Chances are, your business is more concerned about the bottom line than the possibility of a fire. Whether you manufacture camera housings or serve the best risotto in town, your property carries an inherent risk of fire, and commercial fires cause millions of dollars of damage annually. When it comes to preventing a blaze from breaking out at work, knowledge is power. Here are six of the most common causes of commercial fire damage.
If you think fires caused by cooking equipment are confined solely to restaurants, think again. A wide variety of commercial properties have kitchens, including gyms, schools, health care facilities, and office buildings. Each is stocked with a plethora of potentially hazardous elements, from highly flammable cooking oils to open flames and other heat sources.
Kitchen areas tend to be chaotic, as well, making cooking equipment the most common cause of commercial fire damage. Even something as simple as a neglected coffeemaker can lead to a blaze that requires the help of fire damage repair contractors to rebuild. Fortunately, a well-maintained sprinkler system or carefully placed fire extinguisher can prevent substantial losses.
Every business can’t call sunny San Diego or balmy Florida home. In many parts of the United States, heating equipment is required to keep commercial facilities thriving year-round. Heating components such as furnaces, radiators, fireplaces, and hot water heaters all have the potential to overheat or otherwise malfunction.
Additionally, regular maintenance that goes ignored or even a poor installation job upfront can be catalysts for a heating equipment fire. Keeping flammable materials away from radiators and other heat sources is one way to start lowering your risk of an accident.
With great power comes great responsibility — and the risk of fire. There are a plethora of potential causes for a fire ignited by your electrical system:
- Bad, old, or otherwise faulty wiring
- Ungrounded electrical outlets
- Overloaded circuit breakers
- Faulty fuses
- Loose connections
- Using the wrong light bulb
- Excessive extension cord use
This is just a small sample. Exercising caution and common sense, as well as upgrading old equipment, can greatly lower your building’s risk of an electrical fire.
As the number of smokers decreases, the number of fires caused by cigarettes and cigars has decreased as well. Smoking still remains a common cause of commercial fires, however, largely due to unsafe disposal of smoking materials, particularly in office settings.
Arson is the deliberate setting of a fire with the intent to cause harm, and it’s more common than you might think. Arson is committed by a wide variety of people with differing motivations:
- A disgruntled current or a former worker looking to exact revenge
- An owner eager to collect insurance money
- Individuals looking to cover up other serious crimes
It’s important to note that not all intentional fires are arson. Arson requires an explicit desire to cause destruction. In some instances, fires are set intentionally and then accidentally get out of hand, such as those set by minors who make up for what they lack in good judgment with plentiful curiosity.
Fittingly, intentional fires are to blame for over a third of fires at schools and other educational properties — and it’s unclear how many of those were started with a desire to do damage, as opposed to a desire to see if you can light a basketball on fire or pull an “epic” prank.
Most intentional fires are set between mid-afternoon and midnight. Careful monitoring of your building’s bathrooms, garbage cans, and garage can help deter would-be fire starters.
The more people there are who use your building, the more opportunities there are for somebody to overload an extension cord, light a candle too close to a stack of papers, or completely forget about that space heater he or she plugged in before leaving for the weekend. There’s no cure for carelessness, but fire safety training can go a long way toward improving your property’s odds of avoiding a preventable fire.
When it comes to fire, no building is immune. If you need the help of fire damage repair contractors at your commercial property, United Water Restoration Group has the experience and equipment necessary to get your business back on its feet promptly and with minimal stress.
Check out the video below for answers to common Fire Damage Restoration questions.
Call anytime, 24/7/365 at 1-800-430-5838 for the best and most trusted restoration company in the industry!