Flue space refers to the space between pallet racking systems required for proper airflow, which is essential for fire safety. Flue spaces must meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to ensure that the racking system is not a fire hazard. Here are some things to know about pallet racking flue spacing:
1. Definition of Flue Space:
Flue space refers to the gap between the loads on adjacent pallets, between the pallets and the upright frames (vertical members of the racking system), and between the top-level load and the building ceiling. The standard recommended flue space for pallet racking is a minimum of three inches.
2. Purpose of Flue Space:
Flue space provides adequate clearance between the pallets and racks, allowing for proper air circulation and reducing the risk of fire. Without flue space, heat can build up and potentially ignite the pallets, causing an uncontrolled fire that is extremely hazardous.
3. Calculating Flue Space:
When calculating flue space, you need to consider the type of sprinkler system in use, the height of the storage system, and the size and content of the product stored. The pallet thickness, load type, height, and depth can affect the flue space calculations as well.
4. Maintaining Flue Space:
It is essential to maintain flue space to ensure that the racking system is not a fire hazard. It is also imperative to store pallets uniformly and not block flue spaces with products, equipment, or other obstructions to ensure proper airflow.
5. Compliance with Standards:
Flue spaces must comply with OSHA and NFPA regulations to ensure that the racking system is not a fire hazard. Some local and state authorities also may have additional regulations that must be considered as well.
In conclusion, pallet racking flue space is an essential consideration in designing and maintaining a racking system. Flue spaces help to prevent fires and protect the goods and employees in a warehouse. Proper calculations, compliance with regulations, and ongoing maintenance of flue space are crucial for warehouse safety.