How Storage Safety Can Reduce Risk of Warehouse Fires
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How Storage Safety Can Reduce Risk of Warehouse Fires

Post date: Mar 31, 2022
How Storage Safety Can Reduce Risk of Warehouse Fires by Wholesale Safety Storage Australia

A warehouse is probably one of the most important assets any business can have. It is where many businesses store their finished goods waiting to be shipped, stocks, raw materials, and equipment. To put it simply, a warehouse is a critical part of any business that anything that happens to it presents serious ramifications that may be catastrophic for some, and as a business ender for others.

Though a warehouse’s function may be straightforward, mainly as a storage facility, its state or condition can greatly impact the fate of any business. Any warehouse is a unique working environment which often comes with its own set of potential risks and hazards, including the possibility of having fires breaking out.

It would be best practice and in your best interest to ensure that your warehouse or establishment strictly observes and follows fire safety regulations. Not only should it be well maintained, but well protected and assuredly safe at all times.


Safety Storage Can Reduce Fire Risks

How Storage Safety Can Reduce Risk of Warehouse Fires by Wholesale Safety Storage AustraliaBy law, the handling, storage and transport of dangerous goods is to be observed at all times. Any deviation to it can mean fines or serious penalties for any business that uses or stockpiles these hazardous items.

These laws cover the kinds of storage areas, including storage rooms and certified cabinets to use, and what types of liquids and materials that are allowed to be stored in these cabinets. The law goes further to specify how these storages are to be constructed. The amounts of anything flammable or combustible, in different containers, that can be stored in each container or cabinet, separate from each other to prevent untoward reactions.

Flammable liquids and substances are being used daily by many businesses. Due to their volatile nature, these must be stored safely following local safety standards. Any failure to store these materials safely can cause damage to your assets and harm people and the environment.

Any Australian based business using or storing flammable substances should adhere to Australian Standard AS1940. This means that flammable liquids and substances must be stored in duly accredited flammable liquids’ storage cabinets or flammable solids cabinets such as those being offered by Wholesale Safety Storage Australia (WSSA).

Chemical and corrosive substances on the other hand can also potentially cause fire when it comes in contact with other substances. The combination of these substances may cause heat which can ignite causing fire or explode depending on which substances are involved. For this purpose, the use of Corrosive | Chemical Storage that meets the requirement of AS3780-2008 in Australia is a great choice for businesses handling and storing such items.

When we speak of fires and fire prevention, normally, we think of a structure that can potentially be burned when chemical reactions cause these fires upon exposure to an ignition source. Fire can also start externally or outside a facility. Depending on its size and proximity to any structure or equipment, it can potentially spread out that may eventually affect nearby structures such as your warehouse.

Dangerous goods that are placed externally in the open (even for a short time) is not only a violation of existing safety rules but is irresponsible. If Dangerous materials are not to be immediately used, it is best practice to store them using Dangerous Goods Storage. By regulation, these are tougher and built with heavy duty galvanised steel, complying with Australian AS2312-2014.

By using safety storage, any fire that may erupt in your facility due to other causes can be minimised since these flammable liquids, substances, and materials are safely stored in cabinets. The chances of them contributing to the fire is dampened by the fact that they are contained.


Fire Safety

Primary to fire prevention and safety is to identify possible ignition sources, where they be your electrical and lighting sources, rubbish, heating equipment, combustible liquids, exposure fires, or materials that can combust spontaneously when exposed to air. This should be covered when you carry out a fire risk assessment for your facility.

As a general rule, every single warehouse should have smoke detectors installed along with a fully automatic fire safety sprinkler system and have fire extinguishers that are easily located on designated sites. Depending on the size of your warehouse, it may also be subject to compartmentation regulations.

Compartmentation is the process of dividing a building or structure into sections or compartments that adds to a more effective risk management. It is a vital part of a fire safety design of any structure, dividing large spaces into smaller, more manageable ones in the event a fire should break out. Additionally, it is also used to create a protected and safe means of escape for its occupants.

In addition to the above, Safe Work Australia issued new guidelines on the storage of flammable liquids that are to be implemented for small to medium-sized businesses. It describes risks associated with flammable liquids and stipulates step-by-step guides on how to manage those risks.


Good Housekeeping is also Essential

Good housekeeping including equipment maintenance are to be religiously observed whenever any chemical, flammable and combustible liquids are concerned. Any spills that may happen should immediately be cleaned.

Make sure that all flammable and combustible liquids are stored back in their cabinets when no longer in use. Additionally, keep them separate from each other. Also, keep all areas in your warehouse or storage facility where these items are stored, clear of any easily combustible materials.

Always do regular equipment inspections and maintenance to control any hazard that may be brought about by flammable and combustible liquids.

Further, never use safety storage and containers that are damaged or become damaged due to wear and tear. If repairs using regulation approved parts cannot fully restore safety cabinets or containers to safety approved conditions, ditch them and acquire new ones. The new acquisition price is small considering property, lives, and the environment is concerned.


Final Note

If you need more information on storage of chemicals and fire safety, check your state and industry guidelines. Also, do check our tips on how to reduce the risks of a warehouse fire.

The mere fact that you have a sprinkler system in place and have stowed dangerous substances in safety cabinets does not mean your fire safety is up to par. Go beyond the basics to protect your product, assets, building, and people. You can reduce the risks of fire in your warehouse by storing your items correctly using 100% Australian made Dangerous Goods Storage from Wholesale Safety Storage Australia.

Streamline processes, manage workplace compliance, and reduce risk when dealing with Dangerous Goods


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