Recycling Centre Blaze Highlights Fire Security Risk

There are many reasons to keep sites secure, be they construction sites, factories, warehouses or buildings housing valuables. Anywhere that does not have a human presence 24/7/365 is going to be potentially vulnerable to illegal encroachment.

It is not just that goods and materials may be stolen; there is also the potential for fires to be started, be it accidentally, on a small scale for warmth but getting out of control, or as deliberate acts of vandalism and destruction.

These are all very reasons to have premises guarded, since fires can be one of the worst things that can happen. Stolen items can be replaced as can broken glass, but fire by nature keeps on going until it has either burned out or been put out, by which time the damage may be extremely extensive and perhaps lead to a structure having to be demolished.

There have been several blazes in recent weeks that show just how dangerous such premises can be.

On June 23rd, there was a massive fire at an electrical and battery recycling plant in Linwood, near Paisley in Renfrewshire. Locals were forced to stay indoors while a huge plume of smoke rose into the sky, spreading potentially toxic fumes, with the cloud being seen miles away in Glasgow.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but recycling centres can be particularly dangerous places as they contain all manner of toxic and flammable materials. Whether there was anything deliberate about the fire or not, the potential threat if someone does access such as site without authorisation and honest intent is evident.

Issues of fire risk may also be in the minds of those involved with a construction project in Staines, where a huge fire broke out on June 26th. The blaze at an apartment complex was not the result of an intrusion, as it occurred due to a welding accident. However, it does highlight the dangers that can occur on construction sites due to the presence of flammable materials.

Indeed, it may be noted that if a huge fire can start when there is no intention of doing so and when the work is (presumably) planned with safety in mind – something the Health and Safety Executive may have been visiting Staines to check – then a situation can be worse still if a fire is started deliberately with intent to cause major destruction.

Equally, the fact that such sites are dangerous places in the first place, where even regular work can cause a fire if something goes wrong, highlights how important it is to make sure nobody can trespass on them.

It may turn out that the Linwood incident was every bit as accidental as the fire in Staines. But many are not. Indeed, police force statistics show that so far this year there have been 440,000 reports of arson or criminal damage in England and Wales, while last year’s figure was even higher.

With so many dangers of fire in any location, let alone those in particular danger of large, uncontrolled blazes, it makes sense to have plenty of site security in place.

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