Fire Suppression News

Recycling and Waste Fire Protection Solutions

Recycling and Waste Fire Protection Solutions

Fire within recycling or waste management facilities continues to be a major problem with an average of once every day, according to figures from the Environment Agency. Fires can sometimes escalate to epic proportions with huge risks to the public, fire fighters and the waste management facility. As this is a scenario not readily catered for by any existing suppression standard or specification, a bespoke solution is required. Recognised as leading innovators, Ultra Surefire have pioneered a system capable of suppressing a fire in these diverse applications by combining detection and water technologies.

Roy Wilsher, Operations Director for CFOA said “the recent fires in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester serve as a stark reminder to us all of the fire risk associated with waste and recycling sites. In 2012 there were over 300 fires at such sites, many of which required a huge effort from the local Fire and Rescue Service to contain the fire, which can burn for days or even weeks”

Such is the scale of concern, guidance has now been issued from the ESA, HSE and CFOA for the reduction of fire risk at waste management sites.  A comprehensive guidance document, it covers specific fire control issues within the waste industry and methods to manage the risks.  In particular, the guidance makes reference to fire detection and suppression systems to form part of the fire strategy, installed by specialist LPS and LPCB approved contractors.

Recognised as leading innovators, Ultra Surefire have pioneered a water mist and detection solution, capable of detecting and suppressing a fire to prevent spread and allow sufficient time for fire and rescue intervention. 

The excellent fire suppression ability of fine water mist has been recognised for many years.  This performance is due to the large total surface area of the droplets combined with the high speed at which they convert to steam, thus absorbing the energy of the fire. Once the fire has been suppressed the droplets being discharged continue the effect by removing heat from the fuel source and at the same time dramatically reducing the harmful products of combustion.

By working with industry bodies and the FPA, our solution has been rigorously tested to prove its effectiveness in containers and conveyor belts with a variety of recyclable and non-recyclable materials. 

Comprising of four tests, conducted inside two different ISO containers with mixed non-recyclable plastics and dry card, an evaluation was completed to establish the effectiveness of a suppression system combining water mist and fire detection. The water mist system was run for 10 minutes, and the container monitored for several minutes after. Beneficial fire suppression and cooling effects were recorded, with no further combustion.

A more challenging scenario, fire behaviour highlighted the flammability of the material on the conveyor belt  and drew attention to the fact that flame detection and suppression could be fitted to protect the conveyor belt and hopper areas in the processing plant.

Operationally, the system is Open Deluge arrangement activated by a Linear Heat Detection System, with nozzles strategically located to cover containers, conveyor belts and other machinery.  Upon activation of the system via the extinguishing panel, water will flow through the open nozzles.  Depending on the risk, specially engineered foam additive can be included for additional fire fighting capability.

The aim of the proposed fire fighting system to provide beneficial suppression was achieved, and Ultra Surefire are confident that the system will minimise damage to plant and material until Fire and Rescue Services mount a full fire fighting attack.

“The Ultra Surefire team worked hard to design a system capable of suppressing a fire in these diverse applications, and by combining detection and water mist technologies we are capable of adapting the solution design to suit other plants using approved and tested equipment” Commented Paul Ruttley, Managing Director.

For more information visit or call 01494 444123


Published April 2015