Warehouse Fire Safety - An Information Bulletin

Fires in warehouses are a common occurrence, often causing widespread damage and resulting in serious business interruption. For many years arson/malicious ignition has been by far the leading known cause of fires in commercial and industrial premises, followed by fires of electrical origin.

Fire Safety Legislation

Fundamental to fire safety is the need to ensure that an effective risk assessment is undertaken in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and similar regulations applying to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Where flammable liquids, gases or other dangerous materials are stored, a risk assessment should also be conducted in compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR).

Hot Work and Contractors’ Operations

Suitable management controls should be exercised over all contractors’ operations. Particular care should be taken with hot work such as welding, flame cutting, use of bitumen boilers and similar activities, for which an effective Permit to Work system should be employed.

Fork-Lift Truck Charging

Ideally, charging should be conducted in a separate fire compartment of a minimum 60 minutes fire rating or a separate detached building. Otherwise charging should be conducted in a designated area with a clear space of at least 2m around the charging equipment and the truck undergoing charge. Barrier rails or prominent floor markings to delineate the required clearance should be provided.

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