Trends in Workplace Fires

When most of us leave our homes in the morning to go to work, we are likely not thinking that we will encounter a fire. But after homes, the workplace is the most likely place a fire will occur. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us; throughout the course of the day, most people are either at home or at work. And when humans are present, you have human error. While workplace fires aren’t especially common, for some this will be a reality. Relevant information regarding workplace fires can be an important first step in preventing them.

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) published a report regarding workplace fires that occurred between 2007 -2011. During that time period, there were 3,300 fires annually. These fires resulted in 4 deaths, 44 injuries, and a staggering $122 million in damages each year.

Thankfully, all of our fire prevention efforts are paying off, and we’re moving in the right direction. Over the last 30 years, since 1980, workplace fires have decreased by about 70% - from around 10, 000 each year to just over 3,000. That demonstrates significant and marked progress.

When considering the timing of the fires, a majority occurred during the week as opposed to the weekend, which makes perfect sense: more humans present during the week equals more of a possibility for human error.

And, most of the fires took place around 12-2 pm, with cooking being the primary cause. It’s easy to conclude that the fires likely included lunch-related preparations.

While most fires occurred during the day, the most damage resulted from fires that occurred on weekends or overnight (7-7 am). This is likely because fewer people were on-site to address the fire and report it to the fire department. And while workplace fires are responsible for only 12% of the fires, they resulted in 25% of the overall damage loss. That number would have likely been higher without automatic sprinklers that went off, which they did 90% of the time and put out 88% of the fires.

So what do we learn? Well since we can conclude that humans play a significant role, fire safety education remains critical.

We also see that fire-prevention mechanisms play a great role in reducing loss. One of these methods would certainly include flameproofing. Flameproofed materials and fabrics render them non-flammable, so they do not contribute to the severity and spread of fires.

If you have a need for flameproofing treatment, give Queens Flameproofing a call. We'd love to service your business and help you stay protected from fire as well as meet FDNY regulations. We can also provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate: 800-972-5587.


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