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Hazardex 2018 Conference - 17. Fire Prevention Plans

31 January 2018

Presenter: James Daley - RPS Risk Management. 
Thurs 14.00 – 14.40: Main conference room

Does your site store combustible waste and have a permit? It may need to meet the latest requirements of the Environment Agency and National Resource Wales FPP Guidance.

A Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) is a document required and enforced by regulators (i.e. Environment Agency (EA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW)) as a condition of a waste site’s Environmental Permit. The FPP forms part of the overall management system and sets out the fire prevention measures and procedures used on site to meet the following fire prevention objectives:
• Prevent fires/reduce the likelihood of fire occurring.
• Identify and restrict the size and duration of fires.
• Deal with situations that have the potential to cause fires.
• Respond effectively and appropriately to fires on site in liaison with the fire service.
• Protect the environment from the impact of fires.
• Control/extinguish a fire within an adequate timescale.
• Minimise the spread of fire within your site and to your neighbours.

The EA issued its first FPP guidance document in March 2015 (with NRW issuing their guidance document in May 2016). Following this, from July 2015 to 2016 a total of 237 FPPs were completed, of which 155 (65%) were rejected, leaving 82 (35%) accepted. Previous statistics revealed an acceptance rate of less than 10%. The EA issued its final FPP guidance in July 2016 (updated in November 2016), in response to a number of high profile fires at sites storing combustible wastes.

Before the introduction of the FPP guidance there was limited regulation on the amount of combustibles that could be stored in one location, the separation distances between respective waste storage locations and the period of time for which the waste could be stored. Consequently, the potential for very large fires through fire growth and spread was a risk and without suitable fire fighting means, this could be proliferated. The FPP guidance provides a means to reduce the initiation of a fire, prevent fire growth and spread and extinguish safely any fire that does start. Should a site wish to deviate from the FPP guidance, they may do. However, a full technical argument with competent advice will need to be presented.

This paper will provide practical worked examples of how various sites can comply with the EA’s and NRW’s guidance, by providing detailed calculations and scientific evidence in their FPPs, and thus satisfy the relevant regulatory body.

James Daley has a BSc(Hons) in Fire Safety and Risk Management and is an Associate (AIFireE) member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE). He is a Consultant with RPS Risk (based in Warrington) and has worked in the Fire Safety and Risk Management industry for over four years.

James works extensively in the nuclear and process industries, and has gained experience in conducting nuclear and conventional fire safety assessments, Fire Prevention Plans (FPP), DSEAR/ ATEX inspections and various Hazard Studies (HAZOP/ HAZID).

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