Do You Know the Most Common Causes of Fire in Your Industry?
The potential source of fire in your commercial environment dictates what kind of fire protection will best fit your needs. It is important to be aware of the leading cause so that you can prepare yourself and your employees for an emergency. There is no such thing as being over-prepared in a fire emergency; so it is always in your favor to read up on how to protect your business from fire.
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According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 7,400 fires break out in eating and drinking establishments each year in the US. The commercial kitchen is the most likely place for these fires to start.
Cooking equipment—including deep fryers, ranges, ovens, grills, barbecues, rotisseries, portable warming equipment, and grease hoods—cause 61 percent of all restaurant blazes, or about 4,500 fires per year. This isn’t too surprising, given the prevalence of cooking fires.
Other leading causes of fire in the restaurant industry include:
- Electrical and lighting equipment (9 percent)
- Heating equipment (9 percent)
- Smoking materials (7 percent)
- Arson (4 percent)
The NFPA states that over 3,300 fires break out in office properties across the US each year. As with other industries, cooking equipment is the leading cause of fire in office buildings, causing nearly 1,000 blazes per year, or 29 percent of the annual total in this industry.
Other common causes of fire in office buildings include:
- Electrical and lighting equipment (12 percent)
- Heating equipment (11 percent)
- Arson (10 percent)
- Smoking materials (9 percent)
- Exposure (4 percent)
- Electronic, office, and entertainment equipment (3 percent)
Flammable and combustible materials are a major reason fires spread in office buildings. Once a fire starts, it uses these materials to become hotter and grow larger. This is why appropriate storage and correct disposal of such materials is an important part of your fire safety efforts.
Fires in industrial buildings, including factories and manufacturing plants, are some of the costliest, both in terms of property damage and loss of life. The NFPA states that 37,000 industrial fires start annually in the US, resulting in 18 civilian deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. The most common fire risks in this industrial environments include:
- Combustible dust easily catches fire if there’s a spark. If enough dust has accumulated on the factory floor, the flames can spread at an alarming rate.
- Flammable liquids and gases can cause an explosion if they come in contact with a heat source.
- Welding, torch cutting, and other hot work send sparks and molten material into the air, a common reason for combustible dust or flammable liquid to catch fire.
- Electrical wiring that is overloaded or not installed to code can cause a spark, creating an ignition source for combustible dust and flammable liquids.
- Heavy machinery can be a fire hazard if moving parts create too much friction and heat.
Airports, aircraft hangars, jet engine test facilities, refineries, and other mission-critical environments face increased fire threats due to their open floor areas, high roof decks, and the presence of flammable liquids that serve as an ignition source. The NFPA states that more than 50,000 fires are started per year in the US because a flammable liquid caught fire, many of which occur in mission-critical environments.
Because of their high-risk environments and delicate equipment, mission-critical businesses necessitate clean agent suppression systems. Clean agents work to rapidly contain and eliminate the fire source without the use of water so that the equipment sustains minimal damages.
Choose Guardian as Your Fire Protection Contractor in DC, MD & VA
If your business needs a fire protection plan, Guardian is here to help. We do it all from design to implementation to ongoing maintenance. When you work with us, you get a long-term partner dedicated to the safety of you and your employees.
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