Posted on: June 27, 2024

Workplace Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

Workplace Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

From electrical malfunctions to improperly stored flammables, every workplace has the potential for fire hazards. While a fire can be devastating, taking proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk and ensure everyone's safety in the event of an emergency. Here, we'll delve into common workplace fire hazards, how to prevent them, and the benefits of fire safety training. 

Fire Safety in the Workplace

Even with modern precautions, employees and employers must follow all fire safety procedures to prevent workplace fires, maintain worker safety, and maintain open offices and stores.

Fire safety training is the most effective way to make sure that every member of your staff is protected. That is why a training program based on OSHA's fire safety regulations is available on By taking our training, all aspects of fire safety, such as types of fires, safety gear and protective equipment, injuries caused by fire, and first aid, are available to you.

Most Common Workplace Fire Hazards

There are many fire hazards in the workplace that can lead to devastating and even fatal fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a fire department in the US responds to a fire every 24 seconds.

That is why you must attack the problem at its source. By identifying the leading causes of workplace structure fires, you can eliminate problems before they occur. Here are the six leading causes of workplace fires:


  • Flammable Materials - Office buildings often contain flammable materials like paper and cardboard boxes, which can ignite and cause fires. Prevent danger by maintaining a clutter-free office, storing flammable materials in a safe location, and disposing of trash and unnecessary documents.
  • Combustible and Flammable Liquids - Combustible and flammable liquids or vapors require extra caution in storage due to sparks igniting. Store them securely in sealed containers in a dry, secure place, monitor them, and clean up spills immediately.
  • Dust and Debris - Proper ventilation in your office building is crucial for fire prevention. Dust and debris can cause explosions, so keep it clean and invest in extraction fans to clear the air. Clean any machinery that heats up as well.
  • Overusing the Power Socket - Excessive use of an extension cord or multiple devices in a single outlet can cause serious issues, including overheating and fire hazards. It's crucial to use only one plug per socket and limit power usage to 13amps or 3000 watts.
  • Electrical Equipment - To prevent fire hazards, shut off electric appliances when not in use, never leave them on overnight, clear flammable materials, check for loose cables and damaged plugs, and have regular inspections by experts.
  • Smokers - Smoking is a major cause of workplace fires due to improper extinguishing and proximity to flammable materials. Therefore, a designated smoking area with ashtrays and bins is vital for ensuring proper disposal of cigarettes and preventing fires.

Top Workplace Fire Safety Tips

Preventive measures are the first line of defense against the risk of fires in your company. While certain events, like wildfires or arson, are beyond a company's control, most workplace fires may be prevented by being aware of the risks and adopting safety measures.

Assign a Fire Warden

To ensure fire safety, businesses should assign a fire warden as their first priority. This person or team should understand workplace fire conditions and organization size. Delegate responsibilities so no one is left unprepared in the event of an emergency. Responsibilities include maintaining accountability, ensuring evacuation routes are clear, assisting mobility-impaired staff, clearing affected areas, and collecting stragglers during evacuations and drills. Responsibilities may vary based on workplace size.

Identify Potential Risks

Every business has unique risks that could lead to or cause a fire. Some situations create more risk, and the NFPA points out the most common causes of workplace fires, to which employers and fire wardens should pay closer attention:

  • Cooking appliances
  • Electrical equipment
  • Power strips and other electrical hazards
  • Lighting equipment
  • Heaters
  • Arson
  • Smoking materials
  • Office/entertainment equipment

Always Be Aware of Higher Risk Areas

Every business has unique risks that could lead to or cause a fire. Even in unassuming locations, like an office, areas like kitchens or break rooms often have appliances that can cause fires, such as toasters or microwaves. Around 20% of workplace fires occur in this setting, making it vital to maintain this equipment and ensure that it is being used properly, as well as making fire prevention and response easier in this spot.

Understand Industry Needs

Some industries are much more regulated than others and require greater care or attention. Businesses need to be aware of local, state, and federal regulations that direct proper fire safety, including maintaining proper equipment, such as specific types of fire extinguishers. Maintaining a safe work environment at your place of business requires understanding the fire hazards unique to your industry.

The P.A.S.S. Method

If you’ve never used a fire extinguisher before, you probably don’t want your first time to be during an emergency. That is why you need to be familiar with the PASS method. PASS is an acronym to help you remember the steps to using a fire extinguisher:

  • Pull
  • Aim
  • Squeeze
  • Sweep

Now that we know what each letter stands for, let's break it down even further.

Pull - Pull out the safety pin. The safety pin stops the extinguisher from discharging. The seal is broken by pulling the pin.

Aim - Aim the hose or nozzle of the extinguisher at the base of the fire. If you aim toward the top of the fire, the extinguishing chemical will only go through the flames. It works best if it is directed toward the fuel supply at the fire's base.

Squeeze - Squeeze the trigger you just removed the pin from. This will release the pressurized extinguishing agent in the extinguisher.

Sweep - Sweep the nozzle back and forth across the fire's base. As the fire is extinguished, cautiously move closer while sweeping the hose or nozzle.

There are many different kinds of fire extinguishers, but they all serve the same purpose. To ensure safety, use them with care and practice. Before using a fire extinguisher, be sure to assess the fire, then call 9-1-1 if it's too large or unmanageable. Only continue using the PASS fire extinguisher approach if the fire is controllable and small enough to be extinguished.

Protect Yourself and Your Staff Through Training

Everyone wants to believe they will know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency, but when lives are at stake, you can’t take that chance. Offering additional safety training to your staff can help them protect themselves in the event of a fire. offers a fire course for protection in the workplace. Don't hesitate about something so important; get enrolled today!