Sprinkler systems in warehouses
No matter where they are in the world, virtually all reasonably sized warehouses have a sprinkler system. The reason they are so widespread is because sprinkler systems have been demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of loss of buildings and their contents in the case of fire. The expected size of fire damage is 5% at a sprinklered warehouse, against 100% if the warehouse is not sprinklered. Hence, insurers of both warehouse premises and the products stored there often stipulate the use of such a system. Governments often also play a key role by outlining safety regulations for preventing or limiting fire risk.
In addition to reducing the risk of fire, a certified sprinkler system in most countries offers the opportunity to create considerably larger fire compartments. Since compartmentation not only limits the flexibility of a logistics operation but also increases the distances in a warehouse, larger compartments mean greater efficiency. And yet when warehouse managers are asked about their sprinkler systems, they tend to focus on the inconvenience associated with the annual inspection and are generally less than enthusiastic. Why?
This article has been published on Logistiek.nl (Dutch version).
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