Fires at the workplace

I have recently been on two sites – at the time when a fire broke out. How is that for coincidence? Either that or we are not thinking safety often enough.

Thank goodness none of them caused too much damage! But both were a close call! One was caused by sheer negligence by a new staff member, and the other was caused by shoddy electrical contractor work.

The fire started in the ceiling of the shop – and how many of us go and check on our contractors work in the roof? Most of us don’t – until it is too late.

And our new members of staff? At what point do we train them on fire hazards at the workplace? The first day, first week – in the first month?
Did you know that most fires at the workplace are caused by either new employees – or old employees? Not chronologically old – but those with long service? Why – because they like ourselves, start to take short cuts and become complacent with safety checks.

One service station down here in Cape Town was not so lucky. This fire apparently started in the workshop and spread very quickly. Take a look at the pictures….

Bowser fire in Claremont

Some photos of the fire at the Caltex garage in Chichester road (near Lansdowne road), Claremont, Cape Town on Fri 16/04/2010.

Workshop Fires can be avoidedSmoke billowing out of the workshop

These pictures are from

So this week make a note to look around you for fire hazards…

Take care out there!


  1. #1 by M.Asmal on November 11, 2010 - 2:20 am

    Good Day, It is critical to have staff that re alert at all times.
    At approximately 6;45pm Saturday, 6th November 2010;
    my spervisor noticed an electrical fire had started at the car delearship across the road from us.

    Fire Department was called,SAPS alerted and I immediately sent my staff over with the fire extinguishers.

    Within minutes the fire was extinguished. BEFORE THE FIRE ENGINES COULD ARRIVE> imagine the catastrophe – a car delearship with a fuel station across!!


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