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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Common Causes of Fire Damage in Business Spaces

1/13/2023 (Permalink)

A male worker uses a fire extinguisher while another is passed out due to smoke inhalation. Watch out for various fire or smoke hazards, especially in office settings where not everyone is trained on how to handle a scary situation.

Fire is a destructive force that can cause irreparable damage to homes, businesses, and lives. While the causes of fires vary across different settings, understanding common fire risks in your business can help you protect against them. This article will look at some of the most common causes of fire damage in commercial buildings.

Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards are the most common cause of fire damage in homes and businesses. This includes faulty wiring, overloaded outlets, faulty or outdated appliances, frayed cords, and exposed wires.

These issues can cause an electrical fire that can quickly spread if not addressed immediately. Electrical fires are often hard to detect and can do significant damage without being noticed. It's important to regularly inspect your business wiring, appliances, and cords to ensure everything is in good condition and up to code.

Cooking Fires

Another common cause of fire damage is cooking fires. These are often caused by unattended appliances, grease build-up, combustible items being too close to the stove or oven, and faulty thermostats or wiring. It's important to ensure all of your cooking appliances are in good working order and that you never leave them unattended. Grease build-up should also be regularly cleaned to reduce the risk of fire.

To reduce the risk of cooking fires, never leave food unattended while cooking. It's also important to keep combustible items, like paper towels and cooking utensils, at least three feet away from the stove or oven. Finally, ensure your thermostats and wiring are routinely inspected.

If you experience a cooking fire, it's important to evacuate the house immediately and call your local fire department. If you have fire extinguishers in the home, they can help put out small fires. Otherwise, it's best to leave the house and call for help.

Heating Systems

One of the most common causes of fire damage in businesses is heating systems. Inadequate or poor maintenance can lead to fires due to the build-up of lint and other debris in dryer vents, chimneys, and furnace ducts. These combustible materials can easily ignite and cause a dangerous fire if left unchecked; therefore, cleaning them is important to reduce the fire risk.

Additionally, space heaters can also be a major cause of fire safety concerns. Space heaters that are not regularly maintained and inspected and placed too close to combustible materials such as furniture, curtains, or bedding can easily cause a fire. It is important to keep an eye on the placement of space heaters and regularly maintain and inspect them for any signs of damage or malfunction.

Irresponsible Use of Candles

Candles are often used for decoration and to set the mood, but they can also be a major source of fire damage in businesses. Candles should only be lit when a responsible adult is in the room and must be extinguished before leaving the area. Additionally, never place candles near combustible materials as they can easily catch fire.


Smoking is one of the most common causes of fire damage in businesses. It's important to never smoke indoors as the ashes, cigarette butts, and lighters can easily start a fire. It's also important to ensure that smoking materials are always disposed of properly and never left unattended.

It's imperative to be aware of the common causes of fire damage in businesses and to take the necessary steps to prevent them. Regularly inspect your wiring, appliances, heating systems, and smoking materials, and practice responsible candle use.

If you experience fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids at (616) 662-9700 for help. We are here to help you get back on your feet after a fire and ensure that your business returns to how it was before. Our experienced professionals are available 24/7, so do not hesitate to call us with any questions.

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