Fire Safety Regulations Guide

Identify Sources of Ignition

You can identify the potential ignition sources in your premises by looking for possible sources of heat which could get hot enough to ignite material found in your premises. These sources could include:

  • smokers’ material, e.g. cigarettes, matches and lighters;
  • naked flames, e.g. gas or liquid-fuelled open-flame equipment;
  • sparks from burning products, e.g. bonfires in yards;
  • vehicle exhausts;
  • electrical, gas or oil-fired heaters (fixed or portable), room heaters;
  • hot processes/hot work, e.g. welding by contractors or shrink wrapping;
  • cooking equipment, hot ducting, flues and filters;
  • extract fans for dust and fume removal systems, e.g. by build-up of debris;
  • failure of temperature control thermostats on hot work/cooking processes;
  • heat sources, such as gas, electric, microwaves, radio frequency, thermal fluids;
  • steam pipes;
  • frictional generated heat from mechanical equipment;
  • static charge from mechanical equipment, e.g. conveyor belts;
  • poor electrical installations, e.g. overloads, heating from bunched cables, damaged cable;
  • faulty or misused electrical equipment, e.g. refrigeration defrost systems, fork lift truck charging units;
  • light fittings and lighting equipment, e.g. halogen lamps or display lighting or overhead lights too close to stored products;
  • hot surfaces and obstruction of equipment ventilation;
  • spontaneous ignition and self heating, e.g. oil soaked rags, paint scrapings, crumb and batter residue; and
  • arson.

Indications of ‘near-misses’, such as scorch marks on furniture or fittings, discoloured or charred electrical plugs and sockets, cigarette burns, etc., can help you identify hazards which you may not otherwise notice.

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