How to Protect Your Self Storage Facility from Fire: Lessons from the Baton Rouge Incident

Published on 5/20/2024

The recent fire at a self-storage rental facility in Baton Rouge serves as a stark reminder of the importance of fire safety and prevention in the self-storage industry. As a storage facility owner or manager, protecting your property and your customers' belongings from fire hazards is paramount. Here are some essential tips and measures to help you safeguard your self-storage facility from fire.

1. Install a Comprehensive Fire Detection System

One of the most effective ways to protect your facility from fire is by installing a robust fire detection system. This should include smoke detectors, heat sensors, and fire alarms. Regularly test and maintain these systems to ensure they are functioning correctly. Early detection is crucial in preventing a small fire from escalating into a major incident.

2. Implement Strict No-Smoking Policies

Establish and enforce a strict no-smoking policy within the storage facility premises. Provide designated smoking areas away from storage units and ensure that these areas are equipped with proper disposal containers for cigarette butts.

3. Regularly Inspect and Maintain Electrical Systems

Electrical issues are a common cause of fires. Regularly inspect and maintain all electrical systems and wiring within the facility. Ensure that all electrical installations are up to code and that any potential hazards are addressed promptly.

4. Install Fire Suppression Systems

Equip your facility with fire suppression systems such as sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers. Sprinkler systems can help contain and extinguish fires before they spread, while fire extinguishers should be readily accessible throughout the facility. Train your staff on how to use fire extinguishers effectively.

5. Clear and Maintain Fire Exits and Pathways

Ensure that all fire exits and emergency pathways are clearly marked and kept free of obstructions. Regularly inspect these areas to make sure they are accessible and functional in case of an emergency. Conduct periodic fire drills to familiarize staff and tenants with evacuation procedures.

6. Educate Staff and Tenants on Fire Safety

Educate your staff and tenants about fire safety practices and emergency procedures. Provide clear guidelines on what to do in case of a fire, including evacuation plans and emergency contact information. Regular fire safety workshops and drills can reinforce these practices.

7. Limit Flammable Materials

Restrict the storage of flammable materials within the facility. Clearly communicate to tenants what items are prohibited, such as gasoline, propane tanks, and other highly combustible materials. Regularly inspect units to ensure compliance with these regulations.

8. Implement Regular Facility Inspections

Conduct regular inspections of the entire facility to identify and address potential fire hazards. This includes checking for proper storage practices, ensuring fire detection and suppression systems are operational, and maintaining clear pathways and exits.


The fire at the Baton Rouge self-storage facility underscores the importance of proactive fire safety measures. By implementing these essential tips, you can protect your self-storage facility from fire hazards and ensure the safety of your property and your customers' belongings. Remember, a well-prepared facility is a safer facility. For more information on fire safety and prevention, consult with local fire safety authorities and professionals.