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Rufforth Recycling Plant Sprinkler Save

11 August 2021

North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (NYFRS)were called to a fire at 20.33pm, August 11. Dispatching two appliances from Acomb with additional appliances from York and Huntington to attend a fire in a recycling plant building measuring 100m x 25m.

The onsite  pre-action type B sprinkler system  operated and controlled/suppressed the  fire before the arrival of NYFRS who proceeded to use firefighting jets.

(A pre-action fire sprinkler system is a type of sprinkler that requires a two-step process in order to discharge. These systems work well in areas where accidental discharge needs to be prevented. Pre-action fire sprinklers are a dry sprinkler system, water is not contained in the pipes but is held back by a pre-action valve)

A total of 9 sprinkler heads had operated and were replaced the same day and system left back on line. System designed to LPC/BSEN12845 rules with K160 wax coated sprinklers at roof providing a density of 16mm (12.5+3.5mm added density for excessive clearance) over 260m2.

Plant machinery was then used to remove the recycling from the building allowing the contents of the building to be turned over, The cause of the fire is unknown. Fire safety is paramount to reduce the risk from fire as part of a holistic approach to reduce the ever present danger for the recycling and waste management industry with self-combustible waste and high hazard waste, to the hazards posed by machinery and vehicles.

To protect plant, loaders, electrical cabinets, conveyors consideration should be given to the installation of heat and flame detection and bespoke fire suppression systems, the outcome of which will ensure business continuity.

Further guidance on fire suppression systems for the waste management industry can be found in the BAFSA Information File (BIF 25)

The National Fire Chiefs Council, recommends that sprinklers are provided in facilities providing waste management and recycling. There is growing evidence that sprinklers are highly effective in controlling fires in these establishments. Uncontrolled fires in waste and recycling facilities are often prolonged, extremely resource intensive for fire and rescue services and partner authorities. They are also commonly disruptive to local communities and to travel infrastructure.

The Environment Agency (EA) Fire Prevention plans (FPP)

Did you know that EA requires FPP to be submitted with all permit variations and new permit applications (at application stage) for sites that store combustible waste. The FPP needs to be approved by the EA before a permit is granted.

A fire prevention plan (FPP) is a standalone management system that details the prevention measures and procedures as well as mitigation methods in place to protect against fire whilst carrying out day to day operations on a site.

A requirement for the FPP is that , if you store waste in a building , you must install a fire suppression system. This system should be proportionate to the nature and scale of waste management activities completed and the associated risks.

Further guidance can be found in the EA guidance, Fire Prevention plans: environmental permits


11 August 2021
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