Life safety paramount at high-risk facilities

Hazardous facilities, such as recycling plants, are known fire risks.

In June 2017, the Coolaroo Recycling Plant in Victoria, then operated by SKM Services, caught fire and burned for 11 days.

The municipal council had previously ordered the site closed because it failed to meet building codes and fire safety standards.

In 2019, Cleanaway took over the site and engaged Ferm Engineering to upgrade systems and establish sound fire safety procedures.

Life safety was Ferm’s paramount consideration to enable removal of the council order. Ferm’s first priority was identifying crucial fire components for upgrades and developing a safe evacuation program. Ferm oversaw installation of exit lighting, sprinklers, pumps and water tanks.

Because large amounts of waste material are stored on the premises, and trucks and forklifts operate around the site, effective fire systems and safe evacuation methods were vital.

Risk management procedures are now being evaluated and documented as Ferm designs and reports on insurable risk mitigation methods through dedicated early-warning detection systems at potentially dangerous plant and installs dedicated suppression systems for high-risk areas.

Ferm CEO Steve Burton said: “The goal is a strategic plan to reduce insurable risk by implementing fire protection measures that are above the Australian Building Code requirements, while developing a fire-safe complex that enables clients, the community and staff to live and work in a safe environment.”

Ferm’s experience and demonstrated capabilities with hazardous facilities, supported by highly trained professionals, are a major advantage for clients.

5 March 2020