Thoroughly evaluating fire risk through a comprehensive assessment of a wind project is one thing, but using it effectively is another. Once a fire risk assessment (FRA) has been conducted, it’s important to consider how to share the assessment with the range of stakeholders that are certain to benefit from being aware of its contents. In our latest report, ‘How to Evaluate Fire Risk,’ we identify eight stakeholder groups with whom you should share your FRA to effectively reduce the risk of fire.
These stakeholders include a range of individuals, from members of operations teams to the local fire department. It’s essential that all stakeholders have visibility of the assessment so they can work to prevent fire and respond accordingly should one break out. Here, we outline those eight stakeholders and encourage you to communicate with them proactively about fire risk and the work undertaken to minimize it.
1. Colleagues responsible for personnel safety
Your fire risk assessment might not be able to address all potential fuel sources, so it’s essential to consult safety professionals. As explained by JP Conkwright, professor of fire protection and safety engineering technology at Eastern Kentucky University, some FRAs do not cover significant potential fire sources such as cable installation, which can result in major fires in turbines. This is where a specialist with increased knowledge and understanding of fire risks is required to identify all sources which are a potential hazard.
2. Your operations team
Once you have identified the potential causes of fire at a wind farm, the operations team, responsible for maintaining the assets, is one of the most important stakeholder groups to share the report as maintenance standards can significantly impact fire risk.
3. Your finance team
The results of your FRA could implicate a change in total costs, as you may need new or updated equipment, like fire detection tubing to reduce fire risk. Your finance team should be given visibility of the assessment so they can factor these changes into their budgets.
4. Colleagues responsible for capital expenditure:
As our global sales manager, Angela Krcmar, points out, “the team responsible for the CAPEX for a new development is different from the team responsible for the operations, and it’s important to make connections with those two teams because there is typically a disconnect.” This makes sharing the report with them essential.
5. External providers of finance
Wind turbine fires can have a substantial financial impact on a wind farm and its owners. Letting your investors know about fire risk and what must be done to minimize it is vital for transparency and to reduce investment risk.
6. Colleagues responsible for negotiating insurance cover for the asset
Letting your insurers know that you have assessed for fire risk and taking precautionary measures to reduce the impact of fire is essential for underwriting and could positively impact your premiums as the chances of fire are reduced.
7. Your loss adjuster or insurance provider:
It may be necessary to conduct an FRA following a fire event or in connection with an insurance renewal, so in such instances, it could be beneficial to share the results with your loss adjuster and/or insurer
8. The local fire department
Letting the local fire department know about the level of fire risk, its potential causes, and how to respond is critical in reducing the environmental and financial impact of fire. By understanding the causes and likelihood, the fire department can respond more quickly and effectively.
Once you’ve conducted your FRA, informing all key stakeholders of the results is essential. This whole process can reduce the varied impacts of fire at wind farms. By understanding the causes of fire, such as fuel types and equipment, your stakeholders can implement effective strategies to reduce the chances of a fire. Moreover, sharing the results of your FRA with stakeholders can lead to increased preparedness financially and reactively to turbine fire.