Most common fire hazards in commercial buildings

Around 16,000 non-residential fires are reported in the UK each year, and many occur at work.

While there are several reasons for these fires, the vast majority are due to human negligence and a lack of care. It is important to pay special attention to areas of the office known to cause a potential fire risk to keep businesses safe.

commercial building fire

Overloaded plug sockets

Overloaded plug sockets are a common cause of electrical fires, but it can also be avoided easily. Reducing the appliances plugged into the same sockets or extension leads and regular checks of the leads can prevent overheating and even fire.

Faulty electrical equipment

Electrical fires are one of the most common types of fires at work. Replace any faulty equipment and it is recommended to have your electrical equipment regularly checked and PAT tested.

Objects that Generate Heat

The heat created by electrical equipment and machinery can pose a serious threat since it is one of the three elements required to start a fire. You should keep paper and other combustible materials away from heat sources, and electrical equipment and machinery should never be left on when not in use unless absolutely necessary.

Waste and combustible materials

The accumulation of waste such as paper, cardboard, and other combustible materials can be a problem at many workplaces, especially in offices. It is safer to dispose of these materials regularly so they do not serve as fuel if a fire should break out.


Smokers, or those who smoke themselves, should dispose of their cigarettes properly and avoid smoking around flammable materials. To prevent accidentally starting a fire, your workplace should provide you with special bins for disposing of your used cigarettes.

Make sure you don’t simply throw used cigarettes on the ground or stamp them out – instead, dispose of them correctly and use your workplace’s designated smoking area.

Human Error and Negligence

Human error is one of the most common causes of workplace fires. There are many ways in which fires can start due to negligence, including improper use of equipment, accidents, spilling drinks on electrical equipment, and leaving cooking unattended. The risk of human error cannot be eliminated, but ensuring staff are properly trained can lower it.