Have you ever wondered why there are no electricity pylons in London? We take it for granted that electricity will be available in the capital and other UK cities, yet few of us consider just how that energy is supplied. In fact, power comes via an elaborate network of underground tunnels that snake below London's streets, parks and waterways to meet the population's ever-increasing demand for electricity.
UK Power Networks has carried out ground-breaking work (literally!) over recent years, boring huge tunnels 30m below ground to carry an extra 400 megawatts into the heart of the capital – the equivalent of powering 130,000 homes. This year the company's spur tunnel for a major new line to the housing and leisure development at Battersea Power Station won a prestigious industry award, emphasising the level of engineering skill required to develop and extend the subterranean superhighway.
As well as tunnels to house cabling, this superhighway has its own 'service stations' - networks of reinforced concrete junction chambers that must remain accessible for maintenance and repair work. These are confined spaces that present heightened risk in terms of safety for the engineers who need to enter the chambers.
With this in mind, it's vital that specialist fire risk assessments are carried out in subterranean substations. As with all underground structures - such as mines, public transport tunnels, subways and undercrofts - there are particular challenges that must be addressed in order to maximise safety not just for those below surface, but for the people and buildings above them.
Allsaved – Experts in Fire Risk Audits for Underground Structures
Fires in underground tunnels are rare, but sadly they do occur every year, whether due to faulty repairs or freak conditions. It's imperative, therefore, that the owners or operators of these structures carry out specialised fire risk assessments that address the unique issues involved. Hazards for people trapped inside a blazing tunnel include the difficulty of finding an escape route, the danger of a structure collapsing, risk of explosion, and possibility of inhaling smoke and escaped gases. Above ground, there are also multiple threats such as gas explosions and potential road collapse.
This is a specific sector in which we have many years' experience, working in collaboration with utility companies to offer risk assessments which are exceptionally thorough and 100% compliant with all current legislation.
Allsaved's unique risk management software has been developed to embrace the streamlining opportunities that technology can offer. You can find out more about our risk assessment apps on our Technology page.
Fire protection services in London and the South East
Once a risk assessment has been carried out, fire protection measures must be put into place. In a subterranean environment, this could typically include alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire suppression systems that are automatically triggered in the event of a fire.
This is serious work and we never underestimate the gravity of every project.
If you would like more information on this specialist area, or any of the services that Allsaved offers, please don't hesitate to get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to help.