Each year, there are thousands of workplace fires recorded across the UK, many of which could have been avoided if the correct fire safety procedures had been followed, and the right passive fire protection products had been in place.
From faulty electrical equipment to careless handling of hot substances, there are plenty of potential causes of workplace fires, but what are the most common outliers?
Fire Seals Direct, a fire safety business, has identified the top causes of workplace fires by looking at official Government data from 2010 – 2022, showing primary fires in non-residential buildings by cause of fire.
The findings revealed the top causes were as follows:
Deliberate: 82, 268
Other accidental: 70, 612
Faulty appliances and leads: 63,723
Faulty fuel supplies: 50,806
Misuse of equipment or appliances: 49, 008
Careless handling of fire or hot substances: 46,887
Placing articles too close to heat: 41, 433
Chip/ fat pan fires: 37,795
Playing with fire: 27,787
Unspecified cause: 27, 529
Shockingly, the most common cause of fires in buildings not marked as ‘dwellings’ on Government records is ‘deliberate’.
After this, there is a large unspecified group of ‘other accidental’ causes of fires. This could be anything from smoking near flammable substances or not correctly extinguishing sources of fire.
Regardless of specifics, the sheer number of these accidental causes suggests a greater need for improved fire safety training, and a larger number of fire protection products in workspaces, to reduce the impact of fire-related accidents.
The large number of causes relating to faulty appliances, leads, fuel supplies, and misuse of equipment also implies that fire safety audits and routine inspections are not carried out nearly enough.