Association News

CFOA working with industry, insurers and enforcers towards reduction of waste fires

CFOA working with industry, insurers and enforcers towards reduction of waste fires

The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) is to release a report on the work it is doing with the waste industry, enforcement agencies and insurers towards reducing fires at waste and recycling plants.
The report, ‘Fire Futures Forum: Waste Management Facility Fires’, which will be launched at the CFOA Spring Conference taking place on 19th and 20th March, details discussions that took place at a round table event in November 2013, and outlines the next steps to be taken.

CFOA’s Waste Management round table event gathered together stakeholders from the fire and rescue service, waste management and insurance sectors, regulators, and strategic leaders from Central and Local Government. It was recognised that all parties involved needed to work collaboratively to effect positive change, and to produce solutions that were appropriate, risk-proportionate, cost-effective and achievable, both for the industry and enforcing authorities.

Following on from the Fire Futures Forum, CFOA has invited partners from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Insurance and Waste Management sectors to form the ‘Waste Management and Recycling Centre Fire Working Group’. This group will be analysing data on waste and recycling fires, taken from a variety of sources, to identify trends and causal factors. It aims to produce a ‘roadmap’ towards to the reduction of fires at these sites or, where they do occur, to mitigate the severity of their impacts.

Roy Wilsher, Operations Director at CFOA said: “We are working with partners and stakeholders across the waste and recycling industry to reduce the number and severity of fires at these sites.

“These serious fires can have a huge impact, not only on the local community and environment, but on the wider economy with road closures and the commitment of significant resources from fire and rescue services and partner agencies.”

Two work streams have been set up to look at Prevention/Protection and Response, and an interactive timeline of work outputs will be available for partner agencies to view, detailing progress.

The need for the formation of a group to look at waste and recycling fires was driven by a number of very high profile incidents during 2012/13. In Smethwick, for example, over 200 firefighters were needed to deal with a fire that required an estimated 14 million litres of water, and caused an estimated £6 million worth of property damage.

The Fire Futures Forum: Waste Management Facility Fires report will be available to download from the CFOA website from 19th March.


Published March 2014