Warehouse fire safety tips

A fire in a warehouse or industrial unit can be absolutely devastating for businesses, often resulting in closure for smaller companies that don’t have additional options to keep production and/or packing going in other locations.

The reason that warehouses within commercial sectors often fall victim to fires is because they often contain flammable goods such boxes and pallets usually situated within close proximity across a large area, which unfortunately means that a small fire can quickly escalate, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage even from an initially small fire.

The structural “shell” of a building can also be to blame for failing to prevent an outbreak of fire, with buildings that lack basic essential flame retardants and intumescent coatings being particularly vulnerable to devastation should a fire take hold.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment

Fire Safety Risk Assessments need to be carried out by law if a company has 5 or more employees, which is subsequently an essential step for every commercial business. We recommend employing a professional company that specialises in fire risk assessments to ensure that all requirements are met. These services include the checking of fire alarm systems and gas suppression, electrical testing, fire extinguisher/sprinkler checks, as well as training (and handbooks) for staff. It is also really important that access to the warehouse is available 24/7, as a blocked entrance can be the difference between a fire being distinguished promptly or it escalating out of control due to the fire services inability to get past an obstruction.

Liaising With Local Fire Service

Liaise with your local fire service just to “touch base” and make them aware of any combustible materials (as well as asbestos and water supplies) that are based on-site. It is good to have a chat about safety protocols and build a good working relationship with fire safety experts in your region, and what better place to start than your local fire service? Of course, if a fire does break out, then all management and employees should be able to provide the fire service with “inside knowledge” to assist the fire-fighting team in dealing with the fire quickly and effectively.

With these steps, you should be equipped to deal with fire and hopefully prevent a fire from starting. Otherwise, this information will be useful in helping you keep the damage to a minimum – it may save your business or even save lives.