Mining Publication: An Underground Coal Mine Fire Preparedness and Response Checklist: The Instrument
Preparedness is an important element of any underground mine's strategic plan in dealing with an unexpected event, such as a fire. A fully implemented fire preparedness and response plan is essential in reducing the probability and seriousness of a mine fire. This report describes the development of an underground coal mine fire preparedness and response checklist (MFPRC). The checklist is a data collection instrument for profiling both the fire prevention and response capabilities of a mine site and usually requires 3 to 4 days to complete. The checklist encompasses conditions, procedures, and equipment that have frequently been identified as the primary or contributing causes of underground coal mine fires. At least 1 day is needed underground to evaluate the water system. This entails measurements of waterflows and pressures at fire hydrants, and water throw distances of fire hose and nozzles at several locations (mains and branch lines). A few of the other topics that are discussed with mine personnel include detection and suppression systems, combustible materials, mine rescue and fire brigades, and firefighting equipment. The MFPRC was developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Pittsburgh Research Laboratory. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Cyprus Amax, Twentymile Coal Co. (Oak Creek, CO), the checklist was field tested and further refined. Additional field tests were conducted at several other operating coal mines.