2011 Combustible Dust Related Incidents

From our friend John Astad at the Combustible Dust Policy Institute Blog, NFIRS fire distribution data shows over 500 reported combustible dust related fires and explosions in manufacturing facilities in 2011.

Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires-ATEX: 2011 Geographic Distribution Combustible Dust Related Incidents

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2011 Geographic Distribution Combustible Dust Related Incidents

North Carolina

The Combustible Dust Policy Institute (CDPI) researched over 500 combustible dust related fires and explosions in manufacturing facilities utilizing 2011 National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Data Center. All 50 states report NFIRS data with approximately 23,000 fire departments out of over 30,000 fire departments in the USA reporting NFIRS data each year which consists of about 75 percent of all fires occurring annually.

NFIRS data for 2011 indicated combustible dust related fires and explosions occurring in 40 out of 50 states with nine states reporting over twenty incidents as indicated by the table above. Since NFIRS is a voluntary program not all fire departments in the USA report incidents.

In the vast majority of over 500 incidents in 2011 no fatalities, injuries, nor property damage occurred, which is similar to the results of a confined structure fires defined by the U.S. Fire Administration. In contrast, two workplace fatalities and fourteen injuries occurred in nine states. Additionally, ten fire-fighters sustained injuries while responding to combustible dust related fires. The 2011 NFIRS injury and fatality data conflicts with the 2006 CSB Combustible Dust Hazard Study for the 1980-2005 time frame, where it was noted, "injuries and fatalities occurred in 71 percent of the incidents." In 2011, property damage occurred in 30 percent of incidents with damage of less than $5,000 in 56 percent of  incidents.

Combustible dust related incidents occurred in 20 of the 21 manufacturing subsectors in 2011. The food and chemical manufacturing subsectors experienced a total of nine incidents ( two food, seven chemical). In a following post additional information will be provided on a profile of affected industries and types of combustible dust involved in combustible dust related incidents during 2011.

Special thanks to the dedication and hard work of the local fire departments, state program managers, and staff at the National Fire Data Center at the U.S. Fire Administration in providing NFIRS data to end-users, "Fighting Fire with Facts." Without their continued efforts in identifying combustible dust related incidents, sharing this valuable information would not be possible.


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