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The Leading Causes of Office Fires and Property Damage

There are many products that can help you fight fires in a commercial building, avoid massive property damage and most importantly – save human lives. However, the best way to fight fire is still prevention. Sadly, not all companies exercise regular fire drills or teach their employees about fire prevention. Therefore, human error is among the leading causes of office fires.

According to the NFPA, fire departments across the US responded to nearly 3350 office fires each year, and their average death toll is around 44 civilians and more than $110 million in property damage.

Having a reliable partner offering fire sprinkler installation in Orange County is only one way to ensure life and property casualties are avoided. The other is to let your employees know the most common causes of office fires and what to do in order to prevent them. That’s why, in this article, we are going to list the most common ones.

Cooking and Heating Equipment

Cooking and heating equipment is by far the most common cause of fires in office spaces. Today, most offices are equipped with a kitchen with various appliances like microwaves, kettles and even stoves and ovens. Combined with flammable materials, they are likely to start a fire if any one of these appliances is left unattended.

The fire caused this way can spread quickly, but according to the NFPA report does not amount to as much property damage as faulty electrics, for example. Other heating appliances like portable heaters can be equally as dangerous if combined with flammable materials.

You can prevent these fires if you instruct your employees not to leave any kitchen or heating appliances unattended. Furthermore, since the kitchen is likely to be ground zero for a fire, install additional fire extinguishers, such as Class K fire extinguishers. Also, you can implement other prevention methods like fire blankets. Finally, be sure to check your fire alarms.

Electrical Fires

Around 12% of all office fires occur due to faulty electrical distribution and lighting equipment, and can amount to a large percentage of property damage. They are also often the hardest to spot as they can be caused by damaged wires and faulty equipment, both of which are not easy to notice without inspection. Therefore, employers have to take extra care to have all electrical equipment regularly inspected and to make sure they have a fire extinguisher that can be used for electrical fires, such as a Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher.

What you can do yourself is conduct a visual check of all the wires and make sure no plugs are overloaded. Other than that, consulting an electrician is crucial, as dealing with faulty electronics can have a fatal result if you don’t have the proper tools or any experience in the field.

Intentional Fires

Alarmingly, arson is still one of the leading causes of office fires. Even worse, intentional fires amount for the most property damage. In fact, 20% of property damage is caused by fires set intentionally. Apart from factories and industrial buildings, offices are also prone to arson as fire can spread easily if your fire protection equipment is faulty.

While these types of fire are probably the most difficult to predict, installing additional security measures like water fire sprinkler systems can help battle the fire long enough for the Fire department to arrive.


Finally, smoking is not only going to harm your health but was the fourth leading cause of office fires in 2016. Around 9% of all office fires were caused by smoking materials, and 5% of property damage resulted from these fires. Even if you put them out, cigarettes can easily cause a fire if the weather is dry and there are flammable materials nearby. If your workers don’t put out their cigarettes, a catastrophe is guaranteed.

To prevent these fires, alert your employees to properly put out their cigarettes. Add sand or water trays around the smoking area to make sure the cigarette butts are properly put out. Finally, you should make a habit of checking and emptying cigarette bins in the office.

Partner with a Reliable Fire Sprinkler Service in Orange County

When it comes to fire prevention, educating your staff is just half of the job. The other is having a reliable fire protection services company taking care of your fire sprinkler repair, fire sprinkler inspection fire suppression systems, including fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers and fire suppression systems. For a complete and professional fire prevention service in Orange County, don’t hesitate to contact Red Truck Fire & Safety Company.

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