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Consequences of Fire Damage in Warehouses
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Warehouses are, by their very nature, large cavernous facilities designed to hold a large amount of products or inventory. They may be manned by a staff that takes care of operations on a daily basis or they may be uninhabited for extended periods, depending of course on the type of product being stored and the necessity for having a human presence onsite for a given period. When fire breaks out, however, the damage to the warehouse and its contents may be considerable and the effect on surrounding areas and properties may be significant as well.
Of course, the main consequence for any warehouse fire is the damage to the warehouse itself. If the warehouse facility is properly manned, then fires may be discovered sooner and knocked down in short order, minimizing damage to the structure. Unmanned warehouses may suffer heavier losses with no one to immediately address the fire, as well as delayed access to the building by fire department personnel.
The second most serious consequence of warehouse fires is the damage to the contents. A fully involved warehouse fire may be enough to put a company out of business if they end up losing most or all of their products or inventory. Ideally, stored products should be arranged in a manner designed to contain fire to one area, without allowing it to spread to other locations on the floor where product may be stored. Unfortunately, not all warehouse operators store items with fire prevention in mind. Serious fires may destroy the warehouse and the contents therein, resulting in a financial loss to the owner company that may take months or even years to recover from.
Other Consequences of Warehouse Fires
The loss of assets also means loss of productivity as well as jobs. Many employees of the company that owns the warehouse may see their jobs suspended or even eliminated as the result of the fire. If the fire is severe enough, the company may have to undergo some major reorganization in order to be able to continue doing business.
There are other consequences to warehouse fires, such as the damage to neighboring buildings. Warehouse fires can grow to considerable size if not quickly knocked back, and as such they can easily be carried by the wind into neighboring facilities, resulting in multiple fire damage cases.
There are also environmental concerns as the result of excess fire, smoke, and soot damage to the surrounding areas, not to mention fire and other extinguishing material runoff that may affect the land surrounding the property.
There also remains the problem of adequate insurance, whether the warehouse was properly covered against the threat of fire, not to mention making provision for workers or anyone else who may have been injured or killed as a result of the fire.
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