Proper fire protection implementations are necessary to keep your inventory and your employees safe. The law also requires them. However, it may not always be obvious which products are right for you. Here’s our guide to help you choose the right fire protection products for your warehouse.
Consider all the regulations
The Top 5 Things to Know About Warehouse Fire Sprinkler Codes is one of our recent posts. As you can imagine, some of the weightiest things on this list include national, international, and local rules and regulations.
National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) regulations
NFPA 13 is a design standard for the installation of sprinkler systems within a building, including pipe diameters and distances between sprinkler heads. However, NFPA requirements differ slightly depending on how many people are typically present in a given facility. Here are some more specifics on sprinkler history, design, types, and uses.
International Fire Code (IFC) requirements, in brief, are regulations to safeguard life and property from fires and explosion hazards. IFC defines facilities that to store non-hazardous products as storage occupancies, whereas structures that house hazardous products are instead classified as Group H, high-hazard. Furthermore, storage occupancies are divided into Group S-1 and Group S-2 facilities.
Though national and international regulations are pretty much standard, local regulations vary from place-to-place. Don’t let a minor stipulation trip you up.
- Know what local law and model codes require in terms of protection.
- Vet and hire a qualified fire safety contractor to install or retrofit what you need.
- Utilize an inspection, testing, and maintenance contractor and/or designated personnel to maintain any systems according to model codes and local regulations.
Helping your sprinklers help you
Implementing a flawless sprinkler infrastructure that follows all the above regulations to a “T” is one thing, but how else can you help your sprinklers help you? Actually, the best ways coincide with maintaining an organized, well-functioning facility.
Keep products tidy and out of the way
If you don’t have the time or money to overhaul your storage racks, don’t worry. Our warehouse safety solutions work in a variety of situations and are affordable and easy to install.
- Do you have loose, small items in your racks? Consider our Modular Pallet Rack Safety Netting that can be overlapped to cover multiple bays, right out of the box.
- Are your items shrink-wrapped and palletized? Consider our Fixed Rack Safety Net or Rack Safety Strap. Rack safety straps can create cordoned-off areas to clearly define socially distanced work areas.
- Do you operate a fulfillment center with pick-and-pack operations? Consider our Sliding Rack Safety Net. This cuts down on the time your employees need to spend at the racks searching and retrieving products.
- Finally, are you concerned about improper forklift operation? Consider the Rack Safety Strap – we recommend two to three per bay.
Mind your flue spaces
Granted, properly wrangling your product with organization or options from Adrian’s should keep your flue spaces clear. However, it may not hurt to specifically evaluate any flue areas in your facility from time to time, either transverse or longitudinal. And as always, review important flue space requirements for pallet racking.
Fire protection in automated warehouses
Have you been able to implement some automation? How have you accommodated these adjustments with further fire protection products for your warehouse? While integrating AI and warehouse safety is possible, sometimes it requires some give and take.
For example, automated warehouses often have smaller aisle sizes and space between racks. This is because robotic product movers are more agile than their human counterparts. Furthermore, materials storing products may be made of sturdier materials that burn hotter, like plastics instead of cardboard. Here are some additional safety considerations for warehouses with automation.