Reading station flunks fire safety test

Electricity company says it needs more time to act on all the safety recommendations.

ta power station 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
ta power station 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Fire safety officials are warning that there are serious faults at the Reading power station and the city has demanded that the Israel Electric Corporation amend them immediately, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Tel Aviv. But the electricity company is saying it needs more time to act on all the recommendations. According to the report, municipal fire safety officials who visited the power station last December found a long list of safety flaws, including a lack of smoke detectors, a lack of automatic electrical shut-off systems, a lack of emergency lighting, and a number of flammable materials not under proper supervision. The most serious findings were that in the yard several old wooden buildings without any smoke detectors stood next to containers full of highly flammable fuel, and that the water pipelines throughout the station were old and rusty and "do not meet safety requirements." The city ordered the Israel Electric Corporation to correct the faults immediately, but reportedly very little has been done so far. A fire services official said that even though it was essential that the station continue to provide electricity, it was equally essential that the faults be rectified, and that if the electricity company did not do so, the city should withhold its business license. An electricity company spokesman said that while the report had been received in December, there were dozens of topics covered and the company had "begun to realize the main principles," but putting all the recommendations in place would take time. The spokesman pointed out that the company employs a permanent fireman and firewoman of its own, who "are ready for any emergency."