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Ideal Warehouse and its Safety measures

In the case of a warehouse the difficulties that the fire personnel may have to encounter will be.

  •  Large volumes of material involve maximum possible change of collapse of building.
  •  In adequacy of water supply.
  • Change of spreading fire to adjoining warehouse etc

The requirements of a good ware house

The requirements of a good warehouse should include the following

  1. Site of warehouse
  2. Open space all around warehouse & along the walls.
  3. Approach to the warehouse.
  4. Roof of the warehouse.
  5. Vitalization Arrangement.
  6. Exit & entrance to the warehouse.
  7. Storage & stacking of goods
  8. Fire fighting arrangements


Site or location of all ware houses plays very important role. A ware house in the very conjected locality but having satisfactory construction will be considered as a more potential hazard then a ware house having compare a firefly unsatisfactory construction but having adequate op

Site of the warehouse therefore should be determined on the following factor. 

  • It must be satisfactory from fire protection point of view in surrounding. 

  • The site should be such that it is economical commensurate with reasonable safety from the point of view of industries. The warehouse can well be so located that to transport caused or similar other factor becomes expansive.


There must be adequate open space on all sides between the warehouse & the adjoining building. Such space actually acts as a natural fire brick & it also facilities fire fighting operations

The large open space provided the loses is the rigidity with respect to combustibility of the wall construction. The expected standard in respect to above statement is as follows:-

  • Where the open space or cartilage is less than 10feet (3meters) the walls of the warehouse should be concrete thick and plastered on both sides.

  • Where the cartilage is more than 10 feet but below 15feet the wall of the warehouse should be of brick &cement construction of 131\2 inches in thickness with both sides plastered

  • More than 15feet but less than 20feet very much relaxation is permissible & even 0.1 meter sheet valves are sufficient, unless the substance to be stored in the warehouse are of explosive category which demand specific storage condition. 

  • For the cartilage more than 20feet no walls are deemed compulsory & even timber plants provided the substance are again not of explosive category

  • In case of cartilages of less than 10feets where the articles, in the opinion of compliant authority, are of extra hazardous nature although not following within the preview of explosive rules provision of a blast value or walls on the both sides may be necessary. The height and width of such blast valves should be such that those are not less than 2feet higher & wider than the opening through which a blast in case of fire is expected and should be placed between 2 to 3feets from such openings. The overlap should be approximately the safe as the distance of the blast wall from the main structure


The approach way or path ways to warehouse must be such as to afford adequate fire fighting facilities. The approach way should permit easy and adequate access for at least two main advancing with branches for this purpose the passage leading to all doors should be at least 5feet wide up to a distance of 50feets. Similarly, all approach ways to window or other openings on ground floor should have a minimum width of 3feet so as to allow the passage for hose line if necessary.


The type of roof of warehouse will also be determined according to the type of structures or building on the surrounding area

Roof For Isolated Structure:-

Thus for warehouse situated in isolated areas, the roof may be of wood where surrounding space is open. If the surrounding space is not fully opened but there are no latter structure than the warehouse. Than the roof may be of asbestos sheet. In all other cases roofing is acceptable. 

Roof For Stored Structures:- 

If the warehouse is more than one story then the flooring of the upper storeyed should be essentially of such type, as walls not burn out and allow the fire to penetrate through the upper floor like the slap flooring. Alternative it can be of concrete of mosaic flooring or of concrete slap. 


It is very essential that adequate ventilation that adequate ventilation arrangement are provided in warehouse for the purpose of allowing hot gases and smoke to escape into atmosphere in case of fire. 

  • In the case of a trussed roof type construction, the ventilation arrangement should be made either near the apex of the roof or near the junction where the roof strued meets the wall.

  • In case of flat roofs the ventilation should be provide as high as possible on the walls, just below the ceiling

  • In the case of mechanical ventilation arrangement bring provided egg. Extraction fans. The above rules need not be followed rigidl


In a warehouse only able bodied personal are expected to be working within so the rules in this respected not be so rigid as in case of hotels, public places, cinema halls, etc. still it must be adequate to allow the last person to reach safety within the fire limit.

  1. The doors are usually to be so arranged that they are space not more than 100feet a part latterly up on the front and side of our ware house.

  2. The door must be wide enough 5feet wide at least and 7feet high and so as to allow easy asses to fire fighter in case of a fire.

  3. Where the ware house has a depth of more than 75feet doors should be provided on the rear or opposite walls also. Such doors should be situated directly opposite to the front unobstructed 5feet wide passage should be provided connecting the 2 doors. The windows should be provided in warehouse should be spaced at not more than 50feets a part laterally and the side of such windows shall not be more than 3feet from the floor level of the warehouse.

  4. The windows to be provided in the warehouse should be spaced at not more than 15mt apart & is still of such window shall not be more than 3’ from the floor level of the warehouse


The method of stacking of goods plays no less important part in minimizing the fire risk in a warehouse .Unscrupulous business people naturally try to utilized as much of the available space as possible for storage of their goods and there by endanger the conditions of the warehouse to a very great extent. The accepted standards are as follows.

  •  Through passage runs from front door to rear door such a passage should be of equivalent width and in no case less than 5feet.

  • Central cross passage in necessarily to be provided running up to two opposite walls where the depth of the warehouse is more than 50feet. Not less that 3feet quit

  • In addition their should be passage of 3feet wide between the wall and the slap running the running perimeter of the warehouse.

  • Height of the stage should also be limited. In the case of flat roof stage should be limited below 2feet height from the ventilators in case of trussed meats the walls. Preferably clearance of 2feet between the top of the slap and roof.

    This arrangement allows a branch of hose to be played on top of slap in case of necessity

  • Normally the quantity of goods stored would not exceed1/3rd of the total cubical capacity of warehouse. In exceptional cases where the warehouse may be protected with automatic fire fighting devices like sprinklers and also having good communication arrangement with the local fire brigade, which can render good and efficient assistance, the limit may be relax up to ½ of the cubical capacities of the warehouse


Portable extinguishers:

The accepted standards are as follows:

  •  Two fire buckets of 2gallan of capacity each for every 1000sq feet of floor area or part there of subject to a minimum of four buckets per floor.

  • Sand buckets shall be provided for protection against electrical & chemical fire. Water bucket shall be provided for solid & combustible fire.

  • One extinguisher of appropriate times for every 500sq.feet of the floor area or part there of spaced in a manner that no point on the floor is more than 100feet form the nearest extinguisher subject to a minimum of extinguisher per floor.
  • There should be at least 12 spare charges for each for each type of extinguisher always kept in stack.

Fix Installation: –

  • In case of warehouse protected by sprinkler arrangement such installation must comply with necessary requirements. The maximum number of heads fed by a system must not exceed 1260 in case of wet pipe installations. The area protected by one sprinkler head shall not be more than 100sq.feet for ordinary and 64sq.feet for extra hazardous risk.

Automatic sprinkler system or arrangement: –

  • The max. no of heads feed in the system should not be more than 1250per pump in case of water type installation & 700 in case of dry or alternative type of installation the area protected by one sprinkler shall not be more than 659mt. for ordinary risk & 9 sprinkler for extra hazard risk.
  • The warehouse is located inside the factory premises entire warehouse shall be protected by fire hydrant system from outside distance between two hydrant is 30m for medium & high hazard at 45mt of light hazard.


In case of fire the action to be taken by the fire service will depend upon the protection around the warehouse and the available water supplies.

  1. In case of warehouse where the entrance is on or near floor level and the ventilation arrangement is near the top of the floor. Hose lines may be brought inside through the entrance and all ventilation be kept open. This will result in driving a way the heat and smoke from inside the warehouse to the atmosphere through the ventilation. Ones the heat and smoke are reduced fire fighting is easier and this fire can be tackled much quicker. There is however the danger in the following this method which should not be lost site of that is keeping the doors and ventilators open will be quicker too. It is therefore necessary to get charged lines of hose inside the godown first before opening the doors and ventilation fully so that the possible sudden spread of fire

  2.  In case of warehouse where there are no proper ventilation arrangements, the fire will not burn with a rising flame because of insufficiency of oxygen, but will keep on 49 smoldering. The result in that the whole of the godown will be full of heat, smoke different hot gases which would not escape into atmosphere. In such a case the change of direct damage by fire may not be high as the fire will not easily burst out but the damage due to indirect causes will be very much more eg.:- 

    • The heat smoke and hot gases will damage goods properly.

    • As location of seat of fire will be difficult unnecessary water damage will result due to pouring of large quantities of water blindly.

    • Fire fighting will be rendered very much difficult and much more time will be taken to extinguish the fire, resulting in higher expenditures on fire fighting operation

    • Since the warehouse will be full of smoke and gases their will be increased change of flash over and back draught in case of any accident in rush of outside oxygen.



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