Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 9. Requirements Applicable to Surface Coal Mines

Article 5. Fire Prevention and Fire Control.

§ 45.2-912. Firefighting equipment; duties in case of fire; fire precaution in transportation of mining equipment; fire prevention generally.

A. Each mine shall be provided with suitable firefighting equipment that is adequate for the size of the mine and includes 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 could be encountered. Such equipment and devices shall be strategically located and plainly identified.

B. Suitable fire extinguishers shall be provided at or on each (i) electrical station, such as a substation, transformer station, or permanent pump station; (ii) piece of self-propelled mobile equipment; (iii) belt head; (iv) area used for the storage of flammable materials; (v) fueling station; and (vi) other area that could constitute a fire hazard. Such fire extinguishers shall be placed 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, § 45.1-161.265; 2005, c. 3; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-913. Duties in case of fire.

A. If a fire occurs, the person discovering it and any other person in the vicinity of the fire shall make a prompt effort to extinguish it. When a fire that could endanger persons at the mine cannot be extinguished immediately, all persons shall be withdrawn promptly from the area of the fire.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 that is not extinguished within 30 minutes of discovery, the operator or agent shall report the fire to the Chief by the quickest available means, giving all information known to the operator or agent regarding the fire. The Chief shall take prompt action and decide whether to go in person or dispatch qualified subordinates to the scene of the fire for consultation and assistance 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 such decision shall be given to the operator in writing in order 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, § 45.1-161.266; 1999, c. 256; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-914. 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 25 feet of any location used to handle or store flammable or combustible liquids or where an arc or flame could cause a fire or explosion.

C. Any area surrounding a flammable liquid storage tank or electrical substation or transformer shall be kept free of combustible material for at least 25 feet in every direction. Each such storage tank, substation, or transformer shall be posted with readily visible fire hazard warning signs.

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

E. Every fuel line shall be equipped with a shut-off valve at its source. Each such valve shall be readily accessible and maintained in good operating condition.

F. Every battery charging area shall be well-ventilated and posted with warning signs prohibiting smoking or open flames within 25 feet.

G. Oil, grease, 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 any storage area, and at 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 no spark or other hot material results in a fire when welding or cutting. No welding or cutting with an arc or flame shall be done in any excessively dusty atmosphere or location. Firefighting 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. Every oxygen or acetylene bottle shall be (i) stored in a rack constructed and designated for the storage of such bottles with their caps in place and (ii) secured when not in use. Such bottles shall not be stored near oil, grease, or other flammable material.

M. Every oxygen and acetylene gauge and regulator shall be kept clean and free of oil, grease, and other combustible materials.

N. Every belt conveyor shall be equipped with a control switch to automatically stop the driving motor of the conveyor in the event that the belt is stopped by slipping on the driving pulley as a result of breakage or other accident.

O. The area surrounding every main fan installation or other mine opening shall be kept free from grass, weeds, underbrush, and other combustible materials for 25 feet in every direction.

P. Every internal combustion engine, except a diesel engine, 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, § 45.1-161.267; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.