Are Personal or In-Office Shredders Dangerous?

It’s no secret that small paper shredders are inefficient, but did you know that personal and in-office shredders can actually be incredibly dangerous? It’s true! These DIY shredders can present fire hazards that can put you, your business, and your employees at risk. We put together some examples of times when personal shredders have been the cause of fires.

April  22, 2006

A problem with a paper shredder is believed to be the cause of a fire that damaged a home on West State Street Thursday night.

September 22, 2010

Oklahoma City firefighters responded to a commercial fire alarm Wednesday morning. They said paper inside a shredder caught on fire.

April 2, 2012

A paper shredder reportedly was responsible for a small fire Monday on the second floor of the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center that forced an evacuation of the building early Monday morning.

August 24, 2012

Fire was caused by paper shredder in Steely Library. The buildings were evacuated because of the large amount of smoke the shredder fire created.

May 04, 2014

A fire in a paper shredder ended up spreading to a recycling container, causing the evacuation of a Scio Township building Sunday afternoon. The Scio Township fire chief said the fire started in a paper shredder in the facility’s Dock A. The fire then went through piping above the roof of the building and back down into the facility.

November 25, 2017

No one injured in Marshall County, KY house fire. Investigators told the homeowner they believe a plugged-in paper shredder was the cause of the fire.

January 4, 2018

Paper shredder fire leads to evacuation at office complex. The fire is believed to have started in a paper shredder in the server room. Firefighters from Birstall and Western station donned breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze.

You can eliminate the dangers associated with small shredders hire a professional shredding service so you never have to worry.

There are many ways that small shredders used in an office or at home can become fire hazards.

  • Paper going through a small shredder creates friction and lots of heat. The heat can cause the paper to catch fire.
  • When you shred paper it creates dust. That dust is flammable and with the heat created by the blades of the shredder it can cause an explosion.
  • A piece of paper jammed in a shredder can cause the shredder motor to overheat and cause a fire.
  • Shredders left plugged in could cause the motor to overheat and cause a file.
  • Small shredders have automatic settings. These automatic settings can malfunction and begin running. This could overheat the motor and cause a fire.

Small shredders aren’t made to destroy a large volume of paper at one time. If a small shredder is overburdened because it’s being used to destroy much more paper than it was designed for there’s a greater chance that it will overheat and possibly cause a fire. It’s not worth taking a chance when you have an easier alternative.

It’s critical that personal files and business records are regularly shredded to keep confidential information out of the hands of identity thieves and corporate espionage spies. The safest way to accomplish that is with a professional onsite document destruction service. If you only need a shredding service occasionally, you can have the service provider come just when you need them. For ongoing needs, a professional shredding service will provide you with security containers for you to dispose of your papers. Then they’ll visit on a regular schedule, empty the containers, and destroy the contents. It’s easier, safer, and more convenient.

FileShred is a local document shredding company that services the document destruction needs of residents and businesses in Connecticut and the Springfield, Massachusetts area. Need help with securely destroying confidential records give us a call or visit our website at