Fire protection for the recycling industry

Enhancing safety in material crushing and shredding processes

Recycling facilities face heightened fire risks during material processing. Crushing operations increase particle surface area, rendering materials more prone to combustion. Certain recyclables, like paper and wood, are inherently flammable, while even household waste poses fire hazards. Of particular concern are fires sparked by discarded lithium-ion batteries, with incidents on the rise in recent years.


estimated increase of fires in organics facilities during 2022


of fires at waste management facilities are caused by lithium-ion batteries

Managing risks in the recycling process

The recycling process faces various risks, notably the threat of fires within machinery like shredders. Fires can stem from multiple sources such as friction, bearing failures, or foreign objects, spreading swiftly and posing significant hazards.

While friction or mechanical issues traditionally trigger fires, a concerning trend has emerged in recent years: the surge in fires at recycling plants ignited by discarded lithium-ion batteries. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, incidents involving these batteries have spiked dramatically, increasing by 30 times over seven years. Alarmingly, the agency reports that lithium-ion batteries are responsible for a staggering 89% of fires at waste management facilities.

Escalating incidents of lithium-ion battery fires

The surge in fires ignited by discarded lithium-ion batteries presents an escalating challenge, with no signs of abating. Projections indicate a staggering growth of over 350% in the lithium-ion battery market by 2030, exacerbating the issue.

Extinguishing fires caused by lithium-ion batteries poses formidable challenges. Broken batteries can generate temperatures exceeding 500°C, rendering traditional water-based methods ineffective as the chemical reaction persists. Mechanical separation emerges as the optimal solution to halt the fire’s progression and mitigate potential hazards.

Fire prevention for recycling plants

Firefly offers tailored solutions for swift fire detection and extinguishing in recycling machinery, ensuring safety and minimizing downtime. Our integrated system includes detection, extinguishing, and control functions.

Shredders, prone to fires, benefit from our spark detectors triggering powerful extinguishing nozzles upon detecting hot particles.

Flame detectors and water mist suppression systems effectively mitigate fire risks in open areas like conveyor belts.
Our centralized control system provides a comprehensive overview of protected zones, enhancing monitoring and control.

With Firefly, quickly neutralize ignition sources and prevent potential fires or remove them from the waste stream. Choose from our pre-designed solutions for shredders, conveyors, and sludge dryers, customized for your site’s needs. Protect your recycling facility with proactive fire prevention.

Firefly ShredderGuard™

Frequent fires in shredders often result in production downtime and loss of revenue. A fire in a shredder can spread very quickly. Therefore, Firefly has developed Firefly ShredderGuard™, a Quick Suppression System that can withstand the tough conditions in and around a shredder. The main focus of the Firefly ShredderGuard™ solution is to detect and extinguish a fire in a shredder as quickly as possible. This is why a Firefly safety system always consists of three main integrated functionalities: detection, extinguishing and control. By integrating different techniques (flame detection, True IR-detection, full-cone water spray extinguishing and water mist suppression) into one solution, Firefly provides optimal safety for the protection of shredders.

Key benefits

Quick System Response Time

Minimum Water Usage

Third Party Approved System

Precision Detection

Safe and certified for your industry. Read more about our certifications and approvals here.

Unique Fire Protection Solutions for the recycling industry


The Quick Suppression System, which is part of our protection solution for shredders, operates with high performance flame detectors for extremely quick detection. The efficient water mist system has remarkable suppression capabilities which reduce damages on machinery.


The True IR Spark detectors enable Precision Detection of ALL types of ignition sources such as hot black particles, glowing embers and sparks. The detectors are insensitive to daylight. Systems are also equipped with Multi-Channel flame detectors, using advanced algorithms for Precision Detection of flames with high immunity to false positives.


The Water Mist System with fire-tested and verified extinguishing capabilities utilizes very small amounts of water resulting in less impact on machinery, minimized production loss and down time.


Powerful extinguishing with a unique nozzle design and placement aimed to penetrate and cover the entire material flow. Activated within milliseconds after detection.


Firefly Spark Detection System

Firefly Quick Suppression System

Keeping industry leaders safe

Project Manager

“The installation of the Firefly systems has brought safety to the operators. Before, we had to be very observant and we knew that our reaction was crucial for the handling of incidents. Now we can rely on the Firefly Fire Protection System.”

Corporate manager
Acme corp

“Firefly has been on our side since day one, we have worked with their team during the project definition to get the best ratio between risk management and CAPEX optimization. Firefly keeps our people safe while we concentrate on improving our performance standards in the alternative fuel industry.”

Project Engineer

“With the Firefly System an early detection of hot particles leads to immediate extinguishing and prevents the build up of a fire. Since the system was installed, Cérélia has had numerous detections but no fires.”

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Contact us for custom solutions and quotes