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Beware: scrap metal fires double since 2016

A total of 365 fires at waste management and recycling facilities were officially reported in North America last year. And yet, Ryan Fogelman of Fire Rover estimates that the actual figure in 2018 is nearer 1 800.

Though incidents began to ‘level off’ by the end of 2018, total reported incidents were up 26% for the year compared to 2017. There were three deaths and 13 injuries reported as the result of fires in Canada and America. Most fatalities and serious injuries were suffered by fire fighters trying to contain the flames.

In 40% of cases, the fire started in metal scrap, followed by mixed waste (31%), recovered paper (8%), chemicals (4%), construction & demolition waste (3%), discarded plastic (3%), and e-scrap (1%).  The peak of 2018 fires was during the March-July period.

The year ended the year on a ‘positive note,’ says fire safety specialist Ryan Fogelman of Fire Rover.  During December, North America experienced 18 fires, compared to 23 in 2017 and 26 in 2016. There is typically an increase of fires during December because more municipal solid waste is generated during the busy holiday shopping season, Fogelman points out.

While the number of waste fires has remained steady, he is concerned that metal fires have almost doubled from 72 incidents in 2016 to 145 last year.

For more details, contact Fire Rover

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