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Fire chiefs outline action on waste sector incidents

A waste management fire ‘roadmap’ will be developed with the help of industry operators, insurers and fire services, to help reduce the number of fires in the sector.

The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) has issued a report following on from the Fire Futures Forum event in November last year, which was attended by waste industry members, the Environment Agency and DEFRA to look at cutting the number of fires at waste sites. 

The report says that the information from the forum, along with other statistics will be reviewed by the CFOA Waste Mangement Fires Working Group, to develop a ‘roadmap’ to tackle the problem.

The forum looked at factors such as risk management, waste storage, rogue activity and whether there is a need for more legislation and guidance.

The report Fire Futures Forum Waste Management Facility Fires summarised delegates’ discussions about the root of the problem of waste management fires. It said that there was broad agreement that rapid development of the waste management sector was making it difficult for site operators and regulators to keep pace.

The increasing amount of materials falling into the classification of waste was also suggested as a possible cause for the problem.

But some delegates felt that there was no evidence that fires are increasing but media reporting had sensationalised the issue creating a reputational problem for the industry.

The CFOA said the next step will be to analyse data about incidents to identify trends in the causes, and expressed the importance of including the insurance industry in its working group.

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