Does Your Pallet Company Have Emergency Procedures in Case of a Fire?

Does Your Pallet Company Have Emergency Procedures in Case of a Fire?


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Pallet Company Fires

By: Mitchell Kamps

Summer, as the hottest and driest season of the year, brings with it an increased risk of fire. Like any businesses that use wood extensively in its production, a pallet company is more vulnerable to fire: entire pallet inventories can be destroyed in a couple of hours, and fire also endangers people and other property. In the past five years there have been dozens of fires involving stacked pallets, many of them involving thousands of pallets and requiring the assistance of numerous fire departments to extinguish.

Pallet Company Fires

We at Kamps take employee safety very seriously and strive to minimize work accidents and injuries, including the threat of fire. Recently Recycle Record highlighted a list of factors to focus on in order to limit the possibility of fire. These are:

  • Wood dust – businesses that build using wood will inevitably have sawdust on the ground and floating in the air as particulate. To the extent that it is possible this should be regularly filtered or clean up and discarded.
  • Chemicals – highly flammable substances lying around near wood and wood dust are just one minor accident away from being a fire. Older chemicals should be tossed, and anything in use should be kept in a designated space.
  • General cleanliness – all trash should be regularly gathered and discarded so as not to pose either a fire risk or a barrier to safe exit. Does your workspace resemble your floor plan, or is it cluttered up with equipment, boxes, and building materials?
  • Fire sources – are all ignition sources, including heating grates, lamps, and space heaters, covered or carefully monitored?
  • Water sources – how available would water be to firefighters battling fire in your facility? Do you have equipment for fighting small fires installed throughout your facility? Does your staff know how to operate it?
  • Training – how trained is your staff in emergency procedures generally? Do they have an established evacuation plan and have they practiced it?

And, finally, it’s also important to consider, from a business perspective, how prepared your company is in case of financial emergency like a partial or total shutdown, liability lawsuit, or loss of physical plant. Is your insurance comprehensive and up-to-date? Do you have additional copies of all of your most important paperwork in a safe place? Is your leadership structure designed to cover gaps due to illness or injury?

Planning for emergency can be stressful and time consuming, but it’s much better than being caught flat footed if and when a serious problem occurs.

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