Reducing the risk of fire by using fire breaks at waste managements sites

Although written by WISH a number of other organisations were involved and provided valuable input. These included; ESA (Environmental Services Association), Environment Agency (EA), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Health and Safety Laboratories (HSL) and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA).

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The use of firewalls to reduce the spread of fire between waste stacks

One of the most important pieces of advice contained within the guidance is on how to reduce the risk of fire spreading from one storage stack to another. The guide recommends that waste stacks could have a firewall between them. This can be achieved by bunkering stacks of waste by using a three-sided enclosure.

The use of firewalls to reduce the spread of fire between waste stacks

Permanent firewalls are not a practical solution

The use of permanent walls to create the bunkers, although very effective at stopping the spread of fire, are often not a practical solution. Permanent walls are often expensive to build and limit the ability for waste operators to easily change the layout of their site. The answer is to use temporary side structures. However, the temporary structures used to build the bunkers need to be considered very carefully. For example, if the structure contains steel reinforcing, then that can limit the time that it can withstand extreme heat before the steel expands and cracks the concrete surrounding it.

Firewall or Fire break at a waste management site