Warehouses and distribution centres should never be taken for granted as both facilities play a huge role in ensuring the smooth functioning of operating businesses. In this article, we’ll explore the fire risks associated with the two important facilities.
Without further ado, let’s get right to the heart of the matter.
Common Fire Risks at Warehouses & Distribution Centres
1. Electrical & Lighting Fires
This category includes fires due to wiring, cables, cords, transformers, lighting, lights, related equipment, and other power sources. Electrical and lighting fires are the result of common fire safety mistakes and electrical code violations.
To prevent such fires, you must:
- Never leave electrical equipment unattended.
- Never leave anything plugged in when it’s not needed.
- Avoid using extension cords as permanent electrical solutions.
- Inspect all electrical and lighting devices.
- Remove flammable materials from outlets and other heat sources.
2. Trash & Rubbish Fires
It’s easy for warehouses and distribution centres to produce and accumulate waste, especially from unnecessary packaging. Without proper handling, the waste produced may lead to fires and result in workplace injuries. To avoid severe injuries, staff must undergo comprehensive fire safety training to prepare for imminent fire danger.
Here are some steps to minimise trash and rubbish fire risks:
- Dispose of trash and recyclable materials through proper channels.
- Eliminate excess trash to prevent it from piling up.
- Remove flammable materials from the trash.
- Ensure no doors and exits are blocked by rubbish.
3. Heating Equipment Fires
This particular type of fire is usually caused by a confined fuel burner or boiler, central heating, a clogged chimney or a damaged or blocked flue, as well as other heating equipment like heat sealers.
For heating equipment fires, it’s essential to:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using heating equipment.
- Assess and upgrade the building’s heating system.
- Perform routine maintenance and inspections on heating equipment.
- Designate specific areas with low fire risk for the usage of heating devices.
4. Exposure Fires
Exposure fires result from external exposures, such as trees, landscaping, dumpsters, and cigarette butt receptacles. These fires are dangerous as they might go unnoticed for a long time due to the fire’s location or lack of fire detection systems.
If you want to reduce the risks of exposure fires, you should:
- Practice safe and proper disposal of cigarette butts.
- Remove flammable materials from exterior electrical outlets and cords.
- Create safety signs in areas of concern and notify the building’s occupants.
5. Flammable & Combustible Liquid Fires
Flammable and combustible liquid poses one of the biggest risks for warehouses and distribution centres. This is because the two facilities are always packed with flammable materials, namely corrugated boxes and packaging materials.
Ways to mitigate the risks of flammable and combustible liquid fires:
- Ensure proper handling of all flammable and combustible materials.
- Store flammable and combustible liquid containers in an appropriate place.
How to Minimise Fire Risks?
Listed below are some helpful tips that you can apply to ensure the safety of warehouses and distribution centres.
- Confirm that you have appropriate fire protection equipment.
- Ensure all fire safety equipment, such as fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers, are in good shape and fit for use.
- Conduct planned preventative fire protection system assessments as per local codes.
- Get comprehensive fire safety training from a certified fire contractor.
Fire Risks Assessment & Inspection for Warehouses and Distribution Centres
At Palcon, we provide a number of fire safety services conveniently under one roof. Offering critical fire safety solutions for various industries, we also deliver fire safety design and fire risk assessment solutions for your building.