Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 14.4. Requirements Applicable to Surface Coal Mines

Article 5. Fire Prevention and Fire Control.

§ 45.1-161.265. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Fire-fighting equipment; duties in case of fire; fire precaution in transportation of mining equipment; fire prevention generally.

A. Each mine shall be provided with suitable fire-fighting equipment, adequate for the size of the mine and shall include at least three 20-pound dry chemical fire extinguishers. Equipment and devices used for the detection, warning and extinguishing of fires shall be suitable in type, size and quantity for the type of fire hazard that may be encountered. Such equipment and devices shall be strategically located and plainly identified.

B. Suitable fire extinguishers shall be provided at all (i) electrical stations, such as substations, transformer stations and permanent pump stations, (ii) self-propelled mobile equipment, (iii) belt heads, (iv) areas used for the storage of flammable materials, (v) fueling stations, and (vi) other areas that may constitute a fire hazard, so as to be out of the smoke in case of a fire.

Code 1950, § 45-14.1; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-89; 1974, c. 323; 1978, c. 118; 1984, c. 590; 1985, c. 500; 1994, c. 28; 2005, c. 3.

§ 45.1-161.266. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Duties in case of fire.

A. Should a fire occur, the person discovering it and any person in the vicinity of the fire shall make a prompt effort to extinguish it. When a fire that may endanger persons at the mine cannot be extinguished immediately, all persons shall be withdrawn promptly from the area of the fire.

B. In case of any unplanned fire at or about a mine not extinguished within thirty minutes of discovery, the operator or agent shall report by the quickest available means to the Chief, giving all information known to him regarding the fire. The Chief shall take prompt action, based on the information, to go in person or dispatch qualified subordinates to the scene of the fire for consultation, and assist in the extinguishing of the fire and the protection of exposed persons. In the event of a difference of opinion as to measures required, the decision of the Chief or his designated subordinate shall be final, but must be given to the operator in writing to have the force of an order.

Code 1950, § 45-14.1; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-89; 1974, c. 323; 1978, c. 118; 1984, c. 590; 1985, c. 500; 1994, c. 28; 1999, c. 256.

§ 45.1-161.267. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Fire precautions.

A. An examination for fire shall be made after every blasting operation.

B. No person shall smoke or use an open flame within twenty-five feet of locations used to handle or store flammable or combustible liquids or where an arc or flame may cause a fire or explosion.

C. Areas surrounding flammable liquid storage tanks, electrical substations and transformers shall be kept free of combustible material for at least twenty-five feet in all directions. Such storage tanks, substations and transformers shall be posted with readily visible fire hazard warning signs.

D. Structures or areas used for storage of flammable materials shall be constructed of fire resistant material, well ventilated, kept clean and orderly and posted with readily visible fire hazard warning signs.

E. Fuel lines shall be equipped with shut-off valves at the sources. Such valves shall be readily accessible and maintained in good operating condition.

F. Battery charging areas shall be well ventilated and posted with warning signs prohibiting smoking or open flames within twenty-five feet.

G. Oil, grease, other flammable hydraulic fluid, and other flammable materials shall be kept in closed metal containers and separated from other materials so as to not create a fire hazard.

H. Combustible materials, grease, lubricants, paints and other flammable materials and liquids shall not be allowed to accumulate where they could create a fire hazard. Provision shall be made to prevent the accumulation of such material on any equipment, at storage areas and any location where the material is used.

I. Electric motors, switches, lighting fixtures, and controls shall be protected by dust-tight construction.

J. Precautions shall be taken to ensure that sparks or other hot materials do not result in a fire when welding or cutting. Welding or cutting with arc or flame shall not be done in excessively dusty atmospheres or locations. Fire-fighting apparatus shall be readily available when welding or cutting is performed.

K. Precautions shall be taken before applying heat, cutting or welding on any pipe or container that has contained a flammable or combustible material.

L. Oxygen and acetylene bottles shall be stored in racks designated and constructed for the storage of such bottles with caps in place and secured when not in use. Such bottles shall not be stored near oil, grease, and other flammable material.

M. Oxygen and acetylene gauges and regulators shall be kept clean and free of oil, grease, and other combustible materials.

N. Belt conveyors shall be equipped with control switches to automatically stop the driving motor of the conveyor in the event the belt is stopped by slipping on the driving pulley, by breakage or other accident.

O. Areas surrounding main fan installations and other mine openings shall be kept free from grass, weeds, underbrush and other combustible materials for twenty-five feet in all directions.

P. Internal combustion engines, except diesel engines, shall be shut off prior to fueling.

Code 1950, § 45-85.9; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-39; 1978, c. 729; 1994, c. 28.