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EA urges ELVs to get fire prevention plans in place

The Environment Agency has urged end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recyclers to put fire prevention plans in place following the UK’s hot summer and a spate of fires.

In 2017, the EA states that there were 24 reported fires at ELV sites, up from 21 in 2016. With above average temperatures and below average rainfall for this time of year, and the dry spell expected to continue, the EA has warned about the increased risk of fires this autumn. The regulator is concerned not only for the potential impact on the environment but on employees and local communities, particularly after a fire in Witney this summer saw the public warned about the potential for asbestos debris being deposited.

As well as putting fire prevention plans in place, the EA recommends a number of steps ELVs can take to reduce their fire risk:

  • Disconnect and remove batteries as soon as possible after vehicles arrive on site
  • Use safe depollution equipment and ensure vehicles are fully depolluted before they are crushed and shredded
  • Store fuels in appropriate containers designed for fuel storage

Andrew Lake, Wiser Environment’s fire prevention plan expert says: “The EA has long believed ELV sites to be high risk so their latest announcement should come as no surprise to the sector. Putting fire prevention plans in place makes good business sense but they need to be financially and practically viable. We know that many ELV sites already have fire prevention plans but that many others are finding it difficult to get plans approved. At Wiser Environment, we understand the operational constraints of these operators and can help them get their fire prevention plans passed by the EA.”

Read the government announcement here.