Tire storage facility has no fire safety sprinkler

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111220466814641.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ‘Indoor tire storage and recycling business located on city property does not have a fire safety sprinkler system. The facility is on Loomis Street and houses about 3,000 used tires.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111220475514646.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ‘A magnified image of the above photo shows stacks of tires outside the city-owned facility, waiting to be recycled.’);

City of Rockford officials acknowledged that a privately owned tire recycling facility on city property has no fire safety sprinkler system. The indoor tire storage center located in the former Barber-Colman plant on Loomis Street appears to be in violation of an international fire protection standard for such facilities.

However, John Strandin, the city’s communicatins coordinator, said city fire officials “do not feel it poses a fire or safety risk.” The facility, which is operated by Star Tire Co., is about 50 yards from the Rock River, and stores about 3,000 tires at the site.

Strandin said in a March 28 statement: “This business performs a valuable service in the community by recycling old tires. The facility has passed periodic inspections from both the [Environmental Protection Agency] EPA and the Rockford Fire Department. As the city’s tenant at Barber-Colman, the business is also subject to additional informal inspections by our staff working at the site.

“There is no heat or water in the building, therefore, there is no sprinkler system, but there are fire extinguishers present.

“The city has limited the number of old tires on the site to 3,000, significantly less than the number of tires stored at the business’ former location.

“Fire officials are aware of the tire facility and do not feel it poses a fire or safety risk,” Strandin said.

Details of the contract and fire department inspection records were not available by time of publication.

National Fire Protection Association standard 321D, which applies to the indoor storage of rubber tires, suggests the facility is required to have at least automatic water sprinklers on site.

From the March 30-April 5, 2005 issue

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