The process associated with granulating, sorting and processing - the recycling of raw materials - consists of various manual and automatic, mechanical steps and is more complex than commonly accepted. This complexity is also reflected in the fire risks along the process chain. Right at the delivery of the recycling material and its storage it is worth counteracting potential sources of ignition.
The quantities of organic and inorganic material mixtures hold a considerable fire risk due to the fermentation process. Taken together with batteries that are sometimes included and containers with flammable liquids that have not been completely emptied or spray cans, the ignition potential of recycling material increases enormously. Even the transport from one processing step to the next creates challenges to fire protection: For example the roller bearings of the conveyor belts may run hot and ignite.
If the fire leaps on to the recycling material being transported, a fire can spread rapidly in other areas of the operation as well. Processing stations at which flammable liquids, for example in the form of hydraulic fluid, are used, represent an extra risk. On these machines an uncontrollable fire can easily develop and become an economic threat to the entire company.
Sprinkler systems are an important component of building protection for recycling plants. A fire detection system complements building protection in all areas. The fire detectors’ signals run together into the fire detection- and extinguishing control unit. This notifies people in danger as well as the fire service and in many cases assumes control and function monitoring of the fire protection systems. Hydrant systems complete the building protection and allow the fire to be immediately attacked manually.
In addition to the basic configuration, other fire protection systems come into operation: