Industrial fires can cause terrible death and destruction. What are the most common causes of industrial fires?
First, there’s dust— yes dust– that happens to be combustible. Materials found in metalworking, woodworking, pharmaceuticals and pretty much every other industry can end up becoming combustible in the form of dust. If and when that dust lights on fire thanks to an ignition source (like something as simple as cigarette ashes) then an explosion could occur. Dust clouds themselves can ignite, setting off further explosions. With a chain reaction, combustible dust could end up taking down entire factories, and indeed, it has. No wonder, then, why so many industries do their darndest to eliminate as much dust as possible to avoid unwanted explosions and fires.
Next, what’s known as “hot work” can cause industrial fires. Many industries utilized some form of burning, heating and/or soldering. When sparks fly and/or molten material is involved, there’s always a greater risk that a fire could occur.
Thirdly, consider flammable materials such as crude oil or rocket fuel. When safety precautions aren’t taken, there’s a good chance flammable materials could explode and create massive fires. Chemical plants, in particular, have to worry about this, storing flammable liquids properly, providing personal protective equipment to workers, and, above all, keeping flammable liquids and gases away from any potential ignition sources.
Also, if there’s something wrong with equipment or machinery– say it overheats– then there’s the danger of an industrial fire starting in the factory or warehouse. In order to combat this, workers should make sure machines are well-lubricated, clean and maintained.
Finally, electrical hazards are common causes of industrial fires. From static discharge to overloaded circuits, there are several electrical hazards companies need to watch for and prevent. Is the wiring exposed? Is it up to code or not? Are extension cords frayed? Paying attention to detail can truly help prevent industrial fires.
R.G. Fire Protection is in the business of helping industrial businesses in Ohio (Canton, Columbus, and Akron) stay safe with custom, state-of-the-art fire suppression and prevention systems. Call 330-456-8848 today for more information.