Once a fire starts, regardless of the cause, it needs fuel to keep going. Flammable materials combined with wide-open spaces, like cathedral ceilings, school gyms, or camp mess halls, can be a dangerous combination. That’s why proper storage is an important part of keeping your ministry safe from fire.
Storage might seem like a simple issue, but it’s often overlooked. Adequate storage space can be lacking in churches, schools, and camps where every square foot is needed and used for ministry. When space is a premium, you may be tempted to store items wherever you have room.
If the answer to the problem includes using the mechanical room for storage, think again. Since faulty heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems are among the leading causes of fire, storing flammable materials near this equipment can be particularly dangerous.
“I’ve seen situations where churches were storing propane grills, lacquers, and paint thinners in the furnace room,” Brock Bell, senior manager, risk control, for Brotherhood Mutual. “Often, we find a church has stored its snow blowers and lawn equipment near the furnace. It's easy to forgot about the gasoline in its motor.”
Pilot lights and heat sources mixed with storage items are a recipe for disaster. Do not store anything in your mechanical and furnace rooms, especially flammable liquids. Vapors could ignite with even a small spark.
Peter Kujak, manager, property claims, for Brotherhood Mutual says that fires can start easily when materials are stored in these types of rooms.“If the mechanical room is used for storage, and there are a lot of flammable items, once a fire starts, it can really take off,” he says.
Flammable liquids like paint thinners, solvents, gasoline, and propane are of particular concern and should be stored in a fireproof cabinet or outside in a locked shed or detached garage.
You can make a big difference when it comes to fire prevention simply by storing items appropriately.
Brotherhood Mutual’s online training site has a course on chemical handling. Learn more here.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
Text to follow...