The Most Common Causes of Fire in Workplace

The Most Common Causes of Fire in Workplace

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 were followed, and the right passive fire protection products were 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?

As one of the UK’s leading providers of fire door and passive fire protection products, we were curious to find out exactly what the top causes of workplace fires were. So, we looked at official Government data from 2010 – 2022 showing primary fires in non-residential buildings by cause of fire to find the following results.

Here is an even more detailed breakdown of the findings:
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.

Fore more fire safety guidance, head over to our advice centre or contact us with any questions.

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