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Identifying Fire Safety Hazards in Your Warehouse – Prevention and Cure

Whether your warehouse is custom built, a basement, multi-storey, commercial, industrial, or compact – Part of your responsibility is to ensure the fire safety of the building and its people and contents. Read on to find out more about going beyond compliance to ensure an efficient and safe warehouse.

Storage of products

A well organised and tidy warehouse can significantly impact the safety of your employees and product. Organised storage not only allows ease of access and clear display of product, but also prevents clutter and mess which can cause a fire hazard. On top of this, an organised warehouse also enables ease of exit should an evacuation be necessary.

The height at which you store products should also be regulated, as fire sprinklers will need to distribute water evenly should smoke be detected in the warehouse. Items stored too high will inhibit the effectiveness of sprinklers. A line should be clearly drawn on your warehouse walls where not to store product above. Storing your products too high can also put them close to light sources which can cause fires.

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Chemical safety

Storing chemicals correctly is one of the most important aspects of fire safety. Store the wrong chemicals side by side and you’ll tempt fate, and store something at the wrong temperature and you could cause an explosion and fire.

Your warehouse racking designs will need to consider ventilation spots, catchment basins, fire walls and doors, as well as safe zones for loading, packing, and unloading.

Create a stable environment for your chemicals with temperature control and lighting control too. Many fires start due to exposure, making preventing high temperatures and bright direct light vital.

Refer to Product Safety Sheets for the chemicals you are storing to ensure compliance with storage needs and restrictions.

General fire safety

Every single warehouse should have smoke detectors installed, as well as an automatic fire safety sprinkler system. Your warehouse, depending on size may also be subject to compartmentation regulations.

You’ll need fire extinguishers present per section of the warehouse and per type of fire that could occur, as well as other fire safety equipment such as fire blankets and fire hose reels.

You may also be required to install other fire safety elements such as electrical fire alarms, exit lighting, voice communication systems, a fireman’s lift and emergency power supplies.

Every single warehouse facility should have clearly marked exit signage and fire evacuation routes and muster points which are practised and made known to all staff and visitors on arrival. You may also need to train fire wardens on your premises.

Ensure to refer to your state and industry guidelines and Fire Code on storage of chemicals and fire safety for more information.

Remember, just because you have a sprinkler system installed doesn’t mean your fire safety is up to scratch. Protect your product, assets, your building and your people by going above the basics. Store your items correctly and you’ll help to reduce the risks of fire in your warehouse.

For more information on storage solutions for your warehouse or to talk to a racking specialist, contact us at Erect-a-rack today on 1300 788 916.

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