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Bristol Recycling Centre Suppression Activation

6 July 2022

  • Fire Rescue Service; Avon
  • Incident; lithium battery recycling centre fire
  • When; July 2022
  • Where, Bristol, Albert Road Depot
  • Use of premises; Recycling Centre
  • Bespoke Automatic Fire Suppression System

Bristol Waste have released the above-mentioned video/press release 14 October 2022 identifying the benefits of suppression following a fire involving a lithium battery


  • Fires involving lithium batteries are becoming more common in recycling centres due to batteries or electricals containing batteries not separated correctly by residents at point of collection. The outcome crushed as part of the waste and recycling process resulting in fires


  • Lithium battery crushed as part of the recycling process
  • Causing it to explode catch light sending debris into the air
  • Secondary explosion takes place
  • Fire spreads to the bales on the conveyor belt
  • Fire suppression system activates containing/controlling the fire

 Benefits of the sprinkler system 

  • Rapidly reduced the rate of production of heat and smoke controlling the fire prior to the arrival of the fire and rescue service

 Business Continuity

  • This incident clearly demonstrates the importance of protecting plant/machinery in the waste/recycling sector with Automatic fire suppression systems
  • The dangers if batteries, or electrical items, are not properly separated as part of the waste and recycling process

Craig Powell, Contract manager, processing for Bristol Waste who was onsite when the fire in the film broke out said:

 “We heard the explosion, which is when you see the debris fly in the air, within seconds there were flames. We we’re lucky with this one; the fire systems we have in place ensured it was controlled before it became too big. However, these types of fires, if we were on a residential street, could cause untold damage.

“People think because they are empty or flat, cannisters and batteries are safe, but they act like little bombs, which are surrounded by dry flammable recycling – it’s really dangerous. But keeping us all safe is simple, just separate your batteries and places them in a clear, untied bag in your black recycling box, and take cannisters to the recycling centre.”

Article Source/video – Credit Bristol Waste Company



6 July 2022


Location (Town/City)
Type of Sprinkler Installation