Fire Safety Regulations Guide

Identify Sources of Fuel

Anything that burns is fuel for a fire. You need to look for the things that will burn reasonably easily and are in enough quantity to provide fuel for a fire or cause it to spread to another fuel source. Some of the most common ‘fuels’ found in factories and warehouses are:

  • flammable liquid-based products, such as paints, varnishes, thinners and adhesives;
  • flammable liquids and solvents, such as petrol, white spirit, methylated spirit, cooking oils and disposable cigarette lighters;
  • flammable chemicals, such as certain cleaning products, photocopier chemicals and dry cleaning products that use hydrocarbon solvents;
  • flammable gases such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), flammable refrigerants and flammable gas propelled aerosols;
  • stored goods and high piled or racked storage;
  • foodstuffs containing sugar and oils, such as sugar-coated cereal and butter;
  • plastics and rubber, such as video tapes, polyurethane foam-filled furniture and polystyrene-based display materials;
  • paper products, such as stationery, advertising material and decorations;
  • packaging materials;
  • plastic and timber storage aids both in use and idle, such as pallets, octobins, and palletainers;
  • combustible insulation, such as panels constructed with combustible cores;
  • textiles and soft furnishings, such as hanging curtains and clothing displays; and
  • waste products, particularly finely divided items such as shredded paper and wood shavings, offcuts, dust and litter/rubbish.

You should also consider the materials used to line walls and ceilings, e.g. polystyrene or carpet tiles, the fixtures and fittings, and how they might contribute to the spread of fire.

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