10 Biggest Fire Risks In the Workplace

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With offices now back open seemingly for good and hybrid working in full swing, it’s more important than ever that we don’t become complacent with fire safety. With this in mind, the Pyrotec team has compiled a list of the 10 most flammable items in the workplace.


Offices are notoriously bad at finding a temperature to suit everyone, which is why heaters are often used. But standalone heaters are a huge fire risk, particularly if people accidentally leave something in front of them.

Cooking oil

Cooking oils can be very flammable at a certain temperature, so it’s vital that they are stored away properly and the right fire extinguisher (a wet chemical fire extinguisher) is positioned close by if the worst happens.

Drain cleaners

Unknown to many, drain cleaners can actually contain chemicals which can make them flammable if not stored properly, which is why you need to be very careful when purchasing them. Always store them in a locked and ventilated cupboard with the lid firmly screwed on.

Faulty power cords

Given that offices tend to have a great deal of electrical equipment, they also need a lot of sockets for power cables. If any of these power cables become faulty, or an extension cable is overloaded, a fire can easily occur, which is why it’s vital that all electronic equipment in an office is regularly PAT tested.

Paper and cardboard

Offices are often full of paper and cardboard, for example stacks of printer paper and old computer boxes. If stored or left too close to an ignition source, these items can easily catch fire, so be mindful about letting them pile up.

Soft furnishings

Unfortunately, some of the largest items in the office are also the most flammable. Unlike faulty power cords and cables, a sofa can’t start an office fire, but it can quickly cause one to spread if a spark or flame touches it.


Styrofoam is highly flammable, which is why it’s classified as a B3 product. Given the amount of new equipment that offices often buy, there could well be a lot of styrofoam packaging piled up in a cupboard somewhere. If this is the case in your office, it might be a good idea to dispose of it.


You might think of dust as an inert, innocuous substance that just builds up over time without causing much trouble, but dust can actually catch fire and spread it quickly throughout a building, so it’s important to stay on top of cleaning!


While cigarettes are usually smoked outside and away from company property, it’s still the case that improperly discarded cigarette ends are one of the most common causes of workplace fires.


While rarely used today, you can still find some mothballs in office storage cupboards throughout the country. Mothballs are covered in pesticides and deodorant and are highly flammable, which is why we would advise against using them at all, particularly if they are being used near a heat source.

At Pyrotec Fire Protection, we’re proud to provide commercial properties across Brighton, Crawley and Eastbourne with quality fire safety equipment that can protect them, and their employees, from fire. To learn more about our range of services, contact our friendly team today.

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