New Rules For Sprinkler Compliant Shelves
21 September 2023 | Jon
The majority of shelving units that we supply use chipboard (or MFC) decks to provide the most cost-effective solution. This has been the material of choice for shelving and racking for a very long time but things are changing due to fire safety regulations.
One area where we are seeing a different shelf material being requested is within newly built shopping centres or refurbishments where new sprinkler systems are being installed. These fire prevention methods combined with insurance company recommendations is leading to our retail customers asking for a new solution.
We have been aware of the need for sprinkler compliant shelves for some time now and have installed an number of solutions utilising steel wire decking.
The examples here show how the wire shelf is used on our popular Trimline framework, you can clearly see how in the case of a fire, each level allows water from the sprinkler to easily pass through to the level below.
The photographs here show the natural finish steel wire shelves that are fitted within mobile stockroom shelving. This roller racking (again utilising our Trimline shelving system) provides high density storage that can store thousands of shoe boxes within a relatively small stockroom - bringing with it an increase in fire risk.
According to the latest guidelines from the Fire Protection Association, mobile shelving systems must be designed in such a way that sprinkler systems have a chance to work properly on what can be very combustible stock (clothing, cardboard etc.). Some of the recommendations include: Wire mesh shelves should be fitted throughout (not perforated shelves), allowing water to pass down through each level, solid steel dividers that segregate stock sections, 150mm gaps between each mobile unit when closed and significant clear space all around the mobile units (excluding walls).
Insurance companies are becoming ever more demanding that stockrooms comply with fire safety regulations, if your stockroom, warehouse or distribution centre needs to be sprinkler system compliant, please contact us for help and advice on 01993 779494.