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5 Most Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

The majority of fires attended to by rescue services are caused in non-residential buildings, with many of these being recorded as workplace incidents. There are many factors that can increase the likelihood of a fire being caused, and with so many people in the workplace, it is essential that the appropriate measures are taken to reduce these risks.

We’ve compiled a list of the 5 most common causes of fire in the workplace, and listed a few tips that can prevent these hazards.

Causes of Fire:

Faulty equipment

Defective electrics such as loose wires, or faulty equipment that can overheat and cause sparks, are common causes of fires in the workplace. It is essential that workplace equipment is regularly inspected and replaced upon any signs of electrical damage.


A common fire risk found in many workplaces is a lack of consistent cleaning, leaving the building untidy and cluttered. If the workplace is not cleaned regularly, the buildup of dust and grease can be a fire risk, especially if this occurs in poorly ventilated areas. Likewise, dirt and dust can build up on machinery and equipment and cause it to overheat, which could also cause a fire to start if left unattended. Regular inspections and cleaning will help to limit these risks.

Combustibles on site

Combustible materials such as paper, wood and cardboard will often accumulate in many workplaces, and if allowed to buildup, can contribute a significant amount of fuel to any fire that may start. To reduce the risk of a fire escalating due to the incorrect storage of combustibles, ensure that you store these materials off-site in a locked containers, and dispose of them on a regular basis.

Human Error

With so many people often using the workplace on a daily basis, human error can be a common factor in the causes of fires. From using equipment incorrectly, not reporting faulty machinery, to even leaving cooking food unattended, accidents can easily occur without the proper training in place. All staff should be given some basic fire safety training to ensure the correct procedures are followed if any hazards are identified.


Arson makes up a large percentage of fires caused on business premises, and can cause devastating consequences to a company. Deterrents such as CCTV and motion-sensor lighting should be installed, and access to the premises should be limited to authorised persons only to reduce this risk. What’s more, fire safety equipment such as fire sprinklers installed throughout the building will limit the damage caused if your building does fall victim to an arson attack.

All business and commercial property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure the premises are fully protected from the threat of fire, and must take all appropriate measures to reduce any fire risks within the workplace. Our experienced team here at Target Fire Protection provide thorough fire risk assessments that will ensure you are fulfilling your legal obligations to minimise all fire risks identified. We cover Rochdale, Bury, Oldham and the surrounding areas.

For more information, or to book your fire risk assessment, simply contact the team today.


fire most common causes of fire in the workplace

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