As we swelter in peak fire season the risk of forest and scrub blazes is front of mind for many Kiwis. However industrial fires can just as easily get out of control thanks to the hot temperatures, high winds and, at some locations, significant amounts of combustible raw material.
Many companies in New Zealand store large amounts of pallets either within the building or close in a yard. Sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s a large supply of ready-made kindling nearby. And sometimes all it takes is one small spark to ignite a large, destructive fire.
If storing pallets inside be sure to:
- Have a reliable, regularly inspected sprinkler system.
- Keep sawdust, hot nails, reflective material and other fire-starting objects well managed.
- Ensure pallet stacks have minimal airflow going through and around them to minimise oxygen should a fire start.
When storing pallets outside make certain that:
- No accelerant, fuel, gas or any other hazardous material is stored close by.
- Keep storage areas clean to prevent the build up of dust and debris that can help fuel a fire.
- Have working fire alarms close by in the event of an emergency.
- Regularly inspect stacks for dryness and rotate out old pallets.
Pallet fires can be incredibly destructive, as seen by this one in San Bernardino, California. With a few simple measures you can ensure there’s no ongoing risk to people or property however.