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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical Malfuncion Electrical system malfuncion can cause a lot of damage. Having follow-up preventative checks every few years is a good idea.

1. Cooking/Kitchen Appliances

Year after year, cooking fires remain at the top of the list as a cause of non-residential fires with 25% to 30% of those fires being cooking-related. 

2. Arson/Intentional

Arson, or an intentional fire, is the next common cause of a non-residential fire, with roughly 10% of fires occurring from arson.

While you can’t prevent arson completely, you can take precautions to limit the damage and opportunities:

  • Make sure trash cans are emptied every day.

  • If possible, keep dumpsters away from the building so a dumpster fire can’t spread to the building.

  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to make them harder to set on fire and so arsons can’t use them for cover while setting a fire.

  • Put up motion detection cameras or lights in dark or normally unused areas so any fires can be caught and put out faster.

  • Install smoke/fire curtains near the doorways of the areas most likely to be used for arson.

3. Human Error/Unintentional

Some examples of an unintentional fire include cigarettes being improperly discarded, employees leaving heating equipment too close to walls or flammable surfaces, forgetting to blow out a candle, keeping a messy workstation or improper use of electrical devices (e.g. extension cords).

5. Electrical Malfunction

About 7% of fires are linked to an electrical system malfunction, often due to problems with wiring in the building. These fires are more likely to occur in older buildings with questionable wiring.

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