Sky high tech used to prevent fires

December 29, 2023 BY

Prevention: EPA acting executive director of operations Rachel Gualano said the organisation is checking properties using drones and sending a message that organisations must manage their fire risk. Photo: DAN HIMBRECHTS/ AAP IMAGE

THE Environmental Protection Authority, or EPA, is using drones to find potentially hazardous waste this fire season.

Throughout summer drones will fly over facilities in the North West to check businesses are doing the most they can to prevent fires.

Random flyovers will be conducted using thermal imaging technology to find hot spots and ensure waste is being delt with correctly.

“We’ve seen in the past that fires at waste and recycling facilities are potentially devastating,” said EPA acting executive director of operations Rachel Gualano.

“They represent an unacceptable risk to Victorians, the environment and industry, and could result in clean-up costs in the millions of dollars.

“Our summer Fire Prevention Program will target high risk sites in the North West and around the state with inspections by our officers from the ground and in the air using our Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems drone team.”

Between November 2023 and this October, the EPA conducted 380 prevention inspections and fined five facilities.

There are also currently six active prosecutions against facilities where fires have occurred.

“We’re sending a message to waste and recycling operators; there’s no excuse for failing to properly manage their fire risk and if they haven’t or won’t, EPA will use its powers to enforce compliance with the regulations,” said Ms Gualano.