Raymond Brown Fire System
Raymond Brown Waste Solutions operates a state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility which can receive up to 75,000 tons of waste per annum. This facility is strategically located at the A303 Enviropark at Barton Stacey, near Andover, and serves Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and the surrounding areas. The site operates within an enclosed building on a 24-hour basis; as the waste is tipped it is loaded onto a conveyor to a trommel which removes any fines, the remaining material then passes through an internal sorting station for manual separation and the recovered materials are then either processed further or baled ready for reuse. There is external dust suppression surrounding the site with a bore-hole water supply and fresh water storage lagoon.
Raymond Brown continuously look to improve and develop their facilities further to ensure that they can continue to offer sustainable solutions within a safe environment. It was through their proactive approach to fire prevention that saw them make contact with Wright Rain Environmental Ltd. After seeking advice from the local fire authority and subsequently contacting the Environment Agency, Raymond Brown approached Wright Rain looking for an innovative solution for fire prevention within the site. There have been a number of recent cases of fire damage around the UK and insurance companies are conscious of the high cost of building and equipment replacement together with business interruption. The fire service can be reluctant to enter the building when called out, unless there is a danger to life. They are also often limited to water availability to fight the fire.
Raymond Brown asked Wright Rain Environmental Ltd to come up with a solution by considering fire
suppression within the building using the existing water sources and potential links with the fire alarm automation.
Where it would be normal to provide tanks to hold enough water for the purpose of fire suppression, the site has ample clean water stored in a lagoon close to the building and, with an automated floating arrangement to keep the pump primed at all times, it was decided to install underground piping across the roadway to the back of the building and keep the system constantly pressurised with a speed variator and pressure transducer.
Utilising specialist fire nozzles the system was designed to operate using six nozzles providing a wetted diameter of 10 – 12 metres of full cone, relatively heavy droplets to cover the areas of waste stock, machinery and combustible product bays. These nozzles were mounted on three steel pipelines high in the roof of the building, just below the lights, to prevent damage from the mechanical grab. The steel pipes exit the building and pass down to ground level where a valve manifold is mounted, with a low voltage solenoid valve, the three individual spray line isolating valves and a valved side tee for regular testing purposes.
The solenoid valve operates, via specialist fire cable, on a low voltage supply from the main building entrance next to the fire alarm system. This is activated by breaking the glass on the modified red fire alarm glass call point which links in with the fire alarm system, manual activation using the red box override key or by using the manual opening at the valve point.
Due to potential problems with false activation from both dust and exhaust fumes; the normal laser alarm sensor can be replaced with a flame/heat sensing system.
On opening, the pressure in the pipe system drops and the main pump is automatically activated to discharge the water through the spray system for a programmed time of around 10 minutes, to allow enough time for the fire to be doused whilst preventing the site from being flooded. This time span is of course fully adjustable.
The system is designed with non-combustible materials within the building and the pumping system and power supply separate to the building to prevent disruption and help comply with fire regulations for insurance purposes.
Wright Rain Environmental Ltd are delighted to work with the Raymond Brown Group of Companies who take their Environmental and Health & Safety responsibilities very seriously. Wright Rain Managing Director, Nigel Palmer said “We are very pleased that our design has helped to achieve the objectives and goals that our customer demanded. We would anticipate that great savings on insurance costs should be achieved going forward and in addition, the installed system can help to comply with the EA FPP (version 2) requirements”.
Raymond Brown Waste Solutions Project Manager commented: “We are pleased to have this new system here at our A303 Materials Recovery Facility. We are continuously looking to improve and develop our facilities, Wright Rain presented us with a design which sought to overcome the site risks associated with fire that our team had proactively identified.”
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