Major Causes of Industrial Fires and Tips for Prevention


Industrial fires occur in every industry, resulting in massive financial losses and worker injuries or fatalities. In fact, more than 600 of these fires happen each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. To prevent industrial fires, it’s essential to understand the major causes that spark them. Learning about the major causes of industrial fires and how to prevent them from happening on your own site will help you make informed decisions and keep your employees safe.

Combustible Dust:

Combustible dust is one of the major reasons for fires and explosions within an industrial setting. OSHA defines it as a solid dust particle material that poses a fire and explosion hazard. When it comes in contact with oxygen and an ignition source, the dust can result in a fire and explosion. In addition, if the dust is dispersed in an enclosed area, the risk of an outbreak is high and difficult to contain. Broken bag detectors can help prevent fire and dust flare-ups from happening.

Flammable Atmosphere:

One way that fire is ignited in an industry setting is through the ignition of an explosive atmosphere. The primary cause of this fire is the presence or release of flammable gas or vapour, which can be quickly ignited by a spark, open flame, overheated metal, electric arc, or other means.

The most common combustible gases found in industries are natural gas (methane), propane gas (LPG), gasoline vapours, and other hydrocarbons. When determining potential sources of ignition, three factors need to be considered: the location of the flammable gas, its concentration, and whether or not it will mix with air before it reacts. The best prevention measure for this type of fire is limiting exposure to sources of ignition by providing ventilation for reducing atmospheric concentrations and investing in a flame detector.

Hot Work:

Hot work like welding, torch cutting, heating and soldering, burning, and brazing can all create the potential for fire and explosion. Fire risk is high in hot work environments due to the sparks that hot work equipment creates and molten material that can reach above 1,000F and travel more than 30ft. When the spark and heat from hot work combine with combustible dust, it results in fires and explosions.

Tips for Preventing Industrial Fires and Explosions:

– Conduct a hazard analysis and invest in suitable fire detectors.

– Have a fire suppression system in place.

– Remove any combustible materials from the area.

– Keep water supplies nearby and any other firefighting equipment that might be needed.

– Keep an eye on electrical components, gas lines, and fuel tanks to ensure no ignition or leakage potential.

– Be sure all employees are aware of evacuation routes in case a fire or explosion occurs. Offer training sessions about what to do in case of emergencies and when a flame detection system alarms.

– Make sure you always have extra resources on hand, such as safety goggles, extinguishers, and protective suits if necessary.

– Inspect and maintain your equipment and facility.

These steps are essential measures you need to take to prevent fire accidents in your facility and meet the standards of OSHA.

About the Author

The author is an active blogger and renowned for providing innovative solutions such as broken bag detector, Flame Detector, Industrial sirens and beacons, broken bag detector, Turbidity Analysers in Australia etc. to the Oil & Gas, Chemical, Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Food, Pharmaceutical, Water Treatment, and many other industries across Australia and New Zealand. Visit for more details.

Comments are closed