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July 10, 2023

The 5 Most Common Causes of Fires in Commercial Buildings

Commercial fires may be more common than you realize. Prevention is key when it comes to commercial fires, and understanding the most frequent causes of these incidents can help business owners take effective precautions. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the five most common causes of fires in commercial buildings are cooking equipment, heating equipment, electrical and lighting equipment, smoking materials, and intentional fire setting. With this knowledge in hand businesses can look at ways they can actively protect their property from such catastrophes.

1. Cooking Equipment

Restaurants probably seem like the most obvious type of business to experience a fire due to cooking equipment. However, most businesses are likely to have some sort of kitchen. With the fast pace and intense heat of commercial kitchens, flammable oils and grease can quickly become a dangerous source of fire. In fact, they’re responsible for most fires in these settings- making them one of the biggest risks to watch out for!

2. Heating Equipment

In the Midwest we depend on heat to stay comfortable for at least half of the year, other regions may use more or less heat but most of us need it at least occasionally. Furnaces, radiators, and boilers are all at risk of overheating and causing a fire. Regular inspections and maintenance are extremely important safety measures and should not be taken lightly.

3. Electrical and Lighting Equipment

Electrical and lighting malfunctions can be much more than an annoyance – they could create a dangerous situation. Faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, loose connections, faulty fuses or imbalanced electrical loads can lead to overheating that increases the risk of fire. Stay alert for any warning signs and contact an experienced electrician if you have any suspicion of electrical issues.

4. Smoking Materials

A lit cigarette carelessly thrown away can be a potential disaster - but thankfully, the number of fires caused by smoking materials is decreasing every year. This is largely due to fewer people choosing to smoke and fire-safe cigarettes with reduced ignition strength becoming more commonplace. Despite this progress however, we must remain mindful that careless disposal of products like cigars or cigarettes still ranks as one of the top five causes for commercial building fires today.

5. Intentional Fire Setting

Intentional fires are an unfortunate consequence of misusing heat sources. In some cases, maliciously-motivated arson is added to this equation - making intentional blazes much more serious than those sparked accidentally or unintentionally.

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of all the potential hazards that could cause a commercial building fire. Fires can spread quickly, inflicting significant damage. Taking preventive measures such as installing a fire alarm system and keeping working smoke detectors in the building are essential steps to ensure safety. All business owners should stay informed on NFPA statistics and other regulations related to fire safety. In addition, enforcing protective procedures regularly and providing training for employees will help mitigate risk in case of an emergency. If you have experienced fire damage please contact us right away; our specialists are available 24 hours a day to assist you through every step following a disaster.

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