If Facebook Groups are your thing, join ours and let's make it as amazing and friendly as our forums!

Click here for HSfB's Facebook Group Image

Storage under stairs

Discuss all things fire related.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:07 pm
Industry Sector: Manufacturing
Occupation: Health & Safety Consultant
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire

Storage under stairs

Post by Vanquish »

Hi All

Just looking for thoughts on storing consumables under stair wells within a factory please.

I know that the space under stairs should be kept free of storage at all times, that's not in question. However, I have been asked if it is permissible to store grease proof paper and disposable paper cups in this area but inside metal, lockable cabinets (not fire proof!). At a quick look I cannot find any info online to suggest either way if this is ok. The stairwell leads up to the site canteen and is generally kept free of items.

Any thoughts anyone please?

Thanks in advance.

User avatar
Jnr Member
Jnr Member
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:52 am
Occupation: Health & Safety Consultant
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 18 times

Re: Storage under stairs

Post by Safe&Sound »


Quick answer from me before I dash! From my opinion I wouldn't risk it. Is there no where else these consumables can be stored?

The thing I'd be asking myself is, is the stair well the only escape route from the canteen? If so then I wouldn't risk it.

User avatar
Anorak Extraordinaire
Anorak Extraordinaire
Posts: 8807
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:50 am
Twitter: @bernicarey
Industry Sector: Consultancy/Training
Occupation: Safety, Health, Environment and Fire Consultant.
Location: The heart of the East Midlands...
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 194 times

Re: Storage under stairs

Post by bernicarey »

Ultimately, IMHO, it all comes back to the same statement every time such questions are asked about, 'Can I do this?' or 'Can I do that?', which is, "what's the Fire Risk Assessment say or going to say"?
You said
Vanquish wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:51 am
grease proof paper and disposable paper cups in this area but inside metal, lockable cabinets
Don't forget a Fire requires 3 elements, it's not just fuel, it's also ignition/heat.

Well how might such contents ignite?
What's going to set fire to the contents of the locked metal cabinet?
How might an external sources set fire to the materials inside?
OK, so lets just say that an external heat sources gets in via the gaps in the cabinet door..... but if there is a fire outside the cabinet which is that intense it has done that, then what's the odds on the contents of the cabinet igniting before the entire area is an impassable inferno anyway?

As I see it, your only problem will lie in someone introducing other flammable goods to the cabinets; the arsonist's equivalent of 'Mission Creep' or in this case, 'Storage Creep'. .salut

Tomorrow - your reward for being safe today...


Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:16 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Storage under stairs

Post by baywaves »

I have seen this so many times.

For the first few weeks everything is kept orderly. Then someone over orders a few extra boxes of paper cups or a few rolls of grease proof paper. The storage lockers are already full so we'll just set them on the top of the lockers for now.

Next thing you know is you have a nice little combustible pile on your stairway.

In my opinion the answer is always NO, it never works. And do not give in to any reassurances from the people wanting to do this when they say, "Yeah but I will manage it and ensure that doesn't happen". A load of nonsense, it WILL happen.

Post Reply


Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Find us on on LinkedIn

Terms of Use Privacy Policy