Fire protection design in underground mines – A brief introduction to the challenges and considerations

Author(s) N. Jordaan
This paper was published in the magazine of the European version of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) in September 2022.

Underground mining operations are an important part of the modern mining supply chain, and modern society relies heavily on the products from these operations. However, these operations have some unique and challenging fire risks. Designing for these risks require an understanding of the dangers inherent to working underground, the interactions between various systems, people, and equipment, as well as a proper understanding of various fire protection standards. In many cases, a healthy dose of engineering judgement and common sense is necessary to find practicable solutions to challenging problems. This paper gives an overview of challenges and considerations when developing underground fire safety solutions.