Deluge System Save: Recycling Plant: Cheshire: 30 June

A fire at Shred-It on Barleycastle Trading Estate on Tuesday June 30 was caused by a conveyor belt overheating.
The damage at the Appleton shredding company was dramatically reduced thanks to them having a deluge system installed in the machinery. [A deluge system is a type of sprinkler system where all the heads open simultaneously].

Keith Brooks, Head of Protection and Prevention at Cheshire F&RS said: “By the very nature of its business, this factory contains highly combustible products which, if a fire was able to take hold would prove disastrous. Thankfully, the deluge system contained the flames to the machine involved.”

In addition to the deluge system, the company has a conventional sprinkler system installed across the building which is an additional safeguard. A sprinkler system works by suppressing flames and operates automatically when fire is close to a sprinkler head. The heat breaks the head and releases a spray of water to limit the fire from spreading.

Continued Keith: “This company has taken the very responsible and correct steps to minimise damage from fire, from which companies very rarely recover. As a Service we are very proactive in the promotion of sprinkler systems as they drastically reduce the damage caused by a fire and therefore minimise the disruption and time taken to achieve business continuity.”

Four fire engines, three from Cheshire and one from Greater Manchester, were sent to the fire which was in a unit measuring some 45 metres square.

Firefighters, two wearing breathing apparatus, isolated the electricity supply to the machinery unit and used a hose reel jet to make sure the fire was completely out.

Firefighters remained at the scene to damp down and used a forklift truck to remove paper bales from the affected area.