Fire safety advice for refuse chutes
Stick to a strict fire safety code if you operate a refuse chute and follow these tips and tricks.
Refuse chutes are a fast and efficient means of disposing of unwanted waste. Managed properly and this is a convenient solution in multi-habitat areas, such as apartments or high-rise blocks of flats.
Whilst being effective, care should be taken when operating and maintaining a refuse chute. In particular consider the fire risks and watch out for the following.
Keep total control over the waste collection process. Check refuse bins on a regular basis to prevent them overflowing and becoming a fire risk. By controlling the collection of waste in refuse areas this prevents it becoming a health and safety hazard so regular inspections and careful monitoring is required.
Use fire resistant materials
During the construction of refuse areas careful consideration should be given to the materials used. Any refuse area should be able to withstand fires for at least 60 minutes and be equipped with permanent ventilation to prevent the build up of fumes.
Provide adequate protection
According to the current building regulations, the general advice is refuse chutes should not be situated in lobbies or corridors. For older buildings, where chutes are already situated in areas like these, protective accessories can be fitted to the chute to prevent fires spreading into public areas. Fire-resistant shutters for example are a good option to consider. They can be retro-fitted to the base of the chute and act as a shield which shuts out smoke and fire.
Adopt a good housekeeping policy
In some instances refuse areas have been known to be used as communal storage areas. Bikes, prams and the like are sometimes left in these areas and this becomes a safety issue. Discourage this type of action. Remove the risk by making residents aware of the consequences of their actions. The only items waste areas should contain are refuse chutes and rubbish bins.
If you own or manage a building that operates a refuse chute or a laundry chute for that matter, the easiest way to ensure your building is safe and compliant is to have a regular fire risk assessment. For assistance in this area contact us here at Ged Chutes.