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Fire Safety Training for Warehouses

Many people in the UK work in the warehouse and distribution sector. Warehouses vary widely in size, layout and function. Some are older traditional buildings which may have been added to over time. Increasingly, distribution centres and 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 warehouses.

KEY ISSUES


ARSON

Many warehouse fires are started deliberately. Good security and employee vigilance can reduce the risk of arson. UKFT courses for warehouse staff include tuition on arson prevention

IGNITION SOURCES

Many warehouse fires are caused by equipment and machinery used for processing, moving and packing goods. This can be due to overheating or electrical problems. Fork Lift battery charging areas can present a high fire risk if not managed and policed correctly.

UKFT courses for warehouse staff include tuition on how to minimise fire safety issues caused by equipment.

COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS

Warehouses feature packaging of various types including cardboard, foam, polystyrene and plastics. The items being stored may often be highly combustibles and can include liquids and gasses on aerosols. Storage of materials in racking, often up to vary high levels and have a major impact on fire growth which must be understood by all staff working in these environments.

FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

Warehouse and storage premises obviously vary tremendously in size and layout and varied and sophisticated fire protection systems will be incorporated and these need to take account of in any fire training. These include automatic fire detection, sprinklers / automatic fire suppression, smoke curtains, and smoke and heat exhaust and ventilation systems.


WAREHOUSE FIRE EXAMPLES

Fire at Barnsley ASOS fashion warehouse 'deliberate'

The fire at the ASOS distribution centre near Grimethorpe, Barnsley broke out at about 22:00 BST on Friday 21st June 2014.

South Yorkshire Police said the incident was being treated as deliberate following initial investigations with the fire service.

The blaze at Park Spring Road caused "substantial damage" and has forced the company to stop taking orders.

More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze overnight and about 500 people were evacuated from the five-storey building.

The blaze is believed to have spread from the second floor to the third and fourth floors.

Ten fire engines, including three from West Yorkshire Fire service, were drafted in to help overnight.

The Barnsley warehouse is the company's major global distribution centre.

It is understood the warehouse contains more than 10 million boxes of packaging.

Simon Rodgers, Investigating Fire Officer for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: "The fire involved four floors of the warehouse and the blaze was contained in the area of origin by firefighters.

"ASOS staff had a good evacuation process in place which assisted the emergency services and allowed the fire to be brought under control more quickly."

Norfolk warehouse fire: Huge explosions as blaze rips through building

A massive warehouse fire has sent a plume of smoke drifting miles across the countryside.

Three giant explosions shook the area around the 45,000sq ft building as the fire ripped through it.

A giant plume of smoke could be seen from up to 20 miles away as firefighters battled the blaze at the family hauliers E and S J Walpole Ltd, in North Pickenham, Norfolk.

The fire caused "major structural collapse" but nobody was hurt, the fire service said.

Due to high levels of smoke people living in the area off South Pickenham Road were advised to keep windows closed and stay indoors.

Nigel Williams, Norfolk's chief fire officer, said: "When we arrived it was a major fire that was progressing through the building.

"We do know some fork lift trucks that are powered by propane cylinders were involved in the fire... and as the fire progressed the cylinders have ruptured.

"We heard three quite loud explosions, but they've been contained within the building."

Fire breaks out at Park Royal industrial unit

Fire crews tackling a serious blaze at a warehouse in north-west London have brought the fire under control.

More than 100 firefighters were sent to an industrial unit on Western Road in Park Royal after the fire broke out.

London Fire Brigade said crews were still at the scene "damping down" hotspots.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

At its height, the ground and first floor of the warehouse were alight and a large section of the roof was also on fire.

An eyewitness who lives near the scene of the blaze said visibility was down to zero.

"I was woken up by the smoke. My windows were open. I could hear sirens," he said.

"It looked completely foggy outside."

The area, close to a petrol station, had been cordoned off and Park Royal closed.

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