The Fire Protection Specialists

Process Line Fire Suppression Solutions

Fire Detection & Fire Suppression for the Waste Management Industry

Waste Management Fire Safety is an extremely complex topic, especially where process lines are concerned.  They are able to transport a fire risk throughout the facility in a matter of minutes.  Without effective detection and suppression solutions in place, process lines could be the means for a fast-moving fire.  In the waste industry application, this would be devastating.

However, modern fire protection solutions are designed for this specialist application.  Bespoke solutions can be delivered to the Waste Sector to deal with the unique risk types.  Machinery and assets can then be kept safe with a minimum of business interruption.

 

Rule #1 – Detection First

As with any fire suppression system, fire detection in the Waste Industry MUST be priority.  Regardless of waste type or operational environment, a fire must be detected before it can be extinguished.  Due to the nature of Waste Management process lines, if the fire detection system is inadequate, the effect of the suppression system will be severely limited, if it activates at all!

In view of Waste Management fire safety, each risk area must be assessed individually by considering a number of factors:

  • Waste Material Type – Flammable or non-flammable?
  • Processes Taking Place – If you are running a shredder, there is a much greater risk of initiating a fire than if simply loading material into a feeder.  This risk needs to be considered proportionately.
  • Process Speed – The greater the speed, the more sensitive the system will have to be in order to react on time.
  • Threat Types – Are we looking for sparks, hot particles, flames or a combination?
  • Nature of the process – Can the process be stopped if required?
  • Consequential implications of missing a threat – Will the material pass through manual inspection, or directly into a stockpile of flammable material?

Click Here for more information on the effective detection systems available in the waste industry application.

 

Process Line Fire Suppression Systems:

Fire Sprinkler Suppression Systems

Sprinkler systems are commonly used for Waste Industry fire safety.  Many waste facility insurers recognise these as an effective and proven solution.  They are activated by a heat-sensitive bulb at the nozzle which bursts at a certain temperature, releasing the valve and allowing the system to activate.

In the Waste Industry application there are three water-based suppression agents used.  Plain water is commonly used in many waste applications.  In applications involving stock piles, a small percentage of foam additive is sometimes used for increased material penetration.

Sprinkler systems are ideal for protecting under your conveyors, gantries and shielded areas. They are reliable and cost effective in low-level applications. However, their effectiveness is limited on process lines due to the material being in transit.  This means that there is little or no chance of the system activating on time.

Deluge Suppression Systems

Deluge Systems are open-nozzle systems also commonly used for Waste Industry fire safety.  A solenoid valve located just behind the nozzle is used to release the water.  This is normally closed, but is opened by a third-party detection system when a threat is detected. This makes the system very quick to react – which is extremely important for process line protection.

As many forms of detection can be used, this system allows flexibility for each unique waste processing fire safety application.  This is very important to ensure fire safety due to the complexity of the Waste Recycling Sector.  Common detection systems for waste processing lines include:

  • Linear Heat Detection Cable
  • Flame Detection
  • Ember Detection
  • Spark Detection

As with fire sprinkler systems, the main agent is water, sometimes with a small percentage of foam additive if required for the application and waste type. Full foam fire suppression is also an option if this is more suitable to ensure the fire safety of the waste facility in the application.

Water Mist Deluge Systems

Water Mist Deluge Systems are highly effective fire safety solutions for the Waste Industry application.  Similar to deluge systems (see above), Water Mist Deluge systems are open-nozzle systems combined with an electronic solenoid valve.  This is also activated by the third-party detection deemed suitable for the unique Waste Industry application.

The Fire Triangle

However, as the water passes through the nozzle, it is atomised (broken up) and is discharged as a mist rather than a spray of large droplets.  This improves it’s effectiveness in heat absorption – thus helping to remove one side of the Fire Triangle.

In addition, the process of atomisation reduces the volume of water required to have effect – thereby reducing consequential damage and run-off.  This is a major factor in the Waste Sector due to the required water attenuation procedures.

 

Conclusion

In view of fire safety in the Waste Management Industry, Deluge Suppression systems are the most effective in many applications.  As mentioned above, these are very reliable suppression solutions, as well as providing a very fast response.  This is very important in the Waste Sector due to the volumes of flammable material being processed.

The effective use of water droplet size also reduces the volume of liquid required for fire suppression.  This is especially applicable to the Water Mist Deluge (see above) due to the process of droplet atomisation.  This limits the consequential damage of the water, thereby reducing operational downtime required to clean up.

However, as discussed at the start of this article, although suitable suppression is required for process line protection, detection is still paramount.  Often an effective detection system will be linked to a ‘Process Stop’ to contain the threat and allow suppression from a fixed pipework or via an operator with a Fire Extinguisher or Fire Hose Reel.  However, without the correct detection, nothing will happen – allowing the threat to pass from one process to another, working it’s way throughout the entire facility.

For more information on our specialist fire safety solutions for the Waste Management Industry, please Click Here

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