10 Ways to Prevent Fire in Warehouses & Factories
Fire safety in all buildings is important, but when it comes to fire safety in factories and warehouses, there is a risk not only to lives but also to a business’ main assets. Whether it’s machinery or stock, even a small fire could impact these elements of a business with catastrophic impact on revenue and productivity.
Fires can start for any number of reasons, but some of the common causes of fire in such spaces include arson, electrical faults, improper use of heating equipment, spillages and hazardous stock or materials used, while kitchens and break rooms also present an increased risk. You can find out more about some of the common causes of fires in factories in our previous piece covering the topic.
To help you consider how you can prevent fire, as is your duty in line with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, we’ve collated ten tips for you here at City Fire Protection. If you’d like to learn more about fire safety for your premises, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.
10 Fire Prevention Tips
1. Fire Risk Assessments
Fire risk assessments should be carried out regularly, or when any major changes occur to your premises, providing you with an overview of hazards, people at risk, training required and how to reduce risks.
Related: What is a Fire Risk Assessment?
2. PAT Testing
All portable electrical equipment should be in good condition and suitable to use. PAT testing helps you identify any potential dangers so you can resolve them before they cause any damage.
3. Regular Maintenance of Equipment
From simple machinery to forklifts, regular maintenance on all equipment will allow you to spot faults and thereby prevent a fire.
4. Fire Extinguishers
Integral to any fire safety plan, you should have the right extinguisher class, in good working order, to meet the unique hazards posed in your warehouse or factory. It’s a good idea to have staff training too, so they feel confident in choosing the right extinguisher when tackling any small fires.
5. Fire Alarms
An effective way of alerting people to a fire to protect lives and help to locate the source of a fire in larger buildings, fire alarms can be tailored to your building’s layout.
6. Fire Doors
Not only do fire doors help to slow the spread of fire and smoke, but they also protect key evacuation routes. Different resistance times are available based on your building.
7. Fire Signage
Photoluminescent signs help to highlight dangers, provide instruction and give directions concerning fire safety, providing greater awareness for those working in your warehouse or factory.
8. Fire Warden Training
You should always have nominated, competent persons in your business to implement fire safety, and fire warden training is a great way to give them the knowledge and skills to carry this role out properly per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
9. Sprinkler Systems
There are a variety of sprinkler systems you can deploy in your business to meet the specific risks you have, but all types can help to manage a blaze should the worst happen.
10. Emergency Lighting
In any emergency, but especially when a fire compromises your building, emergency lighting can kick in to illuminate safe exit routes, helping to save lives.
Preventing Fire in a Warehouse
Since warehouses are most commonly used to hold stock, it’s a good idea to constantly review your fire prevention measures based on what your building contains. This can include selecting the right fire extinguishers based on the type of materials you’re most likely to keep – water fire extinguishers, for example, can only be used on organic materials such as woods, paper and textiles.
Given that arson is one of the biggest causes of fires for business premises, not only should you ensure you’re on top of all your fire safety duties, but you should also pay special attention to site security. This is because arson is often the result of opportunist vandalism as opposed to planned attacks.
Preventing Fire in a Factory
Anything mechanical or electrical in a factory poses a risk of fire, and that’s why regular maintenance, testing and training is important. Misuse can also lead to fires, so best practices should be upheld to prevent factory fires.
If your factory has a kitchenette or canteen attached, make sure cooking equipment is also maintained and switched off when not in use.
Any substances or materials that could be flammable or act as a fuel source for a fire should be safely secured and stored away from any potential ignition sources.
As with warehouses, factories should have the right fire extinguishers to hand to tackle the specific risks – a fire extinguisher for an electrical fire may not be right for a kitchen fire. Similarly, arson holds a threat for all business, so be sure you are on top of security for your premises to avoid giving vandals the opportunity to start a fire.
At City Fire Protection, we provide a whole range of services to help with factory fire prevention and warehouse fire prevention. For everything from PAT testing to fire risk assessments, protect your people and your business by contacting our professional team today.