Many people in the UK work in factory buildings. Factories vary widely in size, layout and function. Some are older traditional buildings which may have been added to over time. Increasingly, production facilities are housed in modern, high spec purpose built units with state of the art fire protection systems.
Fire safety training must take account of the specific environment your staff operate from and the key fire safety issues that affect offices.
In 2013-14 there were 22,200 fires recorded in buildings that were not dwellings. Over 1500 of these occurred in factories
Many factory fires are started deliberately. Good security and employee vigilance can reduce the risk of arson. UKFT courses for factory staff include tuition on arson prevention
Many factory fires are caused by equipment and production machinery. This can be due to overheating or electrical problems. UKFT courses for factory staff include tuition on how to minimise fire safety issues caused by factory equipment.
Factories by their nature house a massive range of often highly flammable materials. These will include raw materials, finished goods and packaging materials. Machinery and other equipment require supplies of oil, diesel, gas, and LPG which must all be stored correctly. High pressure gas and oxygen supplies are particularly hazardous.
FACTORY FIRE EXAMPLES
Dowty Factory 'severely damaged'
A major fire has destroyed much of a factory in Gloucestershire.
The blaze began at about midnight in the roof space of Dowty's production facility at Staverton, where propeller systems for aircraft are made.
Twenty-nine staff were evacuated from the site and led to safety. No-one was reported as injured.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said 80% of the factory building was "severely damaged" by the blaze, which was tackled by 80 firefighters.
Chief fire officer Stewart Edgar, said: "Firefighters from all over the county have been working tirelessly under my command and will be there for the foreseeable future.
It's main production line, destroyed by the fire, makes propellers for the C130J Super Hercules and the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400.
Firefighters tackle large blaze at plastics factory
Around 50 firefighters fought a large blaze at a plastics factory. Ten appliances were called to the fire at a factory in the Attercliffe area of Sheffield.
Early reports suggested that the fire initially involved nearby refuse and spread to the factory, which had about 20 tonnes of plastic, South Yorkshire fire and rescue service said. There were no reports of casualties but a large plume of black smoke spread across the area, and people were advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.
South Yorkshire police said road closures were in place around the area as firefighters tackled the blaze. A high-volume pump was at the scene to try to get as much water on the fire as possible, and a second had been requested.
Commander Rick Rolt, of the fire service, said: "The crews have done an absolutely fantastic job. We were really worried about the fire spreading to neighbouring buildings. Then there would have been lots of potentially hazardous problems and we'd have been looking at evacuations. But the crews put some fire breaks in to stop the fire spreading, and they managed to contain it to the premise involved."
Derbyshire fire and rescue service said its officers were assisting with the fire, and smoke had been seen as far away as Ripley.