Thursday, January 5, 2017

"Fire crews worked to get the furnace out of service"

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog has posted incidents involving furnaces in the past. Here is a recent

A fire in the furnace used to make aluminum foil at the former Noranda Aluminum led to a building evacuation at the plant.

The furnace at the plant, now called Granges, is used like a stove. The foil has to bake at certain temperatures, explained City Fire Marshal.

Fire crews worked with plant personnel to get the furnace out of service. After a few hours, the plant returned to normal operations. Multiple fire departments responded and even some Cabarrus County units assisted, City Fire Marshal said, because of mutual aid with those departments.

He said the reason why there was so much fire response was because of the size of the building. For large structures, crews receive lots of help in the event the fire gets too big to handle.

The three-alarm fire was under control by the time other units began arriving, just around noon.

The fire is still under investigation, City Fire Marshal said. Contrary to early reports of the furnace fire spreading to exterior of the building, City Fire Marshal said he’s not aware that it spread beyond the furnace area.

Fire investigators know the fire started in the furnace and that something happened to it, but they haven’t figured out what the issue was, he said.

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog congratulates the aluminium company on the safe evacuation of its employees. We hope that the equipment damage is minimal and the impact on production can be made up. 

The importance of having regular evacuation drills can not be understated. On our plant tours we occasionally ask a worker when their last evacuation drill was. If the worker cannot tell us quickly, then we know it has been too long.

When was the last time your plant had an evacuation drill?

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