AFM discovered a significant amount of inadequately protected aerosol storage at an apparel and footwear retail client's main distribution facility. While this might seem insignificant, this location was critical to the client's operation because it was the sole distribution center for the company. A loss here would have been devastating.
After the aerosol exposure was discovered, the AFM engineering team began working with the broker to educate the client about the hazards they faced. At the stewardship meeting, the fire following exposure due to a lack of seismic gas shut-off valves (SGSV's) at the earthquake exposed locations, which included the client's key distribution facility was discussed. The client agreed to study the aerosol exposure and also evaluate the installation of SGSV's.
Because the client was a tenant in most of the buildings it occupied, there was some initial concern about installing SGSV's. Also, the client feared that their gas-powered back-up generators would be shut down if the SGSV's falsely tripped. Their AFM account engineer explained how a dangerous situation could develop after a seismic event that could endanger store contents and business continuity. Furthermore, their account engineer explained that the recommended SGSV's were known in the industry to be very reliable and would not trip in a seismic event of less than 5.4 magnitude. This would allow the generators to operate normally, but if the shake was significant enough to break natural gas piping, the SGSV would trigger, helping to avoid an extremely hazardous situation.
Going the Distance
After studying the aerosol exposure, the client agreed that it was unacceptable for their business. They subsequently committed the resources needed to address the situation, including solid shelving and a fence to enclose the aerosols. In addition, because the aerosol storage was moved under a mezzanine that did not have proper sprinkler protection, the recommendation also included the installation of in-rack sprinklers.
At a follow up stewardship meeting, the client informed AFM that the in-rack sprinkler protection was complete and the fencing around the aerosol storage would be installed soon. They also informed AFM that they were planning to install SGSV's in every new earthquake exposed store they planned to open as well as installing SGSV's at existing locations on an ongoing basis.
Partnering for Long-Term Success
Working together to understand and minimize their exposures—and through a commitment to loss prevention—the client reduced their loss expectancies by US$262M and enhanced their business with increased resiliency. By addressing an exposure that could have been catastrophic, this client is well positioned for long-term success.