17 December 2013

 The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) led a discussion forum on the 27th November which aimed to set out a road map toward the reduction of fires at waste and recycling sites, and the mitigation of their impacts.

Around 50 delegates took part in Fire Futures Forum on Waste Management and Recycling Fires, including representatives from local and national government, the Environment Agency, insurance companies and the waste management industry.

The event included animated and productive debate on the factors at the root of waste management facility fires and what could be done collectively to address the issues and thereby reduce fire related incidents.

Delegates also discussed the likely consequences of failure: politically, legally, economically, environmentally and socially. The forum aimed to gain consensus on the issues around these fires, and an understanding of sector perspectives, in order to develop solutions that will be cost effective; proportionate to the risk and threat; and achievable for industry.

While attendees agreed that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ regulatory measures that could be introduced, CFOA will now be working with industry and stakeholders to produce a post forum report in early 2014. This report will outline the discussions held and signpost the direction to be taken in order to achieve the objective of reducing waste and recycling fire incidents.

Roy Wilsher, CFOA Operations Director said: “Today has given us the opportunity to work with partners to set out a road map towards our collective goal of reducing fires at waste and recycling sites. This issue is not just about the industry or the fire service: we all have to work together on this, and we are here to find and implement solutions.”

To read more on reducing fire risk at sites storing combustible materials see the Guidance Note from the Environment Agency>>