Waste management fires, industrial fires and the cost to the environment, fire services and the businesses themselves has dominated FireVu’s Twitter reporting in the past month.
As I am writing this entry, I have not been “disappointed” with two major fires reported today.
A recycling plant in Horwich (pictured), Cheshire, belching toxic fumes took 40 firefighters to bring it under control.
In Fareham 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters were need to tackle an industrial fire with potential asbestos pollution.
The cost can be staggering. The Arcwood Fire we tweeted about took 4678 hours for firefighters to put out, cost £107,000 to the service and a further £200,000 Environment Agency clear up: 6 km of canal was polluted and thousands of fish were poisoned.
There has been considerable opposition to careless owners from fire services, MPs as well as local residents. St Paul’s Cray in south east London being one example.
The cost to waste management and recycling businesses can also be substantial. The British economy lost £1 billion in GDP and 5,000 full-time jobs through preventable fires in commercial warehouses alone over the last five years. This includes a loss of £190m per year in productivity and impacts to the supply chain. The cost in disruption and material to waste management and recycling businesses will mirror these facts.
The potential cost savings of detecting fire early can therefore be substantial. The new sentencing guidelines that come in 1st July for environmental damage for businesses that are responsible for pollution are potentially heavy – up to £400,000 for smaller businesses and £3m for larger concerns. Fire detection could eliminate such threats to the productivity and longevity of businesses and the environment.
Horwich fire, credit: Manchester Fire