely to be prevalent.
4. Flammable liquid
Cleaning fluids can pose a massive fire risk if stored incorrectly or left haphazardly about the business.
To reduce the threat of fire relating to flammable liquid, make sure any liquid of that kind is stored in a designated safe area, and that everyone knows exactly where that area is and the importance of using it correctly.
A lockable, ventilated cabinet is your best bet.
5. Waste and combustible material
Depending on your line of work, your business may end up producing considerable amounts of waste and combustible material each day.
If this is incorrectly disposed of (or not disposed of at all) fire can easily break out and take hold quicker than you might think.
The effects can be devastating.
To avoid this, there must be a clear disposal plan and all rubbish should immediately be thrown away into designated containers (and locked away from the main premises once discarded).
This post wasn’t written to instil constant fear in your workforce – it is simply a reminder that, no matter the size of your business or the industry within which it operates, there are fire hazards at every turn.
Use our advice above, and you’ll greatly reduce the risk of your business and its employees coming into unnecessary harm.