They may not occur every day, but the danger of a warehouse fire is persistent. Protecting your business, and especially your employees and inventory, in the event of a fire is more than a matter of having the right insurance coverage or a well-planned evacuation procedure.
The Danger of a Warehouse Fire
Between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments received over 1,200 reports of warehouse fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “warehouse fires are associated with higher than average property losses” than in any other type of occupancy. And that isn’t counting losses from the interruption to regular operations, clean-up, and other unforeseen expenses as you recover.
What Contributes to a Warehouse Fire
While a small percentage of warehouse structural fires are intentionally set, many of them are the result of circumstances that are very preventable. Several factors can contribute to a warehouse fire and how much damage it can cause, including:
- Out of date electrical work
- Worn or broken electrical components and wiring
- Damage from rodents or other pests
- Cluttered racks, aisles, or flue spaces
- Unsecured or incorrectly secured racks
- Poor ventilation
- Inefficient fire suppression measures
- Improper storage of flammable or combustible material
By addressing these issues, you can take steps to ensure that you’re providing as safe an environment as possible. Therefore, you’ll reduce the danger of a warehouse fire, along with the extent of damage it can cause in your facility.
Protect Your Racks (and What’s on Them)
In a fire, insufficient flue space between racks can keep heat from rising quickly enough to reach and activate any overhead sprinklers. National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Code 13 thoroughly explains the importance of these overhead sprinklers. (Note: NFPA Code 230 includes important rack storage safety information as well.)
In addition to adding possible fuel for the flames, the delay can mean that the fire progresses beyond the ability to keep it contained. A larger, uncontrolled fire means greater damage to your inventory and risk of injury and death to your workers.
If the unthinkable does happen, clear aisles and flue spaces – and appropriately secured inventory – can help minimize the danger. Keep transverse and longitudinal flue space clear by implementing proven safety solutions like rack safety straps and industrial safety netting. You can’t safeguard against all fires, but you can take steps to create as safe a space as possible.
Adrian’s Safety Solutions provides high quality, thoroughly tested, and well-crafted products designed to keep your facility safer. Whether it’s protecting against the dangers of a warehouse fire or keeping cargo safe on the road, we can help. Request your free sample to try one of our pallet rack safety straps for yourself.