- The possibility of fire burning undetected for a considerable amount of time;
- Distance from water, and
- Distance from the nearest fire brigade.
Location in the country side is a hazard because most country sides have the following characteristics:
- There is no water supply available;
- The speed with which fire fighters can attend is almost nil.
- There is the ever-present possibility of grass or bush fires particularly in times of drought.
- The possible causes of fire are numerous and may include:
Lighted cigarette ends or matches thrown carelessly or maliciously on dry vegetation.
Sun’s rays focused through a broken bottle /glass will cause of fire.
The Size of the Premises:
Size of the premises has a bearing on both inception and propagation risks. The size of the premises may be looked at from two facets as follows:
- The actual physical size: Control and extinguishment of fire is limited by the size of a building even by the most efficient fire fighters, having available the best apparatus and water supplies.
- The unit value of property in the buildings: Unit value of property in the building is a factor under the size of the premises risk. Two buildings may be of equal size, but the contents in one may be of greater value than the other.
The number of employees
The number of employees may indicate the amount of work done, the quantity of materials passing through the factory, and consequently the quantity of plant and machinery, materials, work in progress, and stock present at any one time. For example, ten woodworkers are more hazardous than a single woodworker because they handle more wood, create more litter, and produce more goods. The numbers proportionately increase the human risks and moral hazards. These human risks include carelessness, disobedience, neglect or other forms of human failure , which increases proportionately with the number of people employed.
Number of machines
The number of machines is a fair measure of fire hazard. This is because the machines:
- Create readily combustible waste
- Give rise to conditions favoring a fire.
- Can cause fires through misfiring
An example is wood working machinery where the accumulation of fire risks is in direct proportion to the number of machines.
Moral hazard is intangible, and brings into focus the human factors namely carelessness, disobedience and attitude into risk assessment. Moral hazards occur when the property owner, his household or his employees behave in a way that may make the property vulnerable to a fire occurrence.
Two types of behavior patterns can be noted.
- Before the event moral hazard;
- After the event, moral hazard.
Before the event moral hazard is a situation where the property owner behaves in a risky manner, which may lead to the occurrences of a fire incidents. For example, one may tend to be less careful about preventing fires and say smoke in bed, throwing lighted cigarette butts carelessly or neglecting to replace batteries in fire alarms, and neglecting to keep the firefighting appliances in good working order.
After the event (ex-post) moral hazard is portrayed where the property owner is careless during a fire occurrence and deliberately refuses to take measures to stop the fire. For example, not alerting the fire brigade immediately the fire is noticed.