Common causes of workplace fires and prevention tips

Fire is one of the most common hazards in the workplace. Prevention of fire injuries starts with identifying the common causes of burn injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is also the responsibility of your employer to train you about fire safety.

In order for you to avoid fires and understand how to handle a fire emergency, you should know about industries with unique risks and common causes of fires. Below is a quick guide to fire risks at many workplaces.

Industries with unique risks

Here are some industries and corresponding fire risks:

  • Food service: Ovens, stovetops and combustible cooking oils
  • Construction: Electrical wiring, welding operations and internal combustion engines
  • Shipping and receiving: Stacked storage of solvents and oils
  • Automotive maintenance: Flammable fuels and oils
  • Power and electrical: Contact with broken, knocked down or sagging power lines

However, if you do not see your industry listed here, that does not mean you are not at risk for burns or explosions.

Common fire hazards in many workplaces

Recognizing the risks you might face is important no matter where you work. Some common sources of fire hazards across many industries include:

  • Computers and electronic equipment
  • Inadequate smoking controls
  • Improperly maintained wiring, circuit breakers or junction boxes
  • Inadequate controls on hot water heaters
  • Industrial furnaces
  • Combustible hydraulic fluids
  • Processing machinery

If you recognize any of these hazards, you should keep reading to learn prevention tips.

Safety and prevention

Make sure your employer informs you about any potential fire or explosion hazards within your workplace. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to inquire with your supervisor. Review all emergency exits and contact info in the event of a fire. If you smoke, make sure you only do so in a designated area and extinguish your smoking materials safely. Avoid smoking in any storage areas, especially when chemicals are present.

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