Common Causes of Commercial Fire Damage in Florida

Most business and commercial space owners want to prevent losses as much as possible, but unforeseen circumstances, such as a fire, are still unavoidable risks. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that from 2007 to 2011, fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 structure fires in office properties per year. These included “general business offices, banks, veterinary or research offices, engineering, mailing firms and post offices.” These fires caused an average of $112 million in property damage44 civilian fire injuries, and four deaths annually.

Commercial fires do not only cause losses in property damage, productivity, and revenue, but they could also result to a temporary or permanent business shutdown. Civilian injuries and loss of livelihood can also be expected. To add are the services required to bring the company back to pre-disaster condition, which could only be done properly by a professional fire damage restoration company, such as ServiceMaster by Wright in Florida.

Learn about the common causes of commercial fire damage and how to prevent them in this article.

What are the Top Causes of Commercial Fire Damage?

These incidents primarily cause the occurrence of commercial fires and their resulting property damage, based on the 2013 U.S. Structure Fires in Office Properties report of the NFPA
  • Cooking appliances and equipment. According to the mentioned NFPA report,  more than one-fifth of commercial fires from 2007 to 2011 began in a kitchen area. Fires of this nature are typically caused by poor ventilation and grease accumulation. 
  • Electrical and lighting systems. Twelve percent of office fires from 2007 to 2011 are caused by faulty electrical and lighting systems. Keep wiring well-maintained and avoid electrical overloading.
  • Office or electronic equipment. Most modern office equipment are composed of electronic components, which could malfunction or be damaged through time. Only utilize non-defective electronic devices and use them according to manufacturers’ instructions. Keep combustible materials away.
  • Heating equipment. The use of heating equipment, such as radiators, depends on factors such as the type of business and the weather. Make sure that heating systems are properly installed and maintained, and keep combustible materials away from them.
  • Intentional causes. Intentional fires or arson cause the most damage to property and the highest number of civilian injuries and casualties. They usually happen during non-work hours and can start in garbage bins, dumpsters, bathrooms, or garages. Arson can be minimized by emptying trash cans and keeping dumpsters away from commercial buildings.
  • Smoking materials. Most businesses implement a smoke-free policy, but for those who don’t, smoking items must be disposed of properly to prevent ignition of other materials.
  • Exposure. Exposure fires happen when something in the immediate vicinity of a fire ignites due to being unable to contain its spread. 

Preventing Commercial Fires

While commercial fires are not entirely avoidable, they can be prevented. Read the following tips to guide employees and workplace staff about fire safety and prevention.
  • Teach office fire safety. Protection starts with the correct commercial fire safety training. Educate staff on office kitchen fire safety tips, since most fires start in the kitchen. To prevent smoking fires, create a smoking policy that must be enforced at all times. Also, teach staff how to operate a fire extinguisher and when to use it. There is a class of fire extinguisher for every type of fire:
    • Class A – used for ordinary combustible materials, such as paper, cloth and wood
    • Class B – is utilized for flammable liquids, like oil, grease and gasoline
    • Class C – used for electrical fires
    • Class D – used on combustible metals
    • Class K – used for commercial cooking equipment and cooking media, such as fats or oils
  • Routine inspection of office equipment. Make sure that appliances are in good working condition. Check electrical systems for frayed or damaged wires and have a licensed electrician repair them. Also inspect heating and electrical systems to ensure that they are working properly.

In the Event of a Commercial Fire, Call ServiceMaster by Wright, Southwest Florida's Trusted Fire Damage Restoration, Repair, and Cleanup Company

When commercial fires have not been prevented, it’s time to call a professional. That’s where ServiceMaster by Wright comes in. We perform fire damage restoration services in Southwest Florida and surrounding areas. Our team will survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat, and moisture have impacted your structure and contents. Cleaning procedures will be based on the information identified during the fire damage pretesting.

As a leader in this industry for more than 40 years, our professionals have perfected the process for quickly identifying damage, determining the restoration services needed, and minimizing trouble and inconvenience on our customers’ end. We are also an IICRC-certified firm and insurance-preferred vendor in addition to our experience and knowledge in fire damage restoration, so you can be sure that we’ll deliver only the highest-quality results.

Contact ServiceMaster by Wright at 239-431-9947 for fire damage repair services in Southwest Florida and surrounding areas. We cater to clients in Bonita SpringsBradentonCape CoralEnglewoodEsteroFort MyersLehigh AcresLongboat KeyNaplesMarco IslandPort CharlottePunta GordaSarasotaSiesta Keyand Venice.