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Commercial building fire safety advice during a heatwave

During July 2022, the UK experienced a rise in air temperature that broke all previous records. On Tuesday 20 July, temperatures reached an all-time high of 40C and there were several instances where fires broke out due to spontaneous combustion. This means that the fire has started simply due to the heat of the sun being focused on a specific area such that a fire has ignited.

The devastation caused by these fires was extensive with catastrophic damage caused as they spread really quickly to adjacent houses, businesses, agricultural and grasslands.

Experts believe that these heatwaves are the result of global warming and that the UK will continue to experience similar temperatures. With this in mind, we thought it prudent to provide a reminder about the importance of carrying out regular fire safety checks, staff training and risk assessments.

Whilst not an exhaustive list, the following examples may also help to protect your business from instances of spontaneous combustion.


  • Be wary of magazines on tables in reception areas that are in front of glass windows
  • Ensure there are no glass vases on window sills that could reflect a beam of the sun onto combustible materials.
  • Be wary of any mirrors and how the sun might reflect off them onto combustible materials.
  • Ensure all staff are made aware of these risks and remind them not to leave reflective materials like glasses or mirrors on their desks where sunlight might shine on them.
  • Be more wary of manufacturing processes that emit sparks.
  • Consider a no-smoking policy at all times.


  • Ensure anywhere glass or other reflective materials are stored are well covered and cannot be left exposed
  • Be wary of any materials that may heat to the point of ignition if left in the sun, such as food waste, grass cuttings etc
  • Be extra vigilant for signs of smoke coming from adjacent properties and land

Tecserv UK is renowned for being a highly successful fire protection, alarm and CCTV installation and maintenance company. If you would like advice on how to protect your people, processes or property from fire, theft or other damage please get in touch.


Colin Milligan

Colin joined Tecserv UK Ltd in 2010. He has been in the fire and security industry for 30 years + and in that time has held a number of senior positions. His experience helps to bring focus and growth to our sales and marketing strategy by being objective driven and KPI measured.

Posted on: 22 July 2022
Last updated: 25 July 2022
Posted in: Advice
Author: Colin Milligan