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How do you make your warehouse (more) fire safe? Read on for a brief checklist

Klaas Vandamme - Profile
written by Klaas Vandamme
Published on:
Future logisticsImpact by responsibility
Safety & security

We all know that a fire-safe building is of vital importance. Yet it is not self-evident, and certainly not in warehouses. A lot can go wrong in such a warehouse with hundreds of products. You have to follow a long list of rules and guidelines, and keep them in mind constantly. Our checklist will get you started, so there are no nasty surprises.

Neat and tidy

If you keep everything neat and tidy, you will avoid many of the problems and dangers. What can you do in practice? Do not stack packaging, pallets and cardboard boxes on top of each other. Sort your waste and residual materials and dispose of them regularly. Store flammable products in secured cabinets or rooms. And finally: keep the work floor and surroundings clean and tidy, so that (evacuation) passages also remain free.

Efficient pump room

The pump room is exclusively for your sprinkler system and its components (pump sets with fuel supply, controllers, flow meter, jockey pump, heating elements, alarm system, spare sprinklers, any control points…). Remove all other objects from the room. Also, do not stack any flammable goods within a ten-metre zone around the pump room. Every week, you must perform various obligatory tests, such as checking the pressure levels, the position of all valves and the liquid levels. The temperature in the pump room must also be at least 10 °C at all times.

Monthly water tank check

Checking your water tank every month is an absolute must. First of all, check that there is no damage or leakage, e.g. from hail, a collision or corrosion. Also check for vegetation or flammable material on and around the tank — if so, remove it immediately. Does the level measurement still work perfectly? And finally, check whether the identification plate is still on the tank.

No open top combustible containers on top of each other

Block or rack stacking of so-called open top combustible containers’ is not permitted in combination with a sprinkler system. You can solve this simply by placing the containers only on the lower (ground) level. Do you have a stack of open-top combustible containers? Then you can close the top container — provided that all containers are the same size and you can stack them exactly one under the other.

Adjusting Smoke and Heat extractors

Smoke and heat extractors (RWAs in Dutch) remove the smoke from the building effectively in the event of a fire, so that those present have a smoke-free escape route. These extractors are often equipped with an automatic control that activates them at 68 °C or when smoke is detected. Because most sprinkler systems are also activated at 68 °C, we recommend raising the activation temperature of the smoke and heat extractors to 181 °C or allowing them to open only once the sprinkler alarm has been reported. The installations will then not interfere with one another.

Fire safety manual

More advice on how to make your warehouse fire-safe? In our white paper you can read everything you need to know.

Download the free manual

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