We live in a world where many businesses are faced with strong health and safety rules, that seem to take over the day to day operation. Hi viz jackets, helmets, painted lines to cross a different type of skip for every item disposed of. Yet with al this going on, there still seems to a wave of scrap yard fire occurring up and down the country.
Always Been Dangerous
Now of course this is not traditionally a safe job, but with specific licences required and regular visits from the fire service, you have to wonder what more can be done. To be fair there are instances of arson, or mis-guided kids not realising the consequences of playing with matches near a place full f flammable materials.
Most yards empty fuel from their cars as soon as tey arrive, firstly because often it can b reused if done correctly, but of course any sparks with fuel and we are talking explosions not fire. But there are many other fluids within a vehicle that can be set alight, from the oil in the engine to fluids in hydraulics etc. These may not explode, but will catch fire and deliver out some serious black smoke.
I visited a scrap yard once that had a small fire within a new car that was being welded. They got the fork lift truck and pushed it of the yard into an open space, then believe it or not tried to out the flames out with a hose pipe. I asked why they didn’t have the correct equipment, they replied they did, They didn’t want to use it as it cost too much to replace every time there was a small fire like this. Using the correct equipment was the last option rather than the first. On saying that, this firm has a good safety record on paper.
Anyone who spends time visiting various breaker yards looking for car parts, will learned that there really is a difference in operations. there are some, that are still mike the 1980’s and other that are bang up to date, with special racking to hold each vehicle separately up in the air, so when a fire does start, it just doesn’t reach. There is that obligatory guard dog also, that keeps strangers away.
so lets look at some fires from You Tube
Videos Of Fires
This one is in Pylle in somerset and you can see by the back smoke, this is not something a fire extinguisher will sort out.
This fire occurred in Preston, you can see a fire officer climbing the wall to get in, what these guys have to do.
In Byker near Newcastle this fire is pretty close to homes and shops, even of the fire didn’t affect them, the smoke surely did.
Filmed from a distance you can still see the affect of this scrap yard in Birmingham catching flames.
Praise should be given to those fire fighters, but also a reminder that scrap yard employees also do a difficult job, getting car parts to you cheaply, but also keeping themselves and their work mates safe.