UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON

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					                         UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON

   CODE OF PRACTICE FOR FIRE SAFETY WHEN HANDLING WASTE
                         MATERIALS

Every year there are some 160 000 fires involving waste materials. Many of
these are started deliberately.

The fires, which may involve piles of rubbish, open skips or wheeled waste
containers, can develop rapidly, especially as some types of plastic waste
containers ignite easily and burn vigorously.

The flames may enter buildings though windows, eaves and lightweight wall
claddings. The result is often a serious fire involving loss of property, loss of
jobs and inconvenience to the community. The fires may even threaten the
lives of staff, members of the public or fire-fighters.

This code of practice outlines simple measures that may be taken to reduce
the incidence of fires involving skips, wheeled waste containers and piles of
combustible rubbish.

Remember: Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 you
have a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to keep waste safe.

General

      Ensure that skips, wheeled waste containers and piles of waste
       materials:

      Do not obstruct escape routes

      Do not obstruct access to fire hydrants

      Are not sited in fire brigade access routes

      Make sure all rubbish is placed in the containers or designated areas
       provided and is not left on the ground nearby

      Obtain specialist advice regarding the disposal of asbestos, other toxic
       substances and biohazards. Do not dispose of them with other waste
       materials.

      Do not put aerosol cans, flammable liquid containers or gas cylinders,
       even when empty, into skips or wheeled waste containers. Keep them
       separate from other discarded items and seek advice from your local
       council.

      Do not put hot ashes, cigarette ends or other smokers’ materials into
       skips or wheeled waste containers.
      Do not dispose of the contents of ashtrays with papers and other
       combustible waste.

      Give staff instruction in basic fire prevention and the action to take in
       the event of the fire.

      If skips or wheeled waste containers are permanently on site, or there
       is a designated compound for waste materials, provide a hose reel or
       two water-type fire extinguishers, protected from the effects of frost,
       nearby.

      Never light fires in or near skips or waste bins. Where possible prohibit
       the burning of combustible waste.

Fire safety and waste skips

      Wherever possible site skips at least 10 m from buildings and plant

      Always use an enclosed skip rather than an open skip for combustible
       waste

      Lock the doors or lid of the skip when the premises are not occupied

      If a skip is regularly on site, paint lines on the ground to indicate where
       it should be located.

      Ensure that skips are delivers to the designated area

      Arrange for skips to be collected as soon as they are full or ready for
       removal

      Power to compactors should be turned off when the premises are
       unoccupied.

      Do not locate skips under canopies or trees

      Do not carry out welding work on full or partly full skips.

Fire safety and wheeled waste bins

      Use metal bins with lockable lids where possible and locate them in
       marked areas at least 6 m away from buildings and plant

      If plastic containers have to be used they should be sited at least 10 m
       way from buildings and plant

      Chain or secure wheeled containers in designated positions when the
       premises are unoccupied

      Arrange for bins to be emptied regularly
Fire safety and combustible rubbish

      Dispose of all rubbish in waste containers or skips if they are provided

      If your business regularly has large amounts of combustible waste, hire
       an enclosed skip or a wheeled waste container, with a lockable lid.
       Have the skip or container removed or exchanged regularly.

      Do not store loose combustible waste within 2m of the perimeter fence
       or within 6 m of a building or plant

      If possible, recycle waste materials such as pallets and cardboard

To reduce the incidence of arson store combustible waste in a secure, well lit
yard.



Phil Thompson MIFireE

Fire Safety Advisor

				
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posted:9/23/2011
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