When choosing your fire suppression system, one important thing to keep in mind is the aftermath of a discharge. While stopping the fire quickly is important, you also want to consider the impact of the fire suppression system you choose. After all, cleanup from a fire suppression event can be a long and arduous task if you choose a system that isn’t suited to your environment.
If you own a business, you know how devastating a fire can be. Not only do fires reduce profits by damaging property and equipment as well as increasing downtime, but they are a serious safety risk for you and your employees. And while not all fires are entirely preventable, there are many steps you can take to increase your chances of preventing fires and reacting quickly when one does occur.
A lack of clarity around the accountability of fire risk management between wind farm owners and turbine manufacturers has put the wind sector at greater risk of suffering the damaging consequences of fire. Who is responsible for what? If a turbine catches fire, who is liable? The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or the asset owner? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that turbines are equipped with fire suppression systems?
Wind energy has a crucial part to play in steering the earth away from a reliance on fossil fuels and ultimately reducing emissions and the devastating impacts of climate change. Yet when it comes to developing projects, the industry often faces local opposition from residents on tenuous grounds. But when it comes to fire risk, failing to take steps that address public concerns could result in a damaging reputational hit – particularly if a wind turbine does catch fire.
Wind turbine fires are bad news for many reasons. From developers to operators and owners, manufacturers to workers, fire incidents at wind assets can hugely negatively affect everyone. Whether by causing injuries to onsite workers, detriment to future wind projects, or intangible wounds to the reputations of all involved entities – turbine fires deeply mar the industry.
Fire departments respond to more than one million fires each year in the United States alone. And while that number has been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, fires still present the potential for extremely hazardous situations whenever they occur. But while they all burn, not all fires are the same. In order to group fires—and the ways to extinguish them—fire professionals developed a system to classify fires.
Turbine fires present significant financial and reputational risks to the wind industry. Manufacturers, project owners, and operators have all taken major steps to reduce fire risk, but to date, most wind turbine fires are covered under insurance policies. However, as renewable energy insurers tighten terms and conditions and increase premiums and rates, the wind industry may have to cover more of the cost if a turbine is destroyed by fire.
The exact industry-wide risk for wind turbine fires is hard to pin down. Statistics vary between sources from 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 15,000. As the number of operating wind turbines grows, the total number of wind turbine fires per year will increase unless owners and operators fully manage fire risk. The wind industry takes fire risk very seriously, but often, owners and operators don’t always know where to start when it comes to evaluating their wind turbine’s fire risk.
The wind industry has experienced extensive growth since an initial boom in the mid-1990s. Wind power is poised to become a prominent part of the energy supply for global demand. However, as wind turbines get bigger and more expensive, fire risk is becoming a greater concern for the industry.
A fire suppression system’s job is to detect and suppress a fire. With a variety of fire suppression systems available, the system selected should be based on a number of factors including the application and the type of fire hazard.
As we celebrate Earth Day, you may be wondering about the environmental and health impacts of the various chemical suppression agents used in automatic fire suppression systems. Clean agents provide a range of benefits while protecting your critical assets.