Why Fires Start in Commercial Buildings

According to the USFA, even though every business is different, commercial fires tend to start for the same reasons. As a business owner, it's important to be aware of these causes, so you can do your best to prevent them. 

  • Cooking - Kitchen fires in restaurants are the most common source of fire in non-residential buildings, often because the grease traps, hood suppression system, and exhaust vents for commercial stoves, broilers, and deep fat fryers are not properly cleaned and maintained.
  • Electrical and Heating Malfunctions – Worn electrical cords and faulty wiring are also a major cause of commercial fires.
  • Arson - Intentional fire-setting in abandoned buildings, especially in the current economic climate, provide an easy target for fire setters. Don't let these hazards kill or injure firefighters.
  • Smoking - Even in a smoke-free building, you can't watch what your employees do all the time. It only takes one cigarette to start a fire. Many historic hotel fires, and the Sofa Super Store fire, were started by someone smoking cigarettes.
  • Improper Storage - Most fires in storage properties are not in warehouses but are in garages, barns, silos, and small outbuildings. Many fires are started when flammable materials are stored too close to a heat source.

Additional Risks

Your business may have fire risks that aren't covered here. Commercial fire sprinklers can protect all types of businesses from fire, making them a worthwhile investment in your building and employees' safety.