Showing posts from April, 2010

Common factors contributing to industrial fires

Here is a quick refresher on common factors contributing to industrial fires and explosions: Common Causal Factors:
- Design flaws in ventilation system
- Lack of hazard assessment
- Lack of prevention & mitigation May cause explosion when:
- Dispersed in air or other oxidant
- Concentration is at or above minimum explosible concentration
- Ignition source is present
- Dust is confined Explosions can cause major damage and even trigger secondary explosions You can find additional information at the following sites:

Portable, Indoor, Outdoor Dust Collection Primer from NADCA

This video from NADCA National Die Cast Association is a great primer on portable, inside, and outside Dust Collectors. While they mention aluminum dust hazards, this video tutorial is applicable to all types of processes.

This is a segment from nadca’s online Combustible Dust Training Course Portable dust collectors: – Cyclones are less hazardous than bag or media-type – Dry collectors required to be outdoors – Bag collectors with aluminum = eventual explosion can be expected Avoid letting aluminum impact oxidized iron – Thermite reaction is possible – Enough heat to produce molten iron! Attach ground wires to bags and securely ground.

The Fire Triangle, Fire Tetrahedron and Dust Explosion Pentagon

Fire TriangleFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
The fire triangle. The fire triangle or combustion triangle is a simple model for understanding the ingredients necessary for most fires.[1] It has been replaced in the fire fighting and protection industry partially by the fire tetrahedron (see below).
The triangle illustrates a fire requires three elements: heat, fuel, and an oxidizing agent (usually oxygen). The fire is prevented or extinguished by removing any one of them. A fire naturally occurs when the elements are combined in the right mixture.
Without sufficient heat, a fire cannot begin, and it cannot continue. Heat can be removed by the application of a substance which reduces the amount of heat available to the fire reaction. This is often water, which requires heat for phase change from water to steam. Introducing sufficient quantities and types of powder or gas in the flame reduces the amount of heat available for the fire reaction in …

Stakeholder and AHJ Collaboration

Stakeholder and AHJ Collaboration

A few days ago, I posted the following blog titled COMBUSTIBLE WOOD FLOUR - "Factory fire causes $350000 damage"

This blog post talked about a combustible dust fire that happened in a facility creating wood flour.  From the perspective of someone who is in these plants on a weekly basis, and sees the potential safety issues every day, this was an unusually well written and detailed article.

One important thing to note about this news story, is the collaboration between the stakeholders - the company personnel, and the AHJ - Authority Having Jurisdiction, as well as the news media.  I was impressed by the detail in the story, and the cooperation between stakeholders.

Often when I read a story this detailed I can visualize exactly what happened at this plant, because I have seen the same thing many times.  Although more typically, most media accounts do not contain enough detail or research to be able to accurately tell what happened.

It is …