Many break rooms have non-commercial low-end appliances that most of us wouldn’t consider having in our homes. To complicate the matter, these low-end appliances are often used much more frequently in the workplace than they would be in a home. Overloaded outlets, light duty extension cords, inadequate overcurrent protection, dusty environments and poor housekeeping are several of the major causes of fires in company break rooms.
Losses from break room fire range from small insignificant fires to large total loss fires. To avoid break room fires, we recommend making the following suggestions:
- Only use commercial or industrial-grade appliances that are UL listed.
- Remove all hot plates, toaster ovens, toasters or any appliance that has an open flame. Place signs in the break room restricting their use.
- Plug all appliances directly into outlets that have the proper overcurrent protections (breakers, GFCI, etc.)
- Never plug appliances into extension cords.
- Provide all break rooms with smoke/heat detection devices that are monitored by a central station.
- Keep all appliances and outlets free from dirt and debris accumulation.
You should evaluate your break room utilizing the tips listed above and take the appropriate action. A little forethought could save your business from having a fire, keeping your employees safe and comfortable in an updated break room.