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Branner i avfallsanlegg
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Research Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0979-2369
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Research Norway.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Research Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3019-5510
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport, Fire Research Norway.
2019 (Norwegian)Report (Other academic)Alternative title
Fires in waste facilities (English)
Abstract [en]

Waste facilities represent a vital function in society, but fires occur regularly. The aim of this study is to provide a knowledge base on risks associated with fires in waste facilities, and to identify measures that can prevent fire and limit the extent of fire damage and environmental impact.

Information was obtained through meetings with the waste industry, two inspections at waste facilities, a survey, a literature review and a review of the events registered in the fire and rescue services' reporting solution BRIS, as well as communication with other stakeholders. The project included land-based waste management; facilities for the reception and storage of waste (N=661), reception and storage of hazardous waste (N=250), and treatment facilities for hazardous waste (N=38). Waste treatment plants (such as biogas- or incinerator plants) as well as landfills are not included.

High-risk waste types have been found to be general, residual waste, batteries (especially batteries not correctly sorted), electrical and electronic (EE) waste, as well as paper, paperboard and cardboard. General, residual waste stands out as an important focus area for reducing the overall fire risk at Norwegian waste facilities, both based on reported frequency of fire ignition and potential consequences with regard to equipment, downtime, environment and health. Waste categorized as "Hazardous Waste" does

not stand out, and is not ranked in the highest risk category in this study, since many preventive and damage reducing measures have been implemented, and appear to work. Chapter 9 provides details on rating of fire risk.

In the period January 2016 - May 2019, 141 fires were reported in waste facilities in Norway in BRIS. The total number of fires (including small, medium and large fires) is unknown, but is believed to be far higher. Common sources of ignition have been found to be composting (self-ignition), thermal runaway in batteries, heat friction by grinding, human activity and unknown cause.

Regularly occurring fires outdoors, increased use of indoor storage and new types of waste such as lithium batteries lead to a risk that is difficult to manage, which can be a challenge with regard to insurance of waste facilities. Increased use of indoor storage is motivated by consideration for the environment and neighbours, but it may conflict with fire safety, especially because it restricts the access for the fire fighters and because of possible high heat stress on the load-bearing structure of the building housing the waste.

Any major fire, regardless of the type of waste burned, could potentially lead to the release of pollutants into the air, water or soil. All smoke from fires can be harmful to humans and exposure to it must be taken seriously. There is a need for more knowledge and expertise in assessing emissions and environmental consequences in connection with firefighting. The use of extinguishing foam can reduce the consumption of extinguishing water, but the foam itself can contribute to contamination if discharged into water. A more detailed list of chemical content in the foam product data sheet is needed in order to be able to assess environmental concerns during use.

2

© RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Measures have been proposed for the design of more firesafe facilities, for waste management and for limiting the environmental impact during and after a fire. Key measures that should be prioritized are detection and monitoring, limiting the amounts of waste, tidiness, sufficient training, reception control, available and properly dimensioned fire extinguishing equipment, as well as solutions to collect extinguishing water in order to prevent the release of environmental toxins. It has not been possible to verify the effect of individual measures based on available data and statistics. The industry’s own overall assessment has been found to be consistent with experience-based observations found in other studies, and this has been found to be the best available information on effective measures. The responsibility for most of the measures lies with the owner of the facility or the business, and the focus should be on the use of documented technical solutions and the assessment of whether measures are appropriate and practicable at each facility. A fire risk assessment, locally adapted to the respective facility is important, as there are large variations in the types of waste handled, the size and the design of facilities, as well as other local conditions that differ between waste facilities in Norway. The fire service should strive to achieve a close dialogue and cooperation with the waste facilities. The authorities should facilitate better knowledge transfer and learning after fires, between different fire departments. The authorities should also, in collaboration with the industry, develop a national attitude campaign to avoid faulty battery sorting.

Further work should study extinguishing techniques and extinguishing tactics that can limit the amount of water needed and that can be used during large-scale fires. Various detection and extinguishing solutions for use at waste facilities should be surveyed, assessed with regards to suitability and documented in cases where documentation is lacking. This should be made available on an openly accessible platform. There is also a need for further studies on the chemical composition of smoke from different types of waste fires, as well as studies on the extent and spread of fire smoke and environmental impacts from fires on water recipients.

Increased fire safety at waste facilities could facilitate a better dialogue between industry and insurance providers by reducing potential financial losses. Good handling of fire risk in waste facilities will not only affect the plants themselves, but will also limit potential societal costs and consequences for health and the environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 116
Series
RISE Rapport ; 2018:61
Keywords [en]
Fire safety, fire risks, fire ignition, consequences of fire, prevention, preparedness, waste, waste facilities, storage, treatment, waste fractions, types of waste, environmental impact, toxic emissions, industrial fires, self-ignition, auto-ignition, dangerous waste, industrial fire, battery
Keywords [no]
Brannsikkerhet, brannrisiko, brannstart, konsekvens av brann, forebygging, beredskap, håndtering, avfall, mottak, mellomlagring, behandling, avfallsfraksjon, miljøpåvirkning, miljøutslipp, industribrann, selvantenning, batteri, farlig avfall, industribrann, batteri
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-40766ISBN: 978-91-88907-88-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-40766DiVA, id: diva2:1371471
Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-20 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved

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