Warehouse System Design  •  Engineering  •  Permitting •  Installation Services

Warehouse System Design  •  Engineering  •  Permitting •  Installation Services

Warehouse System Design  •  Engineering  •  Permitting •  Installation Services

WA (Warehouse) / OR (Sales Only)
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How Seismic Activity can Affect Warehouses

Racking and seismic activity

The effects of racking and seismic activity can be destructive and devastating, as they are prompted by fire, tsunamis, fault rupture, and other natural disasters. These effects can lead to serious losses of properties and sometimes personal injuries. In this article, we will be focusing on how seismic activity can affect the pallet racking within your warehouse.

Structural Failure and Ground Shaking

The earth shudders during earthquakes, which then triggers the passage of seismic waves below the warehouse building, causing the pallet racking system to collapse. For your structural integrity, should be using solid materials for molding the foundation of your warehouse building to strengthen its ability to withstand unusual waves, triggered by seismic activity. It is recommended that you use concrete, metals, and other strong building materials to construct your warehouse’s foundation.

Ground Displacement

The main hazard of seismic activity is surface rupture. Surface rapture is often caused by horizontal or vertical movement on a broken or faulty surface. For instance, there could be a crack on the floor, causing unbalanced movement of the affected parts. This could lead to damages in the warehouse pallet racking system and could trigger damages. Having a good pallet racking system can help to mitigate this type of damage.


Landslides are downward movements of soil and hard rocks caused by the impact of gravity on the earth. Seismic activity generates mudslides and landslides, usually in areas filled with water-soaked soil. Meanwhile, landslides can lead to drops of debris and rocks, causing coalitions with individuals or buildings. This can also lead to the collapse of the pallet racking system in your warehouse. Landslides can also bring about falling debris which can cause roadblocks, disruptions in utility lines, and other inconveniences.


Liquefaction occurs when the stiffness or ruggedness of the soil is depleted due to earthquake activities. Sometimes, seismic activity can cause soil to turn to liquid, thereby instigating damages to the pallet racking system in the warehouse.

Liquefaction can cause major effects such as the collapse of the building supports and weakening in the building’s foundation. As a result, it could cause the warehouse building to sink into the earth, cause damages to the pallet racking system, or even trigger a total collapse of the warehouse building.


Seismic activity makes your warehouse prone to a tsunami occurrence if your warehouse is located in a swampy or waterlogged area. In fact, tsunamis that move through the earth’s surface can instigate severe damages to the building and can result in loss of lives.

Fire Outbreak

In some cases, seismic activity can cause disruptions in electrical lines, thus causing sparks and fire outbreaks. They are common hazards in buildings located in dry land. When seismic activity occurs, the earth shakes and breakages are the first set of hazards that happens.

These earth shakes then usher in sparks that can start firestorms. In areas like that, you can utilize fireproof doors or walls in constructing your warehouse buildings to avoid damages to the pallet racking system.

Mitigate the Effects of Racking and Seismic Activity on Your Warehouse

Racking and seismic activity cannot be avoided because they are caused by natural occurrences and human activities. Nonetheless, you can drastically reduce the damage and loss they can cause to your warehouse’s pallet racking system by using the right building materials to strengthen the foundation of your warehouse.

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