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Fires in warehouses are a common occurrence, often causing widespread

damage and resulting in serious business interruption. Some of the largest fire

losses recorded in the UK have involved storage and distribution premises as

distinct from the manufacturing environment.

Having regard to the nature of goods stored, the storage methods employed

including considerable high piled storage and the presence of combustible

packaging, the fire load in warehouse buildings is often immense. Coupled with

the trend for such buildings to be constructed on an increasing scale in relation to

footprint and cubic capacity, the potential for rapid fire spread and total loss

scenarios can be extremely high.


Recommendations for fire safety in warehouses are comprehensively covered in

RC18, a copy of which is filed in ATLAS. The information in this document, which

should be observed by all Consultants as “best practice”, is published under the

following sections:

  1. Compliance with fire safety legislation

  2. Business continuity

  3. Fire safety management

  4. Arson prevention

  5. Compartmentation

  6. Electricity, gas and other services

  7. Fire protection

By way of further guidance, Consultants should also refer to the aide memoire

overleaf which relates to the specific features of storage and distribution risks and

is supplementary to the multi discipline aide memoire contained in Operational


Additional RISCAuthority guidance relevant to storage and distribution risks


  • RC7: Recommendations for hot work.

  • RC11: Recommendations for the use of fork-lift trucks.

  • RC17: Recommendations for fire safety in shrink-wrapping processes.

  • RC19: Recommendations for the storage of aerosol products.

  • RC55 & 56: Recommendations for fire safety in the storage, handling and

    use of flammable and highly flammable liquids

  • RC43: Recommendations for fire safety in the storage and use of oxidising


  • RC51: Recommendations regarding smoking at work.

Storage & Distribution Risks

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