In the Hot Seat | Workplace Fire Prevention

The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2016, nearly 3,000 civilians were killed in structure fires. Although people don’t often think about the possibility of a fire at work, thousands of fires occur in non-domestic buildings each year. Below, we’ve provided common causes for workplace fires and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid them.

Common Workplace Fire Causes

  • Combustible Debris
  • Smoking
  • Space Heaters
  • Electrical Issues
  • Faulty Equipment
  • Dust

Workplace Fire Prevention Tips

  • Trash and combustible items, such as wood, paper and cardboard, should be placed in the designated areas and stored away from ignition sources.
  • Keep emergency exits and work areas clear of debris and combustible materials.
  • Get training on the use of fire extinguishers and regularly check that extinguishers are available in work areas and fully charged for use.
  • Inspect space heaters regularly and don’t use them if dusty or damaged.
  • Don’t use space heaters near debris or combustible materials. Keep the area around the space heater clean and clear.
  • Smoke only in designated smoking areas and dispose of cigarettes in proper containers.
  • Inspect work equipment and extension cords for damage prior to use. Don’t use if damaged.
  • Don’t overload outlets or plug more than one power strip together.
  • When work processes create dust, ensure the area is properly ventilated and free of ignition sources. Combustible dust should be properly collected.
  • Report potential electrical or fire hazards to management.
  • Follow OSHA fire safety guidelines.

Stop fires before they start by identifying potential fire hazards in the workplace and taking the needed steps to minimize the risks. For more information, see OSHA Fact Sheet: Fire Safety in the Workplace.

Date Posted: 11-27-2017
Tags: fire safety, occupational fire prevention, osha safety topics, osha workplace safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,