Overview of fire and smoke spread in underground mines
Published: 19 April, 2010
Research regarding fire safety in mines has so far mainly been directed towards coal mines. Thus the need for recommendations, simulation models, engineering tools etc for non-coal underground mines are in great demand. This paper is part of a larger ongoing research project aimed at improving the fire safety in underground mines in order to obtain a safer working environment for the people working for the mining companies in Sweden or for visitors in mines open to the public.
The fire safety record in mines in Sweden is in general good with very few fire accidents that have occurred. The main reason is that there is a great awareness of the fire safety problems in mines. The awareness comes from the fact that escape routes from mines are generally limited. The is that it is expensive to construct extra escape routes which are not a part of the tunnel mining system. The costs to build extra escape tunnels may be better spent on different safety equipment or systems for fire prevention or evacuation. Such systems can be ventilation systems, fire fighting equipment or rescue chambers located at different places in the mines.
This specific paper encompasses a literature survey performed in the project. The main purpose of the literature survey was to investigate and present what has been done in the non-coal underground mine fire field in the past and to give recommendations on the continued work with regard to fire safety in underground non-coal mines.