75,000 commercial building fires each year in the United States
Commercial fire can be devastating, harming both human and property. Every year, there are as many as 75,000 commercial building fires in the United States. U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year. These fires caused an annual average of 85 civilian deaths, 1,325 civilian fire injuries and $3.2 billion in direct property damage, according to the (NFPA) National Fire Prevention Association. Though some are small and cause relatively little harm, many others pose a great risk to life and property. Fortunately, many fires can be prevented if you’re aware of the potential hazards. Here are several of the most common causes of commercial building fires.
Many commercial fires can be attributed to human error and are not meant to be malicious. For example, spilling liquids on electrical equipment, leaving a coffee pot on, or burning food in the kitchen can easily cause a fire to break out. To decrease the chances of this happening in your commercial building, perform risk assessments to determine if any changes need to be implemented, provide proper staff training, and ensure fire extinguishers are easily accessible throughout the building.
Negligence fires are the result of someone not following proper procedures and can usually be easily avoided by proper staff training. For example, storing or handling flammable items improperly or covering electrical equipment that must have air can result in a fire that causes significant commercial fire damage.
Unfortunately, arson is a frequent cause of commercial fires, particularly in industrial buildings and factories. This may be an act of vandalism, an attempt to collect insurance money or even the work of an unhappy employee. To minimize the damage associated with arson, you may want to consider installing an automatic sprinkler system.
Faulty Wiring/ Electrics
Electrical issues are another frequent cause of commercial fires. For example, outdated equipment, loose or frayed wires, and overloaded plugins can spark a fire with little to no advance warning. This is why it is so important to make certain your electrical equipment, including boilers, hot water heaters, and furnaces are in good working order and able to handle their workload. To ensure your equipment/ appliances are functioning properly; you may want to invest in a portable appliance tester (PAT).
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