Warehouse distribution safety managers have a lot on their plates. In many cases, they’re responsible for juggling multiple sites at once and it becomes easy for certain things to get put on the back burner – especially with regards to things like a facility’s fire protection needs. If you’re someone who’s having a hard time finding ways to make fire safety a priority, or simply just seeking the correct place to start, then today’s blog is for you!
Here are some common warehouse fire risks to be aware of and some things that you and your team can do to help mitigate the risk. Let’s jump right in!
Common Causes of Warehouse Fires
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) releases a study every five years that documents the last few years in fire hazards. One of the pieces they release is about structure fires in warehouse properties.
In the past five years, fire departments responded to an average of 1,210 warehouse fires per year – to the tune of about $155 million in direct property damage as well as 19 civilians injured and three deaths. 220 of those were intentional fires and those fires were also the most destructive. The next few, in order – included:
- Electrical (18%)
- Trash and or waste (170 fire per year)
- Heating/heated equipment (90 fires for $5 million in damage)
- Combustible/flammable liquids and materials (6% of fires)
- Cigarette-related fires (60 fires for $17 million in damage per year)
Whenever you are putting together a fire safety plan for your distribution center – keep in mind that these are your biggest areas of risk.
What Can I Do To Prevent These Fires?
Most warehouses are large spaces with extremely high ceilings, lots of square footage, and racks upon racks packed sky-high in both open and closed containers. Managing this space can be challenging, but there are some things you can do, including:
- Making sure you have the correct fire safety equipment for your space and the contents of your space
- Making sure you have a regularly maintained and inspected fire sprinkler system
- Making sure life safety systems are up to date and fully functioning
- Training employees on fire safety and how to prevent common warehouse dangers.
Who Can Help You?
The list we just provided you with is a good place to start, but sometimes trying to determine priorities can be difficult. That’s where companies like ours come into play. We can not only help you address a lot of these issues, but we can work with your staff with regards to training, ensuring that you’re compliant with local regulatory codes and that your fire safety systems are in good, working order.
To learn more about how we can make your warehouse or distribution center a safer place, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Good luck!