A recent blaze involving 50 tonnes of mixed recyclates at Willshee’s Skip Hire in Burton brought into sharp focus the dangers of fire at waste management sites.
The ongoing safety battle against spontaneous outbreaks is a constant and very real threat to every business in the sector, with devastating and sometimes catastrophic consequences.
Traditional methods of dealing with the issue tend to involve water-only sprinkler systems, which produce a devastating deluge and create extra environmental issues which add significant on-costs to an operator.
One company taking a novel approach to the growing issue is Cheshire-based Red Fire Group, which has turned to proven German expertise to deliver a hi-tech solution to a growing requirement by insurers to have extra preventative measures in place.
Director Sean McGeary said: “The demand came from the waste industry where there was a real appetite for a professional supplier specialising in the fire suppression equipment.
Sean goes on: “An insurance company might want a sixty minute firefighting capacity at 2000 litres a minute at a designed application rate. This means a 120,000 cubic litre water tank and storage space many operators simply don’t have – not to mention huge pumps and ring mains which may not be necessary.
“Our compact system only puts a seventh of the water on to the ground – which means less water on a site floor to dispose of as hazardous waste, and a lot less expense.
“Apart from cost implications, the compressed air foam is a far superior medium than water to fight waste fires with. It acts as a wetting agent and absorbs into the material and sticks to vertical surfaces clinging to material.
“When you put water on plastic or wood, it largely runs right off the surface. Foam is much more effective and rapid, sticking to the substance, and also absorbing, cooling and smothering.
For a smaller scale site the company offers the compact Red Fire Box, an off the shelf stored energy system containing a mains-linked hydrant and hose reel, which is powered by compressed air via a gas canister.
This means, no power requirement and a simple 6bar water connection, and this system gives 20 minutes of effective firefighting capability with Compressed Air Foam and a 12 metre throw
As Sean points out, more bespoke projects tend to become long term business relationships – usually due to planning issues, legal obstacles and finance implications.
Red Fire Group provides solutions for new and existing buildings, which protect stockpiles, plant and machinery, people and businesses. They have partners to help and assist with methods of funding equipment and the company is becoming increasingly recognised amongst insurers, fire consultants and engineering consultants.
He continued: “Our goal is to give Red Fire Group an identity, as a market leader and innovator for fire suppression solutions within the UK Waste Industry.”
Red Fire Group’s All One Seven® systems
– Reduction of water amount up to 80 % with better suppression performance
– Strong cooling ability due to large surface area of foam bubbles
– Fast suppression and even extinguishment
– Extinguishment of ember pockets due to penetration effect
– Great adhesion to the fuel even on vertical surfaces
– No re-ignition
– Large throwing distance due to kinetic energy
– Environmentally friendly class A foam tested by VdS
– All One Seven® systems can be triggered manually or automatically (via auto detection)
– All kind of areas can be protected i.e. Bunker, storage areas, shredder etc.
– The application method is deigned to suit the risk i.e: cannon, rotor or nozzle