Common Causes of Warehouse Fires

Common Causes of Warehouse Fires
  • Opening Intro -

    A sudden fire in the warehouse will immediately put workers at risk and, depending on the severity of the fire and the safety measures involved, can result in a total loss of inventory.

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Fire is one of several warehouse safety risks but can be the most devastating. These situations are typically caused by several circumstances in warehouses and being aware of the common causes of warehouse fires will give you the knowledge to better avoid them in the future. 

Arson

It is estimated that nearly 18 percent of all warehouse fires are started intentionally. The reasons for this crime can vary, from simple petty crime to intentional insurance fraud, and very little can be done to proactively prevent this type of fire.

However, safety protocols can be put into place to make sure workers are able to leave the facility in a safe manner, and sprinkler systems can be installed to mitigate the damages.

Fires Caused By Electrical Distribution

Problems with electrical wiring and the flow of electricity through circuits are the second leading cause of warehouse fires.

Faulty wiring, electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, and generally any piece of equipment can run the risk of catching fire if the electricity does not flow properly.

Checking to see if wires are frayed and replacing faulty outlets and light fixtures will go a long way in decreasing the chance of a fire.

Spare No Expense

It will cost money to inspect and replace old, defective wiring, but the alleviated risk that comes with replacement is worth the expense. A repair that costs a few hundred dollars can save your warehouse a lot of money in the future.

Heating Equipment

During winter, a warehouse can become very cold and it will take a lot of heating equipment to make sure that it is a suitable working temperature. Heating-equipment-related fires account for about eight percent of all warehouse fires. A few heating sources that can present hazards are:

  • Space heater
  • Boiler fire
  • Confined chimney
  • Flue fire
  • Central heating system

Be aware of the heating systems used by workers to keep warm in the warehouse. Space heaters are prone to be the cause of many fires. Make sure that workers turn off and unplug heaters before leaving their workstation.  

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Preventative Measures

While you may not be able to preempt every scenario when it comes to warehouse fires, you can still prepare your warehouse to minimize the damage done and the severity of the fire.

Having readily available fire extinguishers in clearly marked areas will give workers the opportunity to eliminate fires before they have a chance to spread. Hiring professionals to perform a periodic safety assessment can also identify the common causes of warehouse fires before they become hazardous.

Image Credit: common causes of warehouse fires by twenty20.com

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