Skip to content


Fire safety is a critical point of any warehouse operation, but the ways you can achieve it may come as a surprise.

We’ve all seen the federal regulations and the various OSHA requirements, but there’s a lot of fire prevention tips that can take you by surprise. Sometimes the requirements are different from municipality to municipality, sometimes the solutions aren’t always obvious, but there’s always an extra step or two you can take in your warehouse to prevent fires and keep your workers as safe as possible while they go through their day.

Here’s five lesser-known fire safety tips that we think any warehouse should know:


Pallet rack spacing

When it comes to placing pallet racks, the space between each rack can do more than just help manage traffic. Many areas and governing bodies have guidelines for specific placement of racks, such as transverse flue space, or the space to either side of a pallet currently racked on shelves. These spacing guidelines can go a long way towards preventing potentially flammable items from coming into contact with one another, as well as keeping the pallet rack areas easier to navigate. Measuring how much space you need may require a little math, but it will help your warehouse stay compliant – and more importantly, safer.


Safe design of battery charging areas

If your warehouse has a dedicated space for charging batteries, such as heavy-duty forklift batteries or even smaller batteries for handheld devices, the right safety installations are crucial to prevent fires and promote safety. Make sure the area is well-ventilated to prevent the excess buildup of heat, make sure the security cages you use are open enough to also help with airflow, and additions such as eye wash stations and spill control installations can go a long way to help.


Storage and disposal of packing material

No matter what you store or what goods you deal in, packing material can be one of the most flammable items in your warehouse. Store any of the paper or plastic goods you use for item storage on steel shelves far away from any potential sources of heat or fire, and keep your plastic packing material safely stored away until you need it to prevent it from colliding with anything else.


Maintain minimum aisle widths

While aisle width can go a long way towards helping things in your warehouse flow more smoothly, in many cases it can actually be a required step towards fire prevention. If your warehouse shelving typically uses manual stocking (ie without powered tools like forklifts), make sure your aisles are a minimum of 24 inches or 1/2th the aisle width part, whichever is larger. Mechanical stocking operations need a minimum aisle width of 44 inches due to the heavier volumes of traffic.


Designate all staging areas

Finally, in the event of a fire or any other kind of accident, you’ll need your staging and storage areas to be properly marked off. Use tape, paint, or other kinds of area markers to indicate what sections of the warehouse have already been given over to storage needs, and then create your escape plans around these zones. This will also help you better enforce aisle space and prevent blockage in high-traffic areas.

Comments are closed.

Back to top