12 - Incidental Hazards

Incidental hazards are introduced by processes necessary to support 'core business activities'. Examples include kitchens for a staff restaurant, computer systems for internal human resource purposes, shrink wrapping and forklift battery charging in warehouses.

These incidental processes produce a high proportion of fires in industry, not just because of the hazards involved, but because they often do not get the same level of control (e.g. maintenance, inspection, operator training) that 'core processes' get.

What do we look for?

  • Ancillary business processes well segregated from storage or production areas and suitably ventilated.
  • Good housekeeping systems with regular checks to ensure that storage does not 'encroach' into the hazard area (e.g. near forklift truck battery charging areas).
  • Appropriate controls within kitchen areas including (e.g. emergency isolation of fuel, non-resetting temperature limit control on deep fat frying equipment, cleaning of hood filters and deep cleaning of extract ductwork; appropriate fire protection equipment including fixed fire protection systems where needed.

Risk improvement ideas

  • Segregate forklift truck charging areas from combustible materials and ensure appropriate fire extinguishing appliances are sited in an accessible location near the charging area.
  • Replace shrink wrap operations with cling wrap thus removing the need for application of heat.
  • Develop an appropriate checklist and undertake regular inspections to ensure that all ancillary and temporary processes are well controlled.
  • Include a review of potential hazards and protection needed when purchasing new equipment or designing new plant expansions or modifications.
  • Ensure kitchen and cooking operations are appropriately controlled and maintained, with emergency isolations, non-resetting temperature limit controls on deep fat frying equipment, cleaning of filters and extract ductwork and appropriate fire protection equipment.

Risk Topics


NFPA standards

  • NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
  • NFPA 505 Fire Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks Including Type Designations, Areas of Use, Conversions, Maintenance, and Operations