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5 Common Causes of Industrial Fires That You Should Be Aware Of

You should never challenge the power of fire. It can burn you down to ashes. And it never discriminates. While even an average home is prone to fire damages, the risk factor increases by multiple folds in the case of industrial applications and premises. This makes preventive measures for fire damages an important and integral part of any industry.

It takes proper planning and strategizing to come up with a fire prevention plan. But the process can be eased up a bit by understanding what causes these fires. By keeping the causes at the top of the list, you can come up with a plan that will prevent loss of business, time or resources due to fire accidents. So here are some 5 causes of industrial fires that you should be aware of-

Combustible Dust

It is defined by HPR as a “mixture or substance that is in the form of finely divided solid particles that, upon ignition, is liable to catch fire or explode when dispersed in air.” It is dangerous because of the surface area the dust covers once ignited.

This is a common fire hazard in almost every industry. For example, metals such as aluminum, bronze, magnesium or zinc, chemical dust such as coal or sulfur, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, rubber, wood, textiles, plastics etc. can become combustible under specific situations.

Therefore, if you are dealing with any such industry, you should be extra careful.

Electrical Faults

Electrical problems are still the leading cause of fires and explosions in industries all around the world. Fire and explosion investigators have revealed time and time again that most industrial fires are due to lack of proper electrical connections and wiring.

Even a small spark from a naked wire is enough to cause a fire show in coordination with other materials and machinery. And when you consider that industries usually pull a ton of power, the situation gets even darker. Grounding, fuses, high-gauge wires, electricity switchers should all be placed in accordance with the laid down guidelines.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

It does not take many chemicals to build a live bomb. And industries dealing with stuff like rocket fuel (which produces a flammable gas), acrylic acid, and crude oil are always in danger of these fires. Even static electricity can ignite them.

The best way to prevent such fire accidents is to know the hazards. Even before handling the materials, a proper fire prevention setup should be implemented in place.

Negligence and Human Factor

Accidents happen. Even the best ones can fall prey to it. Mishandling, slippages, negligence is common, especially with novice workers. Training and knowledge is the only protection that prevents human errors.

Safety awareness training should be compulsory for everyone in your facility. They should be taught what risks they should watch out for and what to do if they find one.

Hot Work

Hot work is simply defined as cutting and welding operations for construction/demolition activities that involve the use of portable gas or arc welding equipment, or any other similar activities producing a spark, flame, or heat.

The heat produced by these sources becomes a major constituent of industrial fires. This is especially common to see in mechanical based industries like the automobile industry, shipbuilding, repair industries etc.

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