Waste Facilities a Hot-spot for Fires


The Australian waste industry is shifting in a more recycling focused direction, and with this new focus comes the rise of a particular type of facility: the recycling transfer station. This is where valuable, recyclable materials are sorted from general waste and diverted from landfill. This type of site, despite Australia’s dependence on well managed landfill sites for the foreseeable future, is becoming more and more prevalent.

The vast and varied nature of materials dealt with at transfer stations make it a high-risk facility type when it comes to fire safety. The advent of hot or dangerous materials (such as batteries) being deposited in inbound loads represents a common cause of fire within this environment. It is difficult to foresee and counteract these risks during daily operations. As well as this, transfer stations are stockpiling more and more green-waste, with the increase in separation of waste types happening at homes and in businesses. This organic waste can be susceptible to spontaneous combustion, particularly in the hot Australian summer months. These varied hazards represent major difficulties in design and planning – how do we minimise fire risk in such a complex facility? Traditional fire detection methods alone are perhaps not enough to ensure fire safety at these sites.

As the facilities become more complex and sophisticated, the risk mitigation measures employed must be developed to a higher standard. Technologies such as thermal camera monitoring systems (when used in conjunction with existing measures) can provide a means of early fire detection, reducing the risk of fire. Thermal imaging based early fire detection systems are a key part of modern facility design and construction.  

Contact IMC today for further information on early fire detection systems.