Alarming findings in inspections
The inspections of the warehouses revealed for example the following:
- Over 30 % of the warehouses did not have an automatic fire alarm system.
- Nearly 30 % of the warehouses did not have a smoke and heat control system, which is often installed in connection with a fire alarm system.
- Only 20 % of the warehouses were equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system, which is the most effective way of preventing major fires.
- In slightly less than 50 % of the warehouses, work machines were equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system.
Another alarming finding was that very little attention was paid to the fundamentals of fire prevention.
During our warehouse risk surveys, we stress the importance of early fire detection.
If the appropriate fire-fighting equipment is immediately available, the chances of extinguishing a fire in its early stages are good. A warehouse fire can spread very rapidly. For example, in 2009, an electrical device caused a paper warehouse fire that escalated into an uncontrolled blaze in less than four minutes.
In over half of the warehouses we inspected, we observed that the number of locations in which fire-fighting equipment was located was below the recommended level.
The fire-fighting equipment should also be located in places that are readily accessible.
You can read more about returning to the roots of loss prevention in Risk Consulting Magazine 1/2012, page 24. Read Risk Consulting in pdf on our website.