An increase in waste site fires has prompted Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to use a thermal imaging camera during routine inspections.
The camera will be used by officers to identify ’self-combustion risks’ and give advice to operators.
Self-combustion – which can occur as waste decomposes – can cause serious fires because they are deep-seated and hard to get at.
NRW officers have undergone fire prevention and mitigation training. It is expected the camera will be used at up to 20 high-risk sites during the next year.
nrw thermal imaging
The system bought by NRW is a FLIR E6 thermal imaging camera supplied by Powersafe TiVision.
Gareth Davies, NRW senior environment officer, said: “Waste fires are a danger to the environment and to public health, and this tool will give us an extra edge in preventing them.
“It’s great that technology can bring these advantages to us. We’re looking forward to using the thermal imaging camera as part of our site inspections.”
Fire prevention methods are also being worked into the permits of high-risk sites.
NRW recently refused permit application for a waste storage and treatment facility at South Wales Wood Recycling because of a series of fires at the company’s sites.