Article date: 6 July 2009
Stockpiles of recyclable materials are creating a fire risk, warns Aviva, the new name for Norwich Union.
A sudden fall in demand for recycled materials, particularly from China, means that waste paper and plastic are now worth less and recycling businesses are storing these materials in hope that the market will improve.
Allister Smith, property risk manager at Aviva, said: “As manufacturers have reduced their output in line with the global economic climate, the price for recyclable materials such as waste paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles, particularly from the Far East, has fallen.
“Recycling trades are therefore stockpiling these materials, waiting for the prices to pick up. It is vital that businesses carry out a risk assessment to determine whether this is posing a fire hazard, particularly as paper and plastic are flammable materials and are at risk of catching fire or becoming an easy target for arsonists.
“We would, of course, urge these businesses to process the recyclable materials through the system as they would have done previously. But in the meantime, the way in which they are stored should be properly assessed.
“Fire protection and arson arrangements for the site should be evaluated to ensure they are adequate and actions should be taken where necessary.
“Storage yards, warehousing areas and recycling facilities, for example, should not be allowed to overflow. Security measures to protect against arson may also be necessary. These could include physical security fences, manned guarding, monitored CCTV or more simple measures such as increased lighting.”
Aviva Risk Management Solutions (ARMS) provides Hardfacts guides for businesses highlighting the security measures that should be in place. These are downloadable from the ARMS website (www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/).
Aviva also has a number of preferred suppliers of security systems that are available to policyholders at a discounted rate.
For further information, please contact:
Elinor Graveson at Staniforth on 0161 919 8025 / 07973 360 141 or Vicki Burn, Aviva’s UK Insurance press office on 01603 684 224 / 07800 692909.
Notes to editors:
Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. We also provide roadside assistance through RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.
Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.
Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.
Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.