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Top 5 Fire Deficiencies in the Manufacturing Industry


Every industry has different concerns when it comes to fire and life safety, but one industry that requires extra special precautions and considerations is manufacturing.

In a factory or manufacturing setting, you may encounter chemicals or other flammable materials that you don’t in a typical workplace. These workplaces also often have intensive electrical needs and heating equipment, again raising the risk for fire hazards.

In order to keep employees safe, it’s critical to adhere to all fire and life safety codes and standards – but unfortunately, some code violations can be common. Below, we’ll discuss the top five deficiencies in this industry and what you can do to prevent them from happening.

1. Improper storage of flammable materials.

When working with flammable materials and chemicals, proper storage is imperative. NFPA 30 lays out exactly how to store, handle and use flammable and combustible liquids. Essentially, all hazardous materials must be stored away from open flames or heat sources to avoid explosions or other dangerous scenarios. It also outlines the types of plastic or other containers that are suitable for various materials.

2. Blocked fire department connection and other valves.

If a fire breaks out, a responding fire department needs to be able to quickly access the fire department connection (FDC) – a pipe system that lets them supplement a building’s own fire protection system and sprinklers. It can be easy to allow things like trees, vehicles, pallets and inventory to block the FDC or other access points, which could be a big problem in an emergency. A clear path must be available at all times for the fire department to access the necessary equipment and valves.

3. Storage violations in the fire pump and riser rooms.

Fire pump and riser rooms are spaces dedicated to housing fire protection equipment in a manufacturing setting. Nothing else can be stored in there, because it can block access to needed equipment. However, sometimes it can be tempting to put things like filing cabinets, shelves, cleaning supplies and more into these rooms for storage. Doing so is a fire code violation – and definitely not worth the risk in case you need to access that equipment quickly.

4. Proper signage per code requirements.

You can have the most sophisticated and complete fire protection system in the world, and it’s not going to matter if nobody knows where to find anything or if any of the equipment is up to date. This is why proper signage is a critical component.

Signage can indicate where components are and what they are, as well as provide information for system tests, maintenance and correct operation. NFPA code also indicates requirements for various signs with fire department instructions, controls, test connection valves and more. This is not an area to skimp on.

5. Wrong equipment for the facility.

Fire suppression systems are all uniquely designed to work with specific hazards, chemicals or equipment. When manufacturing facilities change purposes or are purchased by a new owner, the existing system may need to be changed or updated to accommodate these changes in production. Code violations often result from a visit from a local code enforcer who is aware of the mandates and necessary upgrades for the facility.

Fire and life safety is important in all industries, but the hazards in the manufacturing industry can be especially challenging. Trust us – you want a team of proven professionals on your side to make sure your fire and life safety protection system goes above and beyond compliance. At CertaSite, we manage your life safety program, so you don’t have to. Start a conversation with our team today.

Tags: preferred protection, fire safety, deficiency, safety training, building safety, education