5 Major causes of Industrial fire and explosion

by Electrical engineering design, Fire and Safety

Industrial fire and explosion cost companies and government crores of rupees every year, and the loss of life can’t be described in monetary terms. The risk of ‘Fire’ has been ranked fifth, up by three positions from last year’s ranking. According to NCRB, a total of 18,450 cases of fire accidents were reported in India in 2015, with 1,193 persons injured and 17,700 killed.

Electrical consultants have listed out the major causes of industrial fire & explosion:

1. Combustible dust

Combustible spec dust is fine particles that present an eruption hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions. A dust eruption can cause catastrophic loss of life, injuries, and destruction of buildings.

In many of these occurrences, workers and managers are not aware of the potential for combustible dust explosions or they fail to recognize the severe nature of dust explosion hazards. Proper communication of hazard information ensures that both employers and workers are aware of dust-related dangers and estimates that can be taken to prevent dust explosions.

2. Hot work

Hot work is one of the prime causes of industrial fires across all industries. Though hot action equates with welding and torch cutting, there are many other activities, including brazing, burning, heating, and soldering, that pose a fire hazard. This is because the fire sparks and molten material, which reach temperatures higher than 1000°F, can easily travel more than 35 feet. Hot work is also a primary culprit in combustible dust fires, as the sparks generated from work can inflame dust in the surrounding area.

3. Flammable liquids and gasses

These flammable liquids and gas fires, which often occur at chemical plants, can be disastrous. There is certainly some danger forming an essential element in any work involving flammable liquids and gasses. But we can take careful forethought to avoid harm or risk  to mitigate these risks.

4. Equipment and machinery

Faulty equipment and machinery are also significant causes of industrial fire and explosion. Heating and hot work instruments are typically the most significant problems. Therefore,electrical consultants ensures that they install, operate and maintain the furnaces correctly. Also, any mechanical device can become a fire dormant because of friction between the moving parts. This risk can be got down to practically zero by merely following recommended cleaning and maintenance procedures, including lubrication.

5. Electrical hazards

Electrical fires or hazards are one of the top five causes for Industrial fire & explosion. Here a non-exhaustive list of specific electrical hazards:

Wiring that is exposed or not up to code
Overloaded outlets
Extension cords
Overloaded circuits
Static discharge

The damage caused by these fires can quickly compound thanks to several of the other items on this list. Any of the above hazards can cause a spark, which can serve as an ignition source for combustible dust, as well as flammable liquids and gasses.


Keeping all of your equipment or devices and systems in proper working order will enhance safety. Also, it makes your operations more efficient. This includes maintaining the machinery on your production line as well as inspecting and testing your fire safety systems, like fire extinguishers and sprinklers. A good rule of thumb is to seek guidance from Industrial electrical consultants and perform inspections every six months to avoid Industrial fire and explosion.




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