DEM Fire Guide to Common Company Fires – And Strategic Ways to Prevent Them
As Australia’s leading independent providers of fire and essential services, DEM Fire emphasises to all our clients that commercial fire prevention involves comprehensive planning.
Most Australians are now very aware of the importance of having a Bushfire Survival Plan at home. It’s critical that businesses give equal urgency to fire prevention… and part of that involves understanding common causes of fire.
Statistics on common causes of fire generally rely on domestic data – and the figures are staggering.According to Fire and Rescue NSW, there are around 4,500 household fires in this state every year.
While businesses make up a smaller portion, it’s clear given the magnitude of property fires that active fire prevention is critical.By looking at common causes of property fires, it becomes clear why preparation can effectively minimise the risk… and the end result.
Common fires causes
Of the approximately 4,500 domestic household fires that occur in NSW each year, it’s estimated that close to half occur in the kitchen.
This staggering number prompted Fire and Rescue NSW to create its ‘Keep Looking When Cooking’ campaign, to alert people to the dangers of distraction.
The next likely cause of domestic fires – and a principle danger for workplace fires – is electrical faults. Electrical faults might stem from damaged electrical due to age or incorrect installation. Or they may be triggered by faulty or damaged appliances, machinery or cabling.
The other major catalysts for fires in the workplace include incorrect storage of flammable materials, fire hazards such as clutter, human error (incorrect handling of flammable liquids for instance) and arson.
What this reveals is that inattention is a major cause of property fires be it distraction… or deficiency in the planning and maintenance of fire protection for commercial spaces.
Steps to fire prevention
Workplace steps to fire prevention involve the implementation of occupational health and safety and comprehensive emergency and evacuation plans – plus staff education.
Workplace procedures to minimise the chance – and impact – of fire from electrical faults, carelessness or arson include:
- Creating and practicing a fire escape plan with a full – and regularly updated – staff list and designated meeting points.
- Regularly servicing of all machinery.
- Minimising the storage of flammable materials on site, particularly in areas accessible by the public.
- Security for all doors, windows and other access points; adequate lighting and an alarm system to deter trespassers.
- Storing all dangerous goods as per legislative requirements.
- Training of all new staff in the handling of flammable materials.
- Installation and regular servicing on a quality fire alarm system.
Comprehensive fire prevention solutions
Comprehensive fire protection involves a number of elements including a comprehensive solution design tailored to company size and sector – and installation and maintenance of equipment such as fire alarms, extinguishers, sprinkler systems, hoses, hydrants, fire doors and blankets.
Another key element is fire compliance. Most companies require an initial Fire Safety Certification, and follow up Annual Fire Safety Statements, which businesses are required to submit annually to local council.
A safety plan for every company
Just as every home near natural habitat should have a Bushfire Survival Plan, so should every Australian business should have a comprehensive plan in place for their property that includes installing and maintaining a working smoke alarm, the right fire protection equipment and regular asset maintenance.
At DEM Fire, we have an exceptional team of over 80 that includes fire system designers and technicians, electricians, fire extinguisher testers, fire sprinkler fitters and plumbers. So we can service every aspect of your fire prevention without on-hand expertise and no outsourcing