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Commercial Fire: What is it?

2024-02-19 12:00


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  • SERVPRO is available 24/7 for cleanup, repair, and construction of commercial fire damage

    Commercial fire damage can happen anytime, and sometimes even your best efforts can’t stop it. Whether you run a mom-and-pop shop, a sprawling manufacturing campus, or a storage warehouse, commercial fires can be devastating, threatening human and animal life, and even stopping business operations.

    Before and after fire damage in your commercial property, there are several things you should keep in mind.

    Definition of Commercial Fire

    According to Brainly, a commercial fire is a fire that breaks out in an office, warehouse, store, or other commercial building. It might involve hazardous materials, complex fire suppression systems, and unique challenges based on the layout, size, and structure of the buildings in question.

    What Causes Commercial Fires?

    Charleston, South Carolina’s government website indicates five common causes of fires in commercial properties, including the following (in no particular order):

    First, electrical and heating malfunctions, including damaged and faulty wiring or electrical cords.

    Second, improper storage. Often, flammable materials are placed too close to a heating source. (Did you know that, instead of warehouses, many commercial fires start in silos, garages, barns, and other small outbuildings?)

    Third, cooking. In non-residential buildings, kitchen fires are most common. This is typically because of improper maintenance on kitchen supplies and appliances, such as broilers, grease traps, exhaust vents, commercial stoves, deep fat fryers, and hood suppression systems.

    Fourth, smoking. In fact, some famous hotel fires, along with Charleston’s Sofa Super Store Fire, were started by cigarettes.

    Fifth, arson, which is defined as “the willful or malicious burning of property (such as a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

    Commercial Fire Statistics

    Did you know that when it comes to office and store fires, in 2020, cooking was the leading cause (making up 29.4%)? This was followed by intentionally set fires at 11.2%, electrical malfunctions at 9.3%, unintentional or careless activities at 7.8%, and appliances, also at 7.8%.

    Of these office and stores fires, approximately 16,500 occur each year, according to the United States Fire Administration. In 2020, this caused $932 million in property damage.

    How to Help Prevent Commercial Fires

    There are many ways you can help to prevent commercial fires. According to the United States Fire Administration, you can take the following precautions to help protect against workplace fire safety in commercial spaces.

    First, routinely check for overloaded, damaged, or frayed electrical wires, cords, and cables. Additionally, make sure space heaters or other portable heating devices aren’t left unattended. It is also important that flammable items are kept away from electrical equipment, and workspaces are kept clean, well ventilated, and dry.

    Additional tips include making sure escape routes are established and routinely practiced, obstacles are removed from exits, and windows and screens can be opened and removed, if necessary. Furthermore, make sure smoke detectors and fire sprinklers are installed, working properly, and regularly inspected. It is also important that fire escape plans are posted on every floor, and fire ladders and escapes are regularly inspected.

    Ultimately, when operating a commercial space, employees should be well-versed in emergency drills, escape routes, exits, and fire protection equipment, such as fire extinguishers.

    For more information, visit the article “Commercial Warehouse Fire Safety: Protecting Your Investment.”

    SERVPRO® Provides Commercial Fire Cleanup 24/7

    A fire in your commercial property can be devastating, threatening employee and customer health and safety, not to mention your bottom line. No matter when fire strikes, SERVPRO is available to provide 24/7 cleanup, restoration, and construction services at a moment’s notice, including on holidays and weekends.

    Commercial fire cleanup requires deep and thorough cleaning methods, including an initial removal of water after firefighting efforts. Find your local SERVPRO today and reach out around the clock. With 2230 SERVPRO locations in the United States and Canada, there is one near you. We work hard to make it “Like it never even happened.”

    For more information, please visit our FAQ and Glossary.

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