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Running head: SCENARIO-BASED CASE STUDY Scenario-Based Case Study Dale Faria Columbia Southern University 1
SCENARIO-BASED CASE STUDY Executive Summary A warehouse facility and distribution facility that stored coffee, food commodities, household chemicals and cleaning products went up in flames. It had a fire suppression system designed for non-combustibles. Over time the storage facility started storing products other than what it was classified for. Due to flooding the warehouse was with out power for several day, which caused workers to improvise and head lamps, handheld lights and generators to supply light and power. Because of the low light conditions, a worker operating a forklift hit a main beam in the warehouse, damaging it to the point where it needed to be fixed, by means of welding. During the welding process of fixing the main beam, sparks were going all around the work area and ignited some cardboard that was around the work area. The workers didn’t police their designed work area before they started welding. The warehouse didn’t have procedures for designed work areas or any type of hot work i.e.: welding. The sparks started a chain reaction that would ultimately destroy the warehouse and uncover many problems and concerns with how this warehouse was doing business. Since the welders didn’t establish a designed work area, cardboard nearby started to smolder and eventually ignited. A nearby worker noticed that a fire had started and pulled the manual pull station. But because the power was out it could not activate the fire pumps for the fire suppression system. Water was coming out of the sprinkler heads, but with very little pressure. When the manual pull station was activated there were no signals that activated. Signals such as alarms, strobe lights etc. The reason being is that there was a main FACU in the office and some one in their dismissed it because they thought it was a false alarm. This is why 2
SCENARIO-BASED CASE STUDY that feature needs to be designed out of the existing system. So, when the suppression system is activated either automatically or manually it will sound the alarms and activate the signals. With the low pressure, and high storage racks the water was not able to reach the floor to extinguish the fire, so the fire spread horizontally. With the spread of the fire horizontally it had the IBC totes of cooking oil to fuel the fire. The fire brigades that the warehouse had tried to extinguish it by means of their class 2 standpipes. More issues risen from this. Water pressure being as low as it was the water could not reach the fire. The hose was rotted because of the lack of maintenance and inspections, and water and oil do not mix. So, when the water did hit the oil it caused an explosion and the fire spread to more of the warehouse. From the flooding the drains were full and with the sprinklers on and the IBC totes of oil made it hard to walk and fight the fire in warehouse. As the firefighters arrived on scene, there was thick black smoke coming out of the ware house. The thick smoke, oil

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