fire hazards in commercial buildings

Top 6 Fire Hazards in Commercial Buildings

With so much going on in the typical commercial building, the fact that there’s a significant risk of a fire shouldn’t be a surprise. From complex electrical systems and machinery to combustible materials and the potential for human error, commercial building managers need to be on constant alert for hazards and take steps to mitigate them.

As a leader in commercial restoration services in Poughkeepsie, NY, we have seen many preventable fires. Here are some of the most common fire hazards and what you can do to avoid the consequences of a blaze. 

1. Faulty Electrical Equipment and Systems

One of the most common sources of fires in commercial buildings is a faulty electrical system. Old wiring and circuits that cannot handle the demands of modern office equipment, malfunctioning equipment, or overloaded circuits can all create heat that leads to sparks or flames. Even a sudden power surge can cause electrical systems to ignite.

Staying on top of electrical inspections and maintenance is the best way to prevent issues that can lead to a fire. Other mitigation strategies include using surge protectors, installing circuit breakers, and updating old wiring to protect electrical equipment. 

2. Overheating Equipment

The machinery and equipment in a commercial building, including computers, can overheat and cause a fire. Without proper maintenance, machines can malfunction, create friction, or have other problems that cause them to get too hot and either ignite or cause nearby items to ignite. 

Again, maintenance is the best way to keep this from happening and avoid the need to call for commercial restoration services. To prevent overheating computers, remind your workers to turn off the machines at the end of the work day. 

3. Extension Cords 

Extension cords are handy, but when used improperly, they create a fire hazard. Using an extension cord to power too many machines, letting them get tangled, or using a cord that’s in poor condition can create heat and sparks. 

To prevent a fire, limit the use of extension cords. Use power strips or rearrange spaces to ensure cords can reach outlets. 

4. Combustible Materials 

The typical commercial building contains many combustible materials, from paper and cardboard to flammable liquids. A single spark, even from static electricity, can start a fire when combustible material is nearby. 

To prevent a fire, make sure to properly store flammable liquids, including cleaning products, in fireproof containers in well-ventilated areas. Clean up spills immediately using the proper protocols for dealing with dangerous materials.

5. Human Error 

From burned toast in the office kitchen to cigarette ashes in a trash can, human error and carelessness are among the top causes of commercial building fires. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s critical to train employees in fire safety protocols, have strict rules about flammable items in the building, and offer education on using safety equipment like fire extinguishers to protect life and property against damages that require commercial restoration services

If you allow smoking on the property, designate a smoking area a safe distance from the building and provide ashtrays or disposal bins to allow employees to extinguish their cigarettes safely. Embers from cigarettes can ignite materials around the facility and cause a fire, so remind smokers to completely put out their cigarettes before returning to work.

6. Inadequate Fire Safety Equipment 

Speaking of safety equipment, failing to install or maintain critical fire safety systems greatly increases the risk of a devastating fire in your commercial building. In addition to working detectors and alarms, commercial buildings should have fire sprinkler systems that will engage and extinguish a fire before it can spread. Without the proper warning and response systems in place, flames can quickly engulf the building. 

Maintaining fire safety systems should be a priority. That includes regular inspections and tests to ensure equipment works properly. 

Trust First Call Restoration for Help After a Fire Disaster 

Accidents happen even when you take steps to protect your business and implement strict safety protocols. When they do, First Call Restoration is on your side to make the recovery process efficient and low-stress. Our team of expert restoration specialists will quickly assess the damage and develop a recovery plan to have your company back up and running in a clean, safe environment as soon as possible. 

To reach our local, family-owned company for commercial restoration services in Poughkeepsie, New York, dial (845) 442-6714. From fire damage to water, sewer, or mold cleanup, our trained restoration specialists can restore your property to its previous condition. We’ll even help with insurance claims, so call us first when you need expert help or fill out our contact form on our website. 

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