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In the business setting, fire prevention is a matter of extreme importance, as fires put livelihood, productivity, and the lives of business owners and employees at stake. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2007 to 2011, fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year, leading to a staggering $112 million in damage, several injuries, and even death.

As a business owner, a single fire event can incur a lot of losses. Thankfully, some steps can make workplace fires preventable. ServiceMaster by Disaster Relief discusses the common causes of fire damage in businesses and commercial establishments, as well as the steps to take to prevent them, in this article.

What Causes Business Fire Damage?

Listed here are the most common causes of commercial fires, according to the NFPA:

Cooking Equipment

Cooking equipment is the top source of fires in both residential and commercial buildings. Grease fires and poor ventilation are the most common causes of cooking fires.

Steaming Pan
Photo by Republica (via Pixabay)

Electrical and Lighting Systems

Electrical malfunctions stem from faulty or under-maintained wiring and electrical systems, as well as overloading extension cables. Make sure that your business has routine electrical system maintenance to reduce the risks of fires.

Heating Equipment

Based on 2012-2016 annual averages of the NFPA, “most home heating fire deaths (86%) involved stationary or portable space heaters”. Heating fire deaths were most often due to placing the heating equipment close to flammable materials, such as bedding, mattresses, or upholstery. Keep this in mind if the business has a living quarters.

Photo from Pixabay.


Arson is simply an intentional fire, which often occurs after work hours. This type of fire causes the most damage to property and the highest number of injuries and casualties. To prevent intentional fires, make sure to empty trash bins and dumpsters. Installing motion detector cameras can also help.

Match with Fire
Photo by 955169 (via Pixabay).

Smoking Materials

The NFPA states that smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2014. To prevent fires from smoking materials, smoke outside and away from combustible materials. Use ashtrays and never smoke if you are tired, sleepy, or near medical oxygen. Also, create a smoking policy in the office.

Cigarette with Smoke
Photo by realworkhard (via Pixabay).


According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), exposures “are defined as anything in the immediate range of a fire that is not burning but could start burning if the fire is not contained. When enough oxygen is available, combustible material burns once its temperature reaches its ignition temperature.”

In addition, “preventing exposure fires requires protecting the objects from heat spread and thus from reaching their ignition temperatures.”

Photo by Hans (via Pixabay).

Office or Electronic Equipment

Fires of an electronic nature could be linked to the improper usage of an electronic device, use of defective electronic equipment, overloading an adapter, and placing combustible materials on or near electronic devices, according to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).

Photo by JoshuaWoroniecki (via Pixabay).

How Can Smoke Damage Affect My Commercial Property?

How to Prevent Commercial Fires

Train your employees.

Inspect your office equipment.

Create a fire prevention plan.

Clean house.

Install and test smoke detectors.

Install sprinklers.

Check for hazards.

Contact Us for Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in Clearwater, Florida

ServiceMaster by Disaster Relief is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our emergency hotline, (813) 295-7797. You can also send us a message through our online contact form. We offer fire and smoke damage restoration to both commercial and residential buildings in Clearwater, Florida, and nearby areas.

ServiceMaster Commercial Fire Damage Inspection

ServiceMaster by Disaster Relief is now servicing Pinellas County, Florida. Don’t know what to do? We do. Visit our office at 400 Douglas Rd E Suite H, Oldsmar, FL 34677.