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Case Study: Preferred Freezer

Fire Prevention Protects Automated Deep-Freeze Storage Area in North America

When the deep-freeze high-bay warehouse of Preferred Freezer Services in Richland, Washington State, was commissioned in 2015, it was the largest of its kind in the world. And it is the first building in the USA where the fire prevention is achieved through active fire prevention, i.e. with an OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system from WAGNER.

Fire Prevention Safeguards the Frozen Foods Supply on the West Coast

About the project

Three protected areas with 1.05 mill. m3 volume, 35 m high rack systems, 117,000 pallet bays and around 900,000 tons of deep-frozen foods brought into and removed from the warehouse per year. Preferred Freezer Services’ deep-freeze high-bay warehouse is unique in several respects. Even its cladded rack structure is unusual for the USA: in a country with no lack of space, high rack storage facilities are fairly rare, and deep-freeze ones even more so. Sprinkler systems quickly reach their limits with high rack systems, however, which is why the fire prevention technology from WAGNER was chosen.

About the customer

Preferred Freezer Services, founded in 1989 with a single deep-freeze storage area, has developed into a leading global provider in the field of cold storage, warehousing, distribution and logistics and currently operates 39 deep-freeze storage areas in the USA.

Protection objectives

  • No damage by fire
    Fires must be prevented from breaking out or spreading in order to minimise the level of potential damage.
  • No damage by water
    A solution involving water-based fire extinguishing cannot be used.
  • No interruption
    The deep-freeze chain and operational processes must be maintained at all times.
Schutzziele beim Referenzkunden Preferred Freezer

Risk analysis

  • High fire load
    The density of goods is high, storage takes place on pallets and the packaging material consists of cardboard, paper and/or plastic.
  • Electrical components
    These include automated storage and retrieval equipment, material handling equipment, refrigeration units, heat exchangers, defrosters and heaters.
  • Dry atmosphere
    In the deep-freeze warehouse, sub-zero temperatures of up to -24 °C and low humidity prevail, so fires could spread quickly.
  • Chimney effect
    The height of 35 meters and the dense arrangement of the shelves promote rapid vertical fire spread in the event of an emergency.

Active Fire Prevention Safeguards Fault-Free Processes

An OxyReduct® with PSA technology, individually adapted to the structural conditions, reduces the oxygen concentration in the protected area through the controlled addition of nitrogen, thus creating a protective atmosphere. The remaining oxygen level is below the specific ignition threshold for the stored goods, in this case chips, including packaging materials.


Customer benefits

  • Operationally safe
    No interruption of operations even in case of emergency due to protection of active fire prevention.
  • Safe
    Preservation of the warehouse and logistics process as well as the image even in case of emergency.
  • Simple
    Required nitrogen is obtained from ambient air. This saves costs and storage space.
  • Preventive
    Since no water-based extinguishing agent is used, there is also no consequential damage to the goods.
  • Reviewed by
    WAGNER's expertise with many years of experience in fire protection for high-bay warehouses.

Kundennutzen beim Referenzkunden Preferred Freezer

More Impressions of Preferred Freezer

Customer Testimonial

Burnie Taylor, General Manager, on his requirements on the fire prevention system from WAGNER

Our warehouse has to be operational 24/7 no matter what. We can’t afford interruptions of any kind.

Read report