Warehouses are a hot-bed for safety risks. But thankfully those risks, while abundant, can be reduced with strategic planning and a professional fire safety partnership.From emergency plans and procedures to regular deep cleaning, here are 5 ways to improve fire safety in a busy warehouse.
1. Know your emergency plans and procedures
Every second matters in an emergency. And every emergency is different: fires, chemical spills, injury and electrical faults, for example, require different steps in the first few minutes to get occupants to safety.
Your warehouse’s emergency procedure should include:
- Site-specific details
- Evacuation diagrams
- Key contacts
- Procedure-specific details
Customised evacuation plans and emergency procedure plans are a potentially life-saving tool to reduce panic in critical moments.
2. Train staff on fire safety
When was the last time you held staff training for emergency plans and procedures? Training tends to fall off the radar, in favour of operations and company growth. But investing a small amount of time – half an hour to an hour – two or three times a year can make all the difference in terms of safety.
Firstly, because your employees know what to do in an emergency. Secondly, regular refreshers keep fire safety standards front-of-mind, which improves safety standards every day. And thirdly, because you have to! From Australian Standards to Safe Work Australia and State-specific regulations, there are legal requirements to maintain staff training for high-risk work environments like warehouses.
3. Outfit your warehouse with a commercial fire protection system
A commercial fire protection system is both your first defence against a blaze and your early warning system. There are some pieces of standard equipment that everyone is familiar with:
- Fire extinguishers and blankets
- Evacuation diagrams
- Fire suppression sprinklers
- Fire doors
- Detection and alarm systems
- Site-specific processes
Australian Standardsare a good starting point to map outthe required equipment. But beyond the basics, what fire protection equipment does your warehouse require? Site-specific risks require an expert eye, and your vigilance over time.
4. Work with a fire safety specialist
Engaging an experienced professional to design, install and maintain your fire safety programis the best way to ensurefit-for-purpose protection.Here at Fire Safe ANZ, we take a comprehensive and bespoke approach to fire safety on all fronts.
- Fire protection system design
- Emergency plans and procedures
- Staff training
- Fire protection equipment maintenance
- Project management
- Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS)
We even conduct testing and tagging for our clients. Our experience in fire safety for warehouses means we see the hidden risks, and help you create a fire safety program that suits your workspace.
5. Keep exits clear and clean regularly
Our final fire safety tip for warehouses is something you can do every day.Every employee needs a clear path at least 800mm wide to an emergency exit. Often that impacts how warehouses are designed, and it requires all staff to understand the risks of leaving debris or equipment in the path.
- Use bright tape to mark out the edge of work/storage areas
- Include fire exit paths in pre-start safety meetings
- Make fire safety everyone’s responsibility
- Allocate fire wardens for each work area
- Ensure fire doors are never locked or obstructed
Time to update your emergency plans and procedures?
Fire Safety ANZ can help. We have extensive experience in designing and implementing fire safety programs for warehouses and industrial facilities, as well as any workplace where fire presents a risk to people or property.
Contact our team to find out how we can help you improve fire safety standards with fire protection equipment, staff training, emergency procedure consultation and more.