PREVENTION. Fires, particularly those that originally occurred on storage sites, continue to represent a massive part of the accidentology of the French industrial fabric. More than 10% of the accidents recorded in industry in France are warehouse fires.
This accident rate, among others, highlighted by the DPPR/SEI circular of 21/06/00, has also been the source of more precise and more restrictive fire safety regulations in covered warehouses, covered by heading 1510 of the ICPE nomenclature. Despite the changes and the legislative rigour in place, the accident rate remains high given the significant evolution in the size and number of warehouses on French territory.
This consistency in claims is partly explained by changes in consumption patterns. With the rise of e-commerce and m-commerce, more and more logistics platforms are being created to meet the growing demand for logistics and delivery needs. The study conducted by the French Federation of E-commerce and Distance Selling (FEVAD) attests to this and lists that more than 500 million parcels will be shipped in France in 2017, marking a 10.5% increase over the previous year.
However, the increase in the number of logistics sites and operating areas is not the cause of accidents. An accident can have several causes and can have more or less serious consequences.
This predominance of fire risk, relayed by experts in the sector and the extension of fire safety obligations to all covered warehouses are easily understood.
The fire risk is indeed present in the warehouses, even if the stored material is not inflammable or combustible by nature. Packaging and packaging materials (pallets, barrels), often cardboard, wood and plastic, are inseparable from the activity of logistics sites and are highly flammable and conducive to the spread of a fire throughout a building.
This is one of the reasons why EPLs are required to have specific dimensions for storage cells, a maximum surface area for smoke extraction cantons and all other applicable construction provisions in accordance with the decree of 11 April 2017 aimed at preventing and better controlling fires.
Fire prevention and safety equipment is becoming more and more efficient. Real-time monitoring or early fire detection systems using thermal cameras combine new technologies with the rudiments of SSI systems to always bring more innovation to fire prevention.
In order to ensure their effectiveness in terms of both prevention and operation, these systems, just like conventional smoke extraction systems, require on-site testing and maintenance every 6 or 12 months in order to carry out the verification and maintenance operations prescribed in standard NF S 61-933.