Conclusions - Acknowledgement - References; Analysis of Mine Fires for All US Metal/Nonmetal Mining Categories 1990-2001
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Conclusions - Acknowledgement - References; Analysis of Mine Fires for All US Metal/Nonmetal Mining Categories 1990-2001

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  • English

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      During 1990-2001, a total of 518 fires occurred in all metal/ nonmetal mining categories; 296 of those fires caused 308 injuries and 4 fatalities. Surface operations had the most fires and the highest injury risk rate values. Forty-five fires destroyed or heavily damaged facilities and equipment (including 19 pieces of mobile equipment) because of failure of firefighting methods, late fire detection, undetected fires, or fire size. In the future, many of these fires and injuries might be prevented or detected and extinguished at their earliest stage by improving current fire safety procedures, adopting existing/ improved fire detection and suppression technologies, and/or developing new technologies. Several strategies for reducing and/or preventing the number of fires and fire injuries follow. I. Increase vigilance, improve safety procedures, and develop new technologies in order to prevent fires and injuries caused by fame cutting and welding operations. 2. Improve equipment hydraulic/fuel/electrical systems inspection programs; adopt fire-resistant hydraulic fluids and electrically powered motors for use in underground mines; develop new technologies (equipment/cab rapid fire detection/ prevention/suppression systems, emergency line drainage systems, and fire barriers); adopt an optimal ground level location for the activation of emergency systems; improve operator's fire preparedness training programs; and develop effective and rapid local firefighting response capabilities. 3. Adopt existing/improved systems for continuous and early detection of combustion gases and smoke along beltlines. 4. Adopt existing/improved technologies for monitoring equipment (beltlines) operational functions. 5. Increase vigilance and adopt improved safety procedures for handling f amenable liquids and refueling fuel in the vicinity of heat sources.
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