Common Causes Of Fires In A Workplace

In 6. Fire Safety, Controlling Workplace Hazards, GC 2, Health and Safety, NEBOSH, NEBOSH IGC by EDCONS SAFETY INSTITUTELeave a Comment

Identify EIGHT Common Causes Of Fires In A Workplace.

  1. Naked flames – from smoking materials, cooking appliances, heating appliances and process equipment
  2. External sparks – from grinding metals, welding, impact tools, electrical switch gear
  3. Internal sparking – from electrical equipment (faulty and normal), machinery, lighting
  4. Hot surfaces – from lighting, cooking, heating appliances, process equipment, poorly ventilated equipment, faulty and/or badly lubricated equipment, hot bearings and drive belts



  1. Static electricity – causing significant high voltage sparks from the separation of materials such as unwinding plastic, pouring highly flammable liquids, walking across insulated floors, or removing synthetic
  2. Chemicals – the storage in close proximity of incompatible substances, and not following safe working procedures g. re-capping containers giving of flammable vapour when the container is not in actual use.
  3. Housekeeping – allowing flammable materials to accumulated in areas where there is a risk of
  4. Waste storage and disposal – flammable waste not being placed in lidded containers and not emptied
  5. Flammable gases – leaks – inappropriate controls that identify the presence of leaking cylinders, valves and/or associated
  6. Maintenance – not having adequate maintenance procedures in place to ensure preventative measures against the generation of heat g. friction from bearings that are not properly lubricated, not clearing/cleaning ventilation holes on equipment that may cause heat to build up as it is unable to escape/ventilate properly.



  1. Effects of strong sunlight – this may focus beams of light which can be excessively hot onto flammable materials and cause combustion – almost spontaneous combustion should sufficient flammable gases be given
  2. Hot work activities not being properly controlled g. welding, cutting and grinding
  3. Arson – setting fire to material by malicious
  4. People playing with fire in a foolish manner

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