Industrial Buildings Inspections:
Fire safety within industrial buildings falls largely within the scope of more general precautions and recommendations given in Chapter of NFPA101.
Some industrial buildings, though, have particular risks that need particular fire safety precautions. The particular risks might be the use of high hazard materials or it might be to do with high risk processes that are undertaken.
Sometimes there are people who have to resort to locations in industrial premises where traditional means of escape are not possible and it is necessary to use ladders or other unusual devices for escape.
Sometimes there are machines that cannot be closed down quickly and require a managed shutdown over a period of some minutes. This can often be accommodated if the fire is not threatening the means of escape in that area but a managed shut down would have to be abandoned if the fire were in the vicinity of the machine. Sometimes escape routes can involve moving along routes that possess their own risks such as trip hazards or hot surfaces.
Often there are extended travel distances due to the large size of the buildings. But, usually the extended travel distances are compensated for with high ceilings that will slow the lateral spread of smoke.
Sometimes it is necessary to consider the safety precautions that relate to external areas. Traditionally, external areas are usually considered safe areas but in many industrial plants they may not be.
The siting of machinery in industrial buildings can create dead ends and it is preferable if such dead ends can be avoided. Sometimes dead ends can be removed by the provision of gantries that pass over machinery to alternative escape routes.
The usual recommendations for emergency lighting and fire alarm manual call points apply though sometimes, in areas with the potential for flammable atmospheres, these have to be flameproof or intrinsically safe.