Structural fires cost billions every year, just in the U.S. alone. A significant portion of these costs is due to fires in commercial buildings, including manufacturing plants and office buildings. However, a proactive approach can help commercial building owners reduce the risk and preserve their properties. Installing a fire detection and suppression system is an important first step to take, but it’s also wise to be aware of the main causes of fires in commercial buildings.
It’s common knowledge that cooking presents the risk of a structural fire. However, most people associate kitchen fires with homes or restaurants. In truth, a cooking-related fire can happen in nearly any commercial building. If your business has an office kitchen or if employees are in the habit of bringing in electric tea kettles and hotplates, then there is a risk of a cooking-related fire.
Electrical fires can be deadly, and they are easily sparked by faulty wiring, damaged cabling, and frayed extension cords. Commercial building owners could consider conducting regular inspections of the wiring for all electronics in the building. If any electrical wires show signs of visible damage or improper connections, they should be replaced right away.
Heating appliances and systems, including furnaces, fireplaces, and water heaters, should be routinely inspected and serviced to reduce the risk of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Temporary heating elements, such as space heaters, also pose a significant risk. For example, a new construction worksite may use space heaters as a temporary measure before the building’s heating systems are put in place. It’s imperative that space heaters be used with extreme caution. Workers should leave plenty of space around the heating element and avoid any activities that may result in it being tipped over.
Fire is a serious threat that no business owner can afford to underestimate. At Kazal Fire Protection, Inc., we specialize in fire protection systems for new construction buildings, and we also retrofit existing buildings with state-of-the-art detection and suppression systems. You can reach our office in Tucson at (520) 323-1518 for more information.