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Case Study: Preferred Freezer

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

In 2015, Preferred Freezer commissioned WAGNER to equip its automated high-bay warehouse in Richland (USA) with the innovative fire protection system for active fire prevention. This is the first building in the USA that WAGNER equipped with the OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system. 

When the frozen high-bay warehouse of Preferred Freezer Services in Richland, Washington State, went into operation in 2015, it was the largest of its kind worldwide.

Three protected areas with a volume of 1.05 million m3, 35 m high racking systems, 117,000 pallet spaces and about 900,000 tons of frozen food stored and retrieved per year. In a country that has no shortage of space, high-bay warehouses remain rare, and frozen high-bay warehouses even more so. The cladded-rack design used here is unusual for the United States.

Preferred Freezer stores frozen foods in Richmond for the entire West Coast of the U.S., but primarily French fries.

Preferred Freezer Services was founded in 1989, then with only a single frozen food warehouse. The company has since grown to become a global leader in cold storage, warehousing, distribution and logistics. In 2019, Preferred Freezer was acquired by Lineage Logistics.

Fire Prevention Safeguards the Frozen Foods Supply on the West Coast

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.
Schutzziele beim Referenzkunden Preferred Freezer

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.

Active Fire Prevention Safeguards Fault-Free Processes

An OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system with PSA technology, individually adapted to the structural conditions, reduces the oxygen concentration in the protected area by controlled introduction of nitrogen, so that a protective atmosphere is created. The residual oxygen content is below the specific ignition limit of the stored goods, in this case French fries 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
    WAGNER's expertise with many years of experience in fire protection for high-bay warehouses.

Kundennutzen beim Referenzkunden Preferred Freezer

Customer Testimonial

Burnie Taylor, General Manager, Preferred Freezer

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

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