Last week an ISRI member company experienced a fire in a scrap yard. The fire initially started in a junk vehicle; while fluids were being removed from the vehicle, a battery caused a spark that triggered a flash fire, which spread to nearby tires.
Four township fire companies responded to the scene. Because there were no water lines on site, a fire hose had to be connected from a fire hydrant across the street and dragged into the site to fight the fire. Thankfully no one was injured, but the fire did cause property damage. Although the member company had fire extinguishers on-site located near the fire, the fire extinguishers were inoperable (as a prank, the fire extinguishers were vandalized prior to the fire).
A lesson we can all takeaway from this incident, as part of the material acceptance process, ensure that all ignition sources are properly disconnected and removed, and as part of your work place inspection, visually inspect portable fire extinguishers and hoses monthly.
For additional safety resources contact ISRI’s Safety Analyst / Coordinator Elly Torabian or Transportation Safety Director, Commodor Hall.