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When businesses turn up the thermostat, they also inadvertently dial up the potential risks of fires. According to research from the National Fire Prevention Association, about 37,000 fires occur in industrial or manufacturing facilities every year. On average, these blazes cause 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage.

What is the leading cause of these fires? Heating equipment.

While it’s essential to keep your employees warm, it’s also important to understand and mitigate the risks that HVAC systems can pose.

Here are some of the most common heating-related fire risks for this winter and practical steps to address them.


Key Fire-Related Risks of Heating Systems

In commercial facilities, the use of heating systems during the winter poses inherent risks that demand careful consideration. One primary concern is the potential for heating systems to become overworked, leading to wear and tear that may result in malfunctions and, in extreme cases, fires.

Electrical issues also loom as a significant risk, with faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, and malfunctioning components contributing to fire hazards. Poor maintenance practices can exacerbate these risks, as neglected heating systems can accumulate flammable materials, dust, and debris over time.

Businesses should pay particular attention to employee use of space heaters, as their misuse or improper placement near combustible materials can substantially increase fire risk.


Five Tips to Mitigate the Risk of Commercial Fires

Regular maintenance, thorough electrical system checks, and the establishment of clear guidelines for the safe use of heating equipment, especially space heaters, are imperative for the safety and well-being of employees, customers, and overall facility integrity. Here are some steps to take:

  • Schedule routine maintenance for all heating systems and emergency power systems, including inspections, cleaning, and component checks. Address any issues promptly to ensure optimal performance. Systems should be well-maintained and equipped with safety features to prevent electrical mishaps.


Balancing Warmth and Safety

As you embrace the warmth of the season, prioritize safety to ensure a peaceful and hazard-free work environment. By understanding the fire-related risks associated with heating systems and implementing proactive measures, your organization can create a secure environment for employees and customers, which will allow for business continuity during the winter season and beyond.

The professionals at ATI can help mitigate damage if a fire does occur. Contact us to learn more about our fire and smoke damage restoration services before a disaster strikes.


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