Ecommerce stores warehouse

Why can’t we prevent the big warehouse fires? : The DONG-A ILBO

Three firefighters were killed in the fire at a Pyeongtaek warehouse that broke out at around 11:40 p.m. on Wednesday. This is the first time in about 21 years that three or more firefighters have been killed in an incident since a building collapsed in Seoul in 2001, killing six firefighters.

Fires in large warehouses can easily claim victims. In April 2020, 38 were killed and 10 were injured in a fire that broke out at a construction site of a logistics center in Icheon. In July of the same year, five died and eight were injured in a fire at a logistics center in Yongin. A consolation for these woes is that no worker was injured or killed in a fire at a logistics center in Coupang in Icheon in June or in a fire at a warehouse in Pyeongtaek. However, a firefighter was killed in a fire in a warehouse at the Coupang logistics center. As in this case, three firefighters entered the Pyeongtaek warehouse after a large fire was brought under control, but were unable to come back alive as the fire started to spread again.

A recurrence of similar incidents after six months means that there is a loophole in the firefighting command system. The Pyeongtaek warehouse is where e-commerce company Market Kurly was supposed to use under a lease. Logistics centers are multiplying near large cities with a rapid increase in online shopping. Logistics centers are prone to fires. Since people don’t live there, they are mostly built with combustible materials. Such as “sandwich panel”. Fires in these logistics centers are not easy to extinguish as these warehouses do not have to install firewalls, which is essential in residential installations. Additionally, firefighters are easily isolated when extinguishing a warehouse fire as buildings are usually huge and become extremely dark when a fire breaks out. This is why firefighters urgently need firefighting equipment and manuals to effectively fight warehouse fires.

A fall accident occurred in December 2020 on the same site, where the fire broke out this time. At the time, five workers fell from the fifth floor while assembling iron rods, killing three and injuring two. The site has been under special government surveillance since the accident, but this time a fire broke out there. It is also necessary to check whether there have been any shortcomings in the security measures put in place by the government.