Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires
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.
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.