Fire hazard examples in the workplace – Here are five of the most obvious BUT overlooked fire hazards:
Propping open fire doors FIRE DOORS delay the transfer of heat, smoke and fire for at least 30 minutes, so keep them closed. Fire doors are usually required to isolate key areas where fires are more likely to occur, such as kitchens. Keeping them open increases the chances of fires spreading and puts more lives in danger. Overloading potential ignition sources Potential ignition sources are objects that produce heat, such as toasters, heaters or electrical supplies and equipment. Damaged cables, overloading power sockets, and chargers are also potential ignition sources. The best time to fight a fire is before it starts, so be cautious around potential ignition sources. If you take a look around the room right now, chances are you’ll see a few! Disposing of cigarettes near the rubbish bins or not emptying cigarette bins Many fire-related deaths that happen in non-residential buildings are caused by smoking. So things like ONLY smoking in designated areas, and disposing of cigarettes and other smoking materials CORRECTLY is a MUST. It will greatly reduce the risk of a fire starting. Watering plants on top of or near computers Most office plants are looked after by external agencies, who should be aware of the risks involved with watering plants, but if you feel the call of the green thumbs make sure you are not putting yourself at risk. Only water your plant with a fine water spray aimed away from any potential ignition source (computer’s, power sockets, radios etc.) Not annually servicing or using the incorrect type of fire extinguisher Fire extinguishers are not designed to last forever. they require annual servicing and refilling (even if they haven’t been used). More importantly, if you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on a fire you can exacerbate rather than douse the fire.
- 0.1 How would a potential ignition source in your workplace be described a hazard or a danger or a risk?
- 1 What is considered a ignition source?
- 2 What is a potential ignition source described as a risk?
- 3 What is the most common form of ignition?
- 4 What is the most common fuel source in the workplace?
- 5 What are the four different types of ignition?
- 6 Is lighting an ignition source?
- 7 How can we prevent fire ignition?
- 8 What is the risk of fire hazards?
How would a potential ignition source in your workplace be described a hazard or a danger or a risk?
To put together an effective workplace fire risk assessment, it is essential to understand workplace risks and fire hazards. Every workplace has possible fire risks and these should be identified and regularly reviewed. Anything that has the potential to cause a fire should be noted as a potential fire hazard.
What is considered a ignition source?
An ignition source is a process or event which can cause a fire or explosion. Open flames, sparks, static electricity, and hot surfaces are all possible ignition sources. An explosion can occur when flammable gases or vapors in the air come in contact with an ignition source such as a spark.
What is a potential ignition source described as a risk?
CHAPTER 2: ASSESSMENT OF FIRE RISK IN PREMISES – 37. In premises where fire safety law applies, it is a legal requirement to assess the premises to identify risk to persons from fire and to take fire safety measures. The assessment of risk should be specific to fire safety and to the specific care home concerned.
- A generic risk assessment will not be sufficient.38.
- Fire safety risk assessment is a practical exercise aimed at evaluating the risk from fire and how to ensure the safety of persons in the event of fire.
- It involves an organised and methodical look at the home, the activities within the premises, the type of occupants, the potential for a fire to occur and the harm it could cause to people.
The existing fire safety measures are evaluated to establish whether they are adequate or if more requires to be done. In this respect, fire safety measures include not just physical measures, such as fire alarm systems and escape routes, but also standards of management.39. Identify people at risk 40. An assessment should be made of those persons at risk if a fire occurs within or in the vicinity of the premises. The number, characteristics and location of occupants, residents, staff and other persons who frequent the premises should be identified.
- Disabilities should be taken into account along with people’s familiarity with the premises.
- The inexperience, lack of awareness and immaturity of any young persons (under 18 years) employed or resident, should be also considered.
- Identify causes of fire 41.
- For a fire to start, three components are needed: a source of ignition; fuel; and oxygen.
These components can be represented as the sides in a simple ‘Triangle of Fire’ model shown in Figure 2, If any one of these components is missing, a fire cannot start. Taking steps to avoid the three coming together will reduce the chance of a fire occurring, while reducing the quantity of oxygen (smothering) or fuel (starvation) may restrict the development of a fire. 42. The premises should be critically examined to identify potential ignition sources and materials that might fuel a fire and the circumstances which might allow a fire to start, whether accidentally, deliberately or through lack of maintenance or precautions.
Indications of ‘near misses’ should also be considered, such as scorch marks on furniture or fittings, discoloured or charred electrical plugs and sockets or cigarette burns. Some general information and examples are given in Table 1 at the end of this chapter and recommendations on controlling ignition sources are contained in Chapter 5,
Evaluate the risk 43. The risk in the premises should be evaluated so that a judgement can be made on the adequacy of fire safety measures. Risk has two components: the likelihood that a fire may occur; and the potential for a fire to cause death or injury, i.e.
- Both likelihood and consequence should be considered when assessing risk.44.
- The likelihood of a fire starting will be low if there are few ignition sources, and if combustible materials are kept away from them.45.
- Having considered the people likely to be at risk should a fire start in the building and the chances of a fire occurring, the consequences and extent of the risk to those people if a fire starts and spreads should be considered.
In evaluating the risk to people, it is necessary to consider different situations and possible scenarios such as:
Fire starting on a lower floor affecting the escape routes for people on upper floors; Fire developing in a space that people have to pass by to escape from the building; Fire or smoke spreading through a building via routes such as vertical shafts, service ducts, ventilation systems, walls, partitions, ceilings and roof voids; and Fire and smoke spreading through the building due to open doors, doors fitted with self-closers being wedged open or damaged doors.
Decide if existing fire safety measures are adequate 46. A judgement needs to be made to determine whether the fire safety measures and fire safety arrangements are adequate or if more needs to be done to safeguard persons.47. The level of fire safety measures provided in the premises should be proportional to the level of risk posed to the safety of people.
- Implement improvements 48.
- Carrying out an assessment of the premises is not an end in itself.
- The outcome of the risk assessment needs to be acted upon, risks need to be controlled in a practical way, and fire safety measures and arrangements need to be put in place.49.
- Potential causes of fire identified should be avoided or removed if reasonably practicable to do so.
If they cannot be removed, measures should be taken to control the risks.50. Where improvements to fire safety measures in premises are considered necessary as a result of assessment of risk, a programme for implementation of the improvements should be drawn up.
Avoiding risks; Evaluating risks which cannot be avoided; Combating risks at source; Adapting to technical progress (this may offer opportunities for improving fire safety); Replacing the dangerous with the non-dangerous or less dangerous; Developing a coherent fire prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work and the influence of factors relating to the working environment; Giving collective fire safety protective measures priority over individual measures; and Giving appropriate instruction to employees.
52. Where improvements involve building work, the work should be done in accordance with Building Regulation procedures. In a listed building (a building of special architectural or historic interest included in a list compiled by the Scottish Ministers), alternatives to conventional fire safety measures may be appropriate.
- Guidance is available in Guide for Practitioners 7 Fire Safety Management in Traditional Buildings from Historic Scotland.
- Record the findings 53.
- Having carried out a fire safety risk assessment of the premises, the findings should be recorded, including any action taken or action still to be taken.
- Fire safety law requires that certain information be recorded where five or more employees are employed (whether they are on the premises or not) or the premises is subject to licensing or registration or an Alterations Notice has been issued requiring this.
Chapter 4 contains recommendations in respect of record keeping. Review the assessment 54. The fire safety risk assessment should be reviewed before any changes are made, if relevant safety issues arise, and in any case regularly.55. Where changes are proposed, the consequence to fire safety in the care home should be considered before the change is introduced.
A change in the number of people present or the characteristics or dependency of the occupants; Changes to work procedures, including the introduction of new equipment; Alterations to the building, including the internal layout; Significant changes to furniture and fixings; and The introduction or increase in the storage of dangerous substances.
56. A review should occur on becoming aware of shortcomings in fire safety measures, potential improvements; or a fire or ‘near miss’ occurs which may indicate that the existing fire safety measures are inadequate. If the Fire and Rescue Service has attended a fire in the premises, its fire investigation findings may help inform a review.57.
In any case, a review of the fire safety risk assessment should be carried out regularly. This will involve setting time aside to consider whether there has been any change which would affect the risk and therefore confirming that the control measures are still appropriate.58. Generally, reviews of a risk assessment should be carried out in-house by the care home management and in so doing, this will reinforce ownership of fire safety management and assist in the development of relevant knowledge and of a fire safety culture.
Table 1 – Causes of Fire IGNITION SOURCES Potential ignition sources are those where sources of heat could get hot enough to ignite material found in the premises. These sources could include:
Smokers’ material – such as cigarettes, matches and lighters Naked flames – such as candles or gas open-flame equipment Heaters – electrical, gas or oil-fired (fixed or portable) Hot processes – such as repair work by contractors Cooking equipment and lighting equipment Deliberate fire-raising Electrical equipment or fixed installations.
There are various ways to reduce potential sources of ignition, for example:
Replace naked flame and radiant heaters with a central heating system Restrict the movement of, and guard, portable heating appliances Install, use and maintain electrical and mechanical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions Take precautions to avoid deliberate fire-raising.
Fuel Material which will burn and is in enough quantity may provide fuel for a fire. This includes contents, fixtures, fittings, structure, wall and ceiling linings and surfaces. Some examples of ‘fuels’ are:
Textiles, soft furnishings, clothing and laundry Flammable liquids and solvents, such as white spirit, methylated spirit, cooking oils, disposable cigarette lighters and adhesives Wood, paper, cardboard, plastics, cellular foam, rubber and upholstered furniture Flammable gases such as liquefied petroleum gas ( LPG ) and aerosol contents.
There are various ways to reduce the materials and substances which burn, and to separate them from ignition sources, for example:
Store flammable materials properly Remove combustible wall and ceiling linings, such as timber, polystyrene or carpet tiles (to reduce the surface rate of flame spread and smoke production) Ensure rubbish is not allowed to build up.
Oxygen The main source of oxygen for a fire is in the air around us. Air supply can be by natural air flow through doors, windows and other openings; or mechanical air conditioning systems and air handling systems. Buildings may have a combination of sources capable of introducing or extracting air. Potential sources of oxygen supplied to a fire can be reduced by:
Closing doors and other openings Ensuring that doors are close fitting and, where appropriate, fitted with seals Closing down ventilation equipment.
The action may be a precaution taken in case a fire starts, such as keeping certain doors closed. In other cases, the action may take place once a fire is detected, such as when ventilation equipment is shut down (either manually or automatically), or when doors are closed, either manually or by the automatic release of hold-open devices.
What are examples of ignition?
Examples from Collins dictionaries The ignition of methane gas killed eight men. A massive explosion accompanies the ignition of refined gasoline or fuel oil. Ignition of the compressed fuel mixture takes place when the spark flame reaches it.
What is the most common form of ignition?
|Identifying Fire & Explosion Hazards|
Ignition Sources The information on this section of the site looks at the many possible ignition sources found in the upstream oil and gas industry. Some are well understood and readily identified, while others deserve further examination.
- Identifying Ignition Sources
- Hot Work
- Static Electricity
- Hot Surfaces
- Pyrophoric Iron Sulphides
- Pressure (Compression Ignition)
- Friction and Mechanical Sparks
- Sudden Decompression
Printable version of page content The list of references used in the following information is provided under the Resources & Useful Links section of this site. Once fuel and oxygen are present, an ignition source is needed to complete the fire triangle. Hydrocarbons can be ignited in two ways:
When an external ignition source with sufficient energy to ignite the fuel-oxygen mixture is available (e.g., flames, sparks).
When the temperature is raised above the auto-ignition temperature (e.g., the compression ignition of a diesel engine).
This diagram shows that consideration must be given to the factors that can change the minimum ignition energy and the available ignition energy. Forced ignition (i.e. external / piloted) is the most common form of accidental ignition. An external ignition source is classified as anything that can deliver enough energy in the form of heat to ignite a substance. This category includes sources such as open flames, electric arcs and sparks and mechanical sparks. Types of Ignition Sources Identified in Website Case Studies back to top Hot work has been defined as any operation that can produce enough heat from flame, spark or other source of ignition, with sufficient energy to ignite flammable vapours, gases, or dust,
Welding, cutting, grinding, brazing, flaming, chipping, air gouging, riveting, drilling, and soldering are all forms of hot work that can create sparks or high temperatures, References on this topic speak of the many precautions necessary during such operations. The conditions and equipment in areas next to the work area need to be considered when planning activities,
The fact that conditions can change and new hazards can be created during the operation also needs to be taken into account. For example, hydrocarbons can vapourize from the heat produced during hot work, Case Study: A worker was using a cutting torch near an open vessel, which contained lube oil.
- The lube oil was not very volatile, therefore, it was not considered to be a risk to anyone.
- Before work commenced, LEL readings were taken at the opening of the vessel and it was deemed safe to perform hot-work operations.
- As the work progressed and the vessel heated up from the heat of the cutting torch, vapours from the heated lube oil formed an explosive atmosphere with the air in the vessel.
The torch ignited the vapours causing an explosion. back to top Definition “Static electricity is the electrical charging of materials through physical contact and separation and the positive and negative electrical charges formed by this process.,” If the process is not or cannot be properly grounded, allowing the charge build-up to be safely dissipated, the charge may build up to the point where it will discharge with a static arc, which may provide an ignition source to a nearby mixture of fuel vapour and air.
- This is shown schematically in the Static Charge Generation diagram later in this section.
- Static electricity can be generated in many different ways.
- Case Study : Mud tanks containing a hydrocarbon-based fluid caught fire due to a static electric discharge from a plastic downspout off the centrifuge.
The flow of the fluid through the plastic non-conductive pipe created a build up of charge until it was large enough to arc, resulting in an ignition. There were no proper bonding and grounding procedures in place. Nonconductive Liquids A common source of static electricity is the movement and transport of nonconductive liquids.
When liquids are filtered, sprayed, pumped, mixed, or flow through pipes, static electricity can be generated. This type of “internal” static charge cannot be eliminated by bonding or grounding. If there is a sufficient potential difference between the surface charge and the metal tank shell, when an object is lowered into the tank or well, a static arc may occur.
This is of particular concern if there is a vapour space above the surface of the liquid. For example, the static arc created by well-servicing tools contacting the fluid in a well has ignited this type of air-vapour mixture. The following simplified diagram helps to highlight the critical issues related to static charges. Static Charge Development Minimum Ignition Energy For a discharge to ignite an explosive atmosphere there must be enough energy. The minimum ignition energies for most hydrocarbon gases and vapours range from 0.1 – 1 mJ (milliJoule). The level for methane is 0.29 mJ for example.
- A person walking across a carpeted floor can develop a potential difference large enough for a 40 mJ discharge – more energy than it takes to ignite methane.
- Humans generally only sense discharges of 0.6 mJ or more, which means that discharges we can’t detect may carry enough energy to ignite a flammable mixture.
Discharges from humans generally need to be greater than the fuel’s minimum ignition energy to be an ignition source. This is because conditions such as temperature, humidity and surface shape all affect the energy of the discharge. Increasing the oxygen levels and/or the pressure can increase the minimum ignition energy. Switch loading is when a product is loaded into a tank or vessel that previously held a different product with a lower flash point. The concern with switch loading is that residual low flash point liquid from the previous load could form a vapour-air mixture in the tank or vessel.
- splashing and misting operations should be avoided
- initial fill rates and maximum flow rates should be limited
- hydrocarbons with dispersed water or solids should not be pumped or flowed
To prevent charge accumulation:
- conductive fluids should be grounded while insulated containers are being filled conductive parts should be bonded and grounded
- a sufficient residence time downstream of filters and pumps should be used
- antistatic additives can be added to low conductivity fuels.
Static Charge Generation Effects of Humidity The air’s relative humidity can act as a suppressant to static electricity because higher moisture content allows static charges to dissipate more readily. A study was done to determine if the electrical potentials on different garment fabrics were great enough to detonate sensitive flammable gases at a temperature of 75 ° F and various levels of relative humidity.
|Relative Humidity||Effect on Electric Potentials|
|65% or more||Not enough electric potential for ignition|
|35%||Enough potential for some sensitive mixtures to ignite|
|25%||Higher potentials produced capable of providing a significant ignition source.|
|20% or less||Dangerous voltages; levels able to ignite most hydrocarbons.|
In some cases, it may be possible to spray a coating on materials that can generate a static charge. The coating will make the material more conductive allowing the charge to flow more easily rather than accumulate. back to top Hot Surfaces Surfaces that exceed the minimum auto-ignition temperature of a hydrocarbon have the potential to ignite hydrocarbon vapours. Effects of Temperature on Lower Limits of Flammability of 10 Paraffin Hydrocarbons in Air at an Atmospheric Pressure* Experience and studies have shown, however, that published minimum auto-ignition temperatures must be exceeded by hundreds of degrees to ignite a flammable air-hydrocarbon mixture in the open air.
- This is because field conditions are much different from the controlled laboratory conditions created for traditional ignition temperature tests.
- In the open air, wind and convection currents prevent the air-hydrocarbon mixture from contacting the hot surface for long periods.
- With the result that a hot surface in the open air needs to exceed the minimum ignition temperature of the hydrocarbon by about 200 0 C for ignition to occur.
Electric Arcs and Sparks Sparks are the discharge of electrons that may or may not expend all of the energy in a single discharge. An arc is a continuous stream of electrons bridging a gap between two conductive surfaces in close proximity. The size or intensity of arcs and sparks depends on the resistance of the substance between the points of discharge.
Once the voltage is high enough to overcome the dielectric strength of the air, the air will ionize allowing a conductive path for electricity to flow. Due to the high resistively of air, there will generally be enough energy dissipated in an arc or spark to ignite a flammable vapour. The current or amount of electricity that is flowing will dictate the temperature of the arc.
The higher the current, the higher the temperature. As shown below even arcs with lower currents have enough heat energy that the likelihood of ignition is high. Temperature of arcs in ambient-pressure air, along with predictions from the theory of Lowke and an experimental data fit Some common examples of arcs and sparks as an ignition source are listed below.
- Sparking of electric motors, generators, or other electrical rotating equipment
- Arcing between contacts (i.e. switches and relays)
- Arcs due to broken, inadequate, or failed insulation
- Lightning strikes
- Discharge of a charged capacitor through a gas
- Poor contacts between conductors, such as poorly fitted light bulbs and their sockets
- Arcs intentionally created during electric welding
Case Study: An explosion-proof trouble light was rented for the cleaning of a tank that contained hydrocarbons. The light had been altered, compromising its explosion-proof abilities. When the globe in the light failed, the resulting spark ignited the atmosphere.
This explosion injured five workers. back to top Pyrophoric iron sulphides form when iron is exposed to hydrogen sulphide, or any other compound that contains sulphur, in an oxygen deficient atmosphere, They are found frequently in vessels, storage tanks, and sour gas pipelines, Pyrophoric iron sulphides present a hazard when equipment and tanks are opened for cleaning, inspection, and maintenance.
As the iron-sulphide compounds dry out and come in contact with air, they react with the oxygen and spontaneously ignite, Case Study: A partial inspection was taking place in a vertical test treater at an oilfield battery site. The vessel contained pyrophoric iron sulphides.
When purging the vessel, the iron sulphides dried out and started to react with the air. This created enough heat to ignite the atmosphere resulting in a fatality and another serious injury. The reactivity of an iron sulphide depends on the type of iron oxide from which it was derived, Reactive iron sulphides can be deactivated when wetted with oil, therefore, rusted surfaces that are below the oil level are at low risk of causing an explosion,
Chemical and mechanical methods are available to remove iron sulphides. The use of potassium permanganate is gaining acceptance for this purpose because it improves safety, saves significant cost and increases productivity, Other treatments include acid washing, chemical suppression, and the use of high-pH reagents,
back to top Pressure (Compression Ignition) When gases are compressed, heat is generated, or more accurately, energy is transferred. If the rate of heat generation within a system exceeds the rate of heat loss (energy transfer) to the surroundings, the temperature of the system will rise. If the rate of compression is rapid enough such that the heat loss may be considered negligible, resulting in “adiabatic compression”, the temperature rise will depend on compression ratio.
Diesel engines work on this basic principle. Case Study: The pressure in a gas well was allowed to rise, with pressure readings being taken every five minutes. After half an hour, there was a down hole explosion which ruptured the surface casing and caused a fracture in the ground at surface.
- It is believed that the rapidly rising pressure along with residual produced oil in the well caused this explosion.
- The rate of pressure rise is generally relatively slow in snubbing operations.
- This allows heat (energy) to dissipate to the surroundings.
- Typical timing for compression to a maximum pressure is in the order of several hours as opposed to a fraction of a second (ms) in diesel engines.
Sudden compression, however, may be an ignition source (e.g. when a valve is suddenly opened resulting in the rapid compression of an air-hydrocarbon mixture) and is worth consideration when analyzing snubbing incidents. A compression ratio of 18:1 for air initially at ambient temperature produces temperatures of 674 °C, which can ignite dry tinder. Mechanical sparks occur when there is excessive friction between metals or extremely hard substances. As the two substances rub against each other, small particles are torn off the surfaces. This tearing is due to the large amount of friction. For a metal to spark, it must satisfy three conditions:
The energy, which supplies the tearing off of the particles, must be sufficient to heat the metal to high temperatures. Softer metals usually deform before they spark.
The metal must be able to oxidize and burn easily. Generally, a metal’s sparking temperature is the same as its burning temperature.
The metal’s specific heat is the last factor. A metal with a low specific heat will reach a higher temperature for the same amount of energy input.
Safer in Cold Temperatures Energy from a mechanical spark may heat a small volume of gas to its auto-ignition temperature. If the spark cools before the auto-ignition temperature is reached, the gas will not ignite. Mechanical sparks are, therefore, safer in cold temperatures.
- Caution Down Hole Examples of mechanical sparking include dropping metal tools or chains, and grinding metal with an abrasive disk.
- Caution should be used when lowering or raising metal wire- line tools in a well as less friction is needed to cause sparks at down hole temperatures.
- Lower Melting Point Metals Safer If the temperature reached during the contact of metals exceeds the lower melting point of the two metals then the surface will tend to melt rather then tear and spark.
Generally lower melting point metals will be safer. Incidents in which gases or dust clouds have been ignited due to friction or mechanical sparks can be divided into three categories.
- Low energy; can be caused by hand tools. Typical energy 10J.
- Medium energy; can be caused by powered hand tools. Typical energy: 1kJ
- High energy; can be caused by major collisions on land or sea. Typical energy 1MJ.
back to top Sudden Decompression Sudden Decompression of air-hydrocarbon mixtures, particularly air-liquid hydrocarbon mixtures, is not well understood. In the presence of air, liquid hydrocarbons may oxidize forming products such as hydroperoxides, aldehydes, ketones etc.
Higher temperatures and pressures will increase this reaction rate. Some of these compounds are highly unstable especially when subjected to sudden pressure and temperature changes. Decomposition of such products can yield significant energy rapidly and may provide an ignition source for the air-hydrocarbon mixture.
In addition, during sudden decompression of air-hydrocarbon mixtures, the release of dissolved gases within the liquid hydrocarbons may atomize the liquid hydrocarbons thus enhancing their reactivity. back to top When added to hydrocarbons, some chemicals may substantially increase the reactivity of the mixture.
What are the most common sources of ignition in operating room?
Excerpt – The definition of a surgical fire is one that occurs in, on, or around a patient undergoing a surgical procedure. Urologists, as with all surgeons, utilize and bring the components of the fire triangle into proximity, increasing the risk of a surgical fire.
- Three main components of the fire triangle are required for a surgical fire to take place: fuel source, oxidizer, and an ignition source.
- The first component is a fuel source.
- Common fuel sources include degreasers, prepping agents, drapes, towels, sponges, dressings, tapes, gowns, hoods, masks, ointments, benzoin, aerosols, alcohol, mattress, pillows, blankets, ECG electrodes, hoses, tissue, GI gases.
The second component is an oxidizer. Common oxidizers are room air, oxygen, nitrous oxide. Lastly, the third necessary component is an ignition source. Common ignition sources include a light source, laser, electrocautery, sparks from high-speed drills and burrs, defibrillators, glowing embers of charred tissue, flexible endoscopes, tourniquet cuffs.
Sources of each of these three components are often present close to the patient in the medical setting or operative suite. A further risk factor for surgical fires is a high oxidizer level or elevated oxygen concentration greater than the normal atmospheric oxygen level of 21%. This risk is particularly high during head and neck, oral pharyngeal, and rectal surgeries, where higher oxygen levels or methane gas may be present.
How to Prevent Office Fires
Oxidizer levels cause a decrease in the ignition point temperature of fuels. Curiously enough, inhaled halogenated anesthetics are similar to halogenated fire extinguishing agents and are considered non-flammable and may actually be protective of endotracheal tube fires.
What is the most common fuel source in the workplace?
Ignition Source Best Practices – To organize a workplace so that ignition sources are kept away from fuel, all potential ignition sources must first be identified. The most common ignition sources are electricity and flammable liquids. Flammable chemicals, including gases and solids, and well as personal items such as lighters and matches, can also cause fires.
Keep electrical cabinets closedGround electrical equipmentAvoid overloading circuits or outlets with multiple devicesKeep electrical equipment lubricated and clean
Flammable Liquids: Many liquids that are used in industrial workplaces are also potential ignition sources. These include gasoline, oil, hydraulic fuel, paint, paint thinner, and other common liquids. Liquids can be especially dangerous because they can emit easily flammable vapors.
Category 1: Liquids with a flashpoint below 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit and a boiling point at or below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Category 2: Liquids with a flashpoint below 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit and a boiling point above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Category 3: Liquids with a flashpoint at or above 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit and at or below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Category 4: Liquids with a flashpoint above 140 degrees Fahrenheit and at or below 199.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
This information and instructions for handling and storage will be found on the label and on the safety data sheet for each flammable liquid. Flammable liquids must be stored in a segregated, properly ventilated area designated for this purpose. More than 60 gallons of Category 1 or 2 liquids or more than 120 gallons of Category 3 liquids must not be stored in a single cabinet.
If transferring flammable liquids, designated and approved safety cans must be used. Other Ignition Sources In addition to electrical sources and flammable liquids, it is important to remember that common personal items may also be fuel sources. For instance, cell phones may produce static charges, which could ignite a fuel source.
Smoking cigarettes can also be regarded as an ignition source. All smoking must occur in designated areas that are safely separated from fuel sources.
What are 3 causes of fire ignition?
The Fire Triangle
Take a look at the following diagram, called the ” Fire Triangle ” Oxygen, heat, and fuel are frequently referred to as the “fire triangle.” Add in the fourth element, the chemical reaction, and you actually have a fire “tetrahedron.” The important thing to remember is: take any of these four things away, and you will not have a fire or the fire will be extinguished.
What are the four different types of ignition?
Understanding Ignition Systems While cars have changed drastically throughout history, there’s one constant that all combustible engines have in common: an ignition system. Currently, we recognize four types of ignition systems used in most cars and trucks: conventional breaker-point ignitions, high energy (electronic) ignitions, distributor-less (waste spark) ignition and coil-on-plug ignitions.
Is a powerpoint an ignition source?
Gas bottle installation regulations – Gas bottles are placed in specific locations with set clearance zones designed to keep you and your property safe. So what are the key things to watch for?
Solid and upright. Gas bottles must be placed on a solid base made of a fireproof material like concrete or pavers, and kept upright at all times. This will keep the gas bottles stable and allow them to safely vent any excess pressure through their pressure relief valves. Cylinder storage. To prevent leaks, movement or damage, LPG cylinders must be restrained to prevent falling using safety chains or straps. Alternatively, you can store the bottles inside a cage made from heavy-duty materials with bump rails. Ventilation. The space the gas bottles sit in needs to be well ventilated – so spots under stairways, buildings, alcoves or underground are usually not suitable. No ignition sources. As LPG is flammable, gas bottles must be kept a minimum distance away from ignition sources. This reduces the risk of fire in the unlikely event of a gas leak, or during delivery when small amounts of LPG can escape into the air. Potential ignition sources include anything that carries electricity or a flame, like light switches, power points, air conditioning units, lights, motion sensors, security cameras, hot water heaters or BBQs. No building openings. To prevent an LPG leak entering buildings or accumulating in an enclosed space, gas bottles must also be placed away from any wall openings like windows, doors or air vents. No ground openings. As LPG is heavier than air and will sink to the ground if there is a leak, gas bottles need to be kept away from any ground openings like drains or pits.
Gas exchange installations If you have a gas exchange installation – where your empty LPG bottles are swapped for full ones when they run out – the minimum clearance levels are shown below. Gas refill installations If you receive regularly scheduled deliveries where your LPG is topped up on-site by a gas truck, the below diagrams show the requirements for your installation.
Is lighting an ignition source?
CompEx, working in collaboration with Dehn, the lightning protection specialists, to give some further guidance with the below article for you on lightning as a source of ignition in hazardous areas. If you examined the lightning protection system on your site or the system that you are proposing to have fitted, how would you know if it complied to the appropriate standards? If the answer is that the specialist contractor you engage to do the work would know, what qualification or competence do they have to evidence this? If you contribute to managing ignition sources on site think about this, if your site requires a CompEx qualified and competent person to change a certified light fitting or a junction box, can that same qualified and competent person demonstrate the additional skills, knowledge and experience required to carry out an installation, inspection or test of a lightning protection system? BS EN 1127 – Explosive Atmosphere – Prevention & Protection part 5.7 states that: “Lightning will always lead to ignition, either from thermal rise, flash over, sparking, physical damage to structures or from induced energy leading to faults within localised LV distributions systems and equipment.” DSEAR Regulations 2002 place a duty of care on site owners to manage, mitigate, remove or reduce any potential sources of ignition.
IEC 60079-14:2013 Electrical installations design, selection and erection, states that all potential sources of ignition must be risk assessed, removed or reduced. You must manage and mitigate risk. It goes on to say that the method of managing the risk of ignition from lightning is to ensure that lightning protection is provided.
That lightning protection is defined in BS EN 62305. This is supported by the advice on the HSE website with its guidance notes on how best to apply DSEAR, COMAH, BS EN 60079-14 and BS EN 1127. The protection measures against voltage disturbances detailed in Chapter 44 and Appendix 16 within BS 7671:2018+A2 (2022) IET Wiring Regulations 18 th edition cover not only lightning, but other voltage disturbances caused by surges and the effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI) within an installation. Public domain image showing the effects of a lightning strike to an anaerobic digester in the UK, with no effective lightning protection system installed. The image above shows standard length Air Rods bolted to the support frame of a Pressure Release Valve. This places the strike point and a clamp well within the Hazardous Area Classified Zone, not acceptable under any standard. The image above shows an Anaerobic Digestor gas bag full of Methane, we can see the signs showing that smoking and the use of mobiles is prohibited around the gas tank area. However, the lightning protection on these bags is a metal braid draped over the bag with a strike point well within the classified zone of the bag’s membrane.
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How can we prevent fire ignition?
Fire Prevention –
|The Fire Prevention Triangle – Heat, Oxygen and Fuel A fire needs three elements – heat, oxygen and fuel, Without heat, oxygen and fuel a fire will not start or spread. A key strategy to prevent fire is to remove one or more of heat, oxygen or fuel, The risk assessment should include detail on all three elements to minimise the risk of a fire starting/ spreading.|
A fire prevention strategy and a fire risk assessment should include detail and a full consideration of all of the issues – including issues arising from heat, oxygen and fuel. Advice on these three elements follows. This advice is not exhaustive and is given in no particular order. Back to top
What are potential fire risks in the workplace?
Electrical equipment and outlets – Faulty electrical equipment is one of the leading causes of fires in the workplace. Broken plugs, overloaded outlets, and loose cables can all lead to electrical fires. Equipment can also overheat and cause a fire, so it should always be aerated.
What potential risk factors may be present in a workplace?
Hazards at work may include: noisy machinery, a moving forklift, chemicals, electricity, working at heights, a repetitive job, bullying and violence at the workplace. Risk is the possibility that harm (death, injury or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard.
What is the risk of fire hazards?
A fire risk is: the likelihood that a fire will occur as a result of a fire hazard. the extent and severity of the damage (harm potential) which may be caused.