PREVENTiT from Freeland Scientific is a low-cost fire prevention product for the waste and recycling industry.
How does it work?
It is an early warning system which monitors core temperatures in stockpiles. If an area of the pile approaches dangerous temperatures, industrial sensor probes send an alert wirelessly to a phone, allowing the owner to react to reduce the danger and prevent the fire before it has even started.
Why do you need it?
Fire prevention is at the top of the waste industry agenda following new requirements for Fire Prevention Plans (FPPs) set out by the Environment Agency (EA) last year. Operators must put in place and use fire prevention measures. Without them the site permit and insurance could be at risk.
Where would it ideally be used?
PREVENTiT is designed for stockpiles stored for several weeks at waste and recycling sites. It is particularly suited for woodchip waste but has applications for other waste covered by FPPs.
Two methods are employed to measure temperatures: low-cost disposable string sensors distributed through the stockpile and wireless probes inserted or screwed into the pile.
How is it different?
PREVENTiT is the only product of its type on the market which monitors temperatures deep within the pile, is low-cost and can be used indoors and out. Other options are typically expensive or activate an alarm after a fire has started.
PREVENTiT allows the operator to react before spontaneous combustion occurs.
What benefits does it offer?
PREVENTiT’s cable temperature system works wirelessly to transmit realtime information from every sensor point to a PC or mobile phone. It allows the user to keep a check on temperature data when and where convenient. The software includes a fully traceable batch management system which can be used to track product flow through the site.
Where has it been used?
Freeland Scientific has had considerable interest from all the major UK wood recyclers following the industry launch of PREVENTiT at RWM. The system has already been successfully implemented within wood stockpiles at one of the leading waste management and recycling companies in the south-east of England.
How much does it cost?
For a typical medium-large waste site, PREVENTiT costs less than £1 per tonne of woodchip stored. Equipment includes a PREVENTiT box, repeaters and disposable sensor cable. Once installed, on- going costs are the disposable sensor cable and annual software licence.
The cost is small in comparison with the expenditure companies can face as a result of a fire at their premises. Business interruption and fines levied by the EA following fires have been enough to put some waste and recycling operators out of business.
How is it future-proofed?
PREVENTiT was developed following detailed investigation and observation into the science of woodchip fires.
Freeland Scientific is currently working with the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum to further understand the science behind stockpile fires. The research feeds into product im-provements, for example adapting monitoring systems to provide appropriate tools for different material stockpiles.