Fires can be started by all kinds of household items, including, for instance:
- Defective electrical or gas appliances
- Damaged or faulty wiring, electrical leads or plugs
- Overheating electronic equipment and chargers
- Portable heaters
- Overheating pots and pans, especially chip pans
Many fires are also caused by sparks from open fireplaces and poorly extinguished cigarettes.
Other household items that may cause fires
Fairy lights, electric blankets and plug-in air fresheners, fly sprays used near pilot lights or other open flames, flammable liquids, and inadequately stored pots of paint are also fairly common household items that have been known to cause fires.
If so many different household items can cause fires, it is clear that in a working environment, the risk of accidents at work involving fires is even higher. This is particularly the case in industries involving:
- use of highly flammable fluids or gases
- storage of large quantities of other combustible materials, or
- in the catering industry, where hot surfaces, electrical equipment and water combine to increase the risk of work accidents and fires.
The law places a responsibility on employers to take all necessary steps to prevent workers sustaining injuries at work, be it through fires, explosions or other workplace accidents.
As such, employers must assess possible risks, have an emergency plan in place in case of fire and train employees in the implementation of this plan by regularly practising fire drills.
They must also have the right type of fire extinguishers for different types of fire readily available and train workers in the use thereof.
Naturally, employees also have a role to play in the prevention of work injuries. In essence, workers are required to act responsibly at all times and:
- Attend relevant training sessions and fire drills
- Follow provided training and instructions in the use of materials, machinery and potentially harmful substances, safe working practices and emergency protocols.
When things go wrong
If you were hurt at work because your employer failed to prevent a fire or other work-related accident or because another employee acted irresponsibly, you may be entitled to industrial injury compensation.
You can find out whether you are entitled to make a claim, have any other claim-related questions answered, and enlist an Accident Advice Helpline work injury expert, by calling us on 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or on 0800 689 0500 from a landline phone now.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice