In the last few years, the size and the number of warehouses have dramatically increased, particularly in the locations associated with primary transport hubs and adjacent to the motorway junctions. Materials which are stored in these buildings range from engineering products to CDs, small electronic items and more. The extensive array of stock and activities undertaken in these warehouses can include examples such as charging electric vehicles or heated-shrink wrapping along with the combined vehicle movement numbers present a number of opportunities for an incident to occur when there is an absence of a thorough fire-safety management schedule..
Even though incidences related to fires when it comes to warehouses is typically low. The volume associated with combustible materials and the actual size of a building can result in most of these fires becoming a major conflagration which can pose a challenge for rescue and fire services. This can result in a property loss on a significant scale and a disruption to the continuity of the business.
It is very important to know that in most warehouses products which are stored and how they are stored, along with the risks linked to fire hazards, can drastically change in a very short time frame and therefore the process of fire risk assessments have to be ongoing activities. This ensures that any changes to fire risks overall are identified correctly in order for the strategy of fire safety to be altered when necessary.
Emphasis and attention should be placed on the common activities which are commonly carried out in the existing warehouses.
1. Compliance With Fire Safety Legislation
A) Installation of fire sprinklers or other types of permanent and fixed systems that are designed to suppress fires.
B) A physical segregation of a warehouse from the manufacturing areas to any other areas where operations are typically carried out.
C) The staff needs training on the actions that need to be taken if a fire breaks out, which includes how to safely shut down conveyors or any other similar equipment which is used in this area, and how to safely evacuate the premises.
A) The warehouse premises need to be maintained in an orderly and clean condition all the time and waste or goods materials should be kept away from clear designated areas and in the aisles.
B) Combustible packaging material stocks in open warehouses need to be kept low, and bulk supplies are better stored in separate fire compartments or separate buildings.
3. Fire Safety Management
A) A liaison needs to be established in the planning stages with fire-and-rescue services, which is especially important when the planned storage involves high levels. These services will come out and inspect the site to determine the extent and location of a water supply in the area. They will also require the details of an automatic fire-suppression system or water sprinklers which will be installed.
B) Benefits associated with a fire-safety management system that is comprehensive combined with the correct safety procedures along with extensive staff training which has been embraced and observed by every staff member cannot be emphasised enough.
4. Staff Training And Procedures
A) The right procedures involved in raising an alarm and alerting fire-and-rescue services needs to be established as well as form an essential portion of fire-safety training for the staff who work in the warehouse.
B) Periodic and induction refresher courses on training need to be offered on how to use fire extinguishers along with procedures that need to be followed on discovering the fire and how to respond to the fire alarm.
5. Lift Trucks
The lift trucks come in many styles and are used commonly in various warehouse operations. These trucks are usually powered by diesel, petrol, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), batteries or fuel, which all pose fire risks. The correct training needs to provided on how staff should be operating these vehicles.
Every truck needs to be designed n a way that is safe to use in hazardous zones which are identified in a warehouse due to the DSEAR assessment.