What are the most common causes of warehouse fires?

21 October 2022

A modern day, busy warehouse is rife with potential fire risks and hazards. No matter what sector your warehouse operates in, such as logistics, storage or manufacturing, it’s vital to do everything you can to minimise fire risks as much as you can. To help you do just that, we’ve compiled the most common causes of fires in warehouses and what you can do to minimise those hazards.

Electrical equipment and lighting

Many warehouse fires begin with faulty electrical equipment, exposed wires or lighting problems. The best way to prevent a fire from starting is to have a carefully followed monitoring system to repair any problems before they start a blaze. This means ensuring each component of lighting sources and electrical equipment is regularly checked and maintained, with the results recorded and monitored for regular inspection. Any faulty equipment should either be removed and replaced, or removed and repaired.

Rubbish and waste

A busy warehouse by nature will generate a substantial amount of rubbish and waste and this is a common cause of warehouse fires. Often containing combustible materials, rubbish and packaging materials need to be situated far away from any possible open flames or unmonitored heat sources to minimise the risk of fire.

Heating

Warehouses often contain large open spaces for employees to work within which makes heating equipment common within warehouses across the country – especially in the colder months. However, having old systems in place, having these heating systems situated poorly, and negligent behaviour all pose a serious fire risk and all have the potential to result in a life-threatening fire. Having a suitable fire sprinkler system installed can mean the difference between disaster, and creating enough time for a successful evacuation plan to be carried out.

Combustible materials

Warehouses that store, transport or manufacture combustible materials are at greater risk of a fire occurring. Combustible materials are a key source of workplace fires, and steps should be taken to ensure this particular risk is minimised. Up to date and thorough training of employees to ensure guidelines are followed, and no risks are taken when moving or handling these liquids is essential as well as adequate fire suppression features.

Warehouse fire risk assessments

Conducting regular and thorough warehouse fire risk assessments is the best way to minimise the risk of fire within your workplace. In these live and active environments, fire risk assessments need to be accurate, up to date and thorough to ensure the highest standards in fire safety and to minimise risks.

When conducting your warehouse fire risk assessment, the specific function of the spaces should always be taken into consideration. This is where our bespoke fire risk assessments can help. Our BAFE approved fire risk assessments allow you to create bespoke templates that are unique to your space meaning you’re never stuck trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. You can create reports and assessments tailored solely to your needs letting you spend less time on reporting and more time getting your job done.  

Contact us at Total Fire group for help with your next warehouse fire risk assessment.

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