Warehouse fires have been a hot topic of conversation recently, with a large fire devastating a warehouse on White Hart Lane and residents being evacuated in North West London following a huge blaze in the same month.
Fortunately, in both cases, the blazes were controlled (by a total of 190 firefighters!) without any injuries.Warehouse fires are devastating for business, not only destroying stock and causing long downtime but also putting employees at risk. To help ensure fire is not a risk in your warehouse, take a look at our 5 step fire safety checklist.
Not only can overloaded pallet racking cause damage to your system, it can also pose a serious fire hazard. With more stock to burn through in a condensed space, overloaded pallet racking can be the difference between controlling a fire and letting it spread to the rest of your warehouse.
Ensure that you stick to racking weight limits and don’t overload – instead, find ways to maximise space in your warehouse, invest in racking that is designed to make the most of your space and consider a mezzanine flooring system to create extra storage space.
Proper training of staff is key to making sure procedure works. Staff need to be aware of fire risks and how to control them, consider these steps to ensuring this:
In both warehouse fire incidents during September, gas cylinders were on site. Whilst it is not noted where these were stored – the chances of them catching would have been significantly reduced if they were stored off-site in a gas cylinder cage.
Assessing your inventory will not only help you reduce the risk of fire, but also assist firefighters should there be one. Take note of any high-risk areas where flammable material is stored in abundance; it’s worth having a special fire prevention procedure and additional safeguards (sprinkler system, fire extinguishers and sensitive alarms) for these areas.
In addition to your inventory, ensuring your machinery is properly maintained is essential for staying compliant and preventing fires. For any moving machinery, a mesh machine guard or cage can prevent physical injuries as well as offering protection against welding flare.
In 2016, a bin fire caused over $200,000 of damage to a warehouse in Toronto, how easy would this have been to prevent?
Having an abundance of rubbish stored in bins outside your site can make you a target for arsonists and vandals, follow these steps to ensuring rubbish doesn’t become a fire risk:
Before you lock up for the night, carry out an end of day inspection to ensure there is nothing that could cause a fire in the night – ask yourself these questions:
If your warehouse operates on a 24-hour basis, you may choose to carry out the end of day inspection between shift patterns.
What other measures do you have in place to prevent fires in your warehouse? We’d love to hear them. Don’t let it be a lack of space become a risk in your warehouse, give us a call on 0117 955 5211 to talk to one of our experts about space saving racking solutions and mezzanine flooring.