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Fires can easily spread in warehouses if you do not take the necessary precautions beforehand. Several factors can contribute to the ignition of a flame but knowing the best ways to prevent fires in your warehouse can eliminate the threat or mitigate the potential damage it causes. Be aware of your current processes and audit how you can improve them for future safety.
Know Your Inventory
One of the most dangerous items you can have in your warehouse is the inventory itself. Depending on what you typically store, your inventory can prove dangerous in any number of ways. For this reason, you need to be keenly aware of what comes in and what goes out, and whether certain items are safe to store together in close proximity.
Ensure that all chemicals are stored separately and safely away from one another; the greater the separation, the less likely they are to interact. Also, consider alerting your local fire department when you intake chemicals and items that can prove a fire risk; knowledge of how a fire starts can inform firefighters on how to best handle the blaze and any secondary risks.
Provide Adequate Flue Space
If there is a fire, the best feature your warehouse can have is proper flue space; while not preventing a fire from happening, it can prevent a fire from spreading out of control. Flue space acts as a pathway for the smoke and hot air to travel upwards, setting off the sprinkler and alarm system. This allows employees to know that there is imminent danger, and flue space can act as a way for water to travel downwards to extinguish the fire.
Don’t Block Flue Space
Every warehouse manager needs to understand the importance of flue space and how to maximize its effects. Blocking these spaces can result in catastrophic situations where hot air cannot travel up, thus not setting off alarms, and can prevent water from traveling down, stopping it from putting out the fires.
Controlling the temperature in a warehouse can be difficult due to its large size, which makes the use of space heaters appealing to workers during the colder months. But these space heaters can be a common cause of fire outbreaks in facilities if they are not regulated.
Eliminate Individual Heaters
Heaters left unattended, forgotten, or plugged into faulty wiring can set fire to an area and quickly spread. Limit the usage of these heaters and provide your own if the need arises. That way, you can guarantee the quality and safety of heaters.
Preventing fires in your warehouse should be your top priority; the damage it can cause can be disastrous, resulting in serious injury or death. Take the steps beforehand to ensure that your facility has the best chance possible to stop fires before they happen or, at the very least, has the capability to stop fires from spreading.