A GUIDELINE FOR RISK MINIMIZATION
FIRE PROTECTION FOR WAREHOUSES
FIRE PREVENTION IN WAREHOUSES
Fire risks and causes of fire in warehouses
According to a study by the German Insurance Association, more than one third of all industrial and commercial fires occur in warehouses. As such, fire prevention takes on special importance within the storage and logistics sector, and needs to play an important role in logistics centres and warehouses right from the planning stages. Most warehouse fires are caused by sparks emitted by overloaded electronic components, such as drive motors or high-back racking units.
Technical defects represent another fire hazard. The particular conditions in warehouses and logistics centres increase the risk that fires will spread rapidly: narrow alleys, high bay systems, long conveyor belts, a concentrated volume of goods within a tight space, and flammable packaging materials are all conducive to fire development. Fire protection takes on particularly great significance when storing small load carriers (SLC) or hazardous materials. In SLC storage, the fire behaviour of the plastic material used to make the SLCs creates additional risk. In hazardous materials storage, the mildly to highly flammable substances stored here must be specially protected due to the explosion hazards fires would create.
The significance of fire protection in storage and logistics
Protecting operating processes and maintaining uninterrupted delivery capability (thus part of securing continued existence)
Protecting investments in goods, technology and buildings
The need for, and thus the number of, logistics centres and warehouses is steadily increasing. At the same time, the storage and logistics industry is being confronted with a number of new requirements: Developments like online retail and increasingly high customer expectations (same-day delivery, for example) are resulting in new and increasingly complex challenges. Process automation, optimised interfaces, speed and complete flexibility are all necessary for providers to be able to ensure ever-shorter throughput times from goods receipt to dispatch. And maintaining delivery capability and operational processes at all times is crucial to the company’s success and continued existence.