Explosion hazards are an ever-present reality in industries that handle, process, or store flammable liquids, flammable gasses, and combustible particulate solids (dust).
Our Explosion Safety experts can help you identify potential hazards, quantify loss potential, and develop cost-effective protection solutions.
How PLC Can Help
Our team of explosion protection experts have the expertise and decades of experience to understand the risks and consequences of an explosion and develop a custom explosion safety program for your facility.
Explosions present a significant life safety risk, and can result in extensive damage to buildings and equipment. The factors that contribute to the risk and severity of an explosion can be complex, and the measures required to mitigate the risks and to protect facilities and personnel demand specialized knowledge.
Our Professionalism and Dedication to Explosion Safety
PLC Fire has been and is currently an active member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Explosion Prevention Systems, and has spent decades developing an understanding of hazard and explosion safety requirements from additional organizations including:
- International Standards Organization (ISO)
- The Association of German Engineers (VDI)
- European Directives (ATEX)
- Factory Mutual Global Datasheets (FM)
How Can We Help?
We’d love to understand your fire and life safety needs to see how we can help. Please reach out to us to schedule a conversation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an explosion?
- The NFPA 68 Standard for Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting defines an explosion as the bursting or rupturing of an enclosure or a container due to the development of internal pressure from a deflagration.
- A deflagration is the rapid burning of a premixed fuel consisting of an oxidizer, a flammable gas/vapor, combustible mists, combustible dust or hybrid mixture.
How do explosions occur?
- Explosions occur when heat or ignition sources are introduced into a flammable/combustible mixture in a confined space. Confined spaces being a tank, equipment enclosure or building, with no explosion protection features.
What is a dust explosion hazard?
- Many dusts are combustible and can pose explosion hazards in process equipment and buildings. Common industries with combustible dust explosion hazards include the wood industry (wood dust), agricultural/food industry (grain, flour, sugar, starch, etc.), chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
What protection do you need for explosion hazards?
- Each facility that processes, handles, and stores flammable and combustible materials will be subjected to certain Fire Codes and Fire Protection Standards.
- The protection requirements are detailed in the appropriate Fire Code requirements and Fire Protection Standards for your facility.
- For example, in Canada a woodworking facility that generates lots of wood dust would be required to comply with Part 5 of the National Fire Code of Canada and the NFPA 664, as well as other codes and standards referenced within to manage dust hazard risk.
- Typical explosion protection involves protection of equipment containing explosion hazards using an approved explosion protection system, process monitoring, system and equipment sensors and interlocks, regular housekeeping, the use of proper electrical equipment classified for hazardous environments, and regular inspection, testing and maintenance.
What is the best way to protect equipment?
- This depends on explosibility characteristics of the hazard, the type of equipment and the location of the equipment.
- A common method of protecting equipment is deflagration venting, or explosion venting. This can be a cost-effective solution. But there are things to consider such as the effects of the vented fireball, explosion isolation, pressure relief, monitoring of the vents, suppressant systems, interlocks to shut down the process or redirect material away from the affected equipment, and approved isolation devices to prevent propagation of the flames to connected equipment.
- There are flame quenching vents, referred to as flameless vents, that can be used when a resulting fireball is not desired. In many situations where venting may not be desirable there are other protection methods detailed in NFPA 69 – Standard for Explosion Protection Systems that can be reviewed.
How do I know if I need explosion protection?
- If your facility uses or produces flammable gasses, flammable/combustible liquids, combustible dust/powders, then you need explosion protection.
- PLC’s team of explosion safety and explosion suppression experts can assess your facility and identify risks for explosion and recommend mitigation and prevention methods.
Which industry sectors does PLC provide explosion protection consulting services?
- PLC Fire’s explosion safety team has served the wood industry (sawmills, wood pellet plants, Oriented Strand Board manufacturing, melamine board manufacturing, etc), power generation industry, pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry, and agricultural/food industry.
- If you don’t see your type of facility listed above, chances are we have experience in that industry. Reach out to us at the contact below to see if we can help.
Why should I hire PLC to assess my facility for explosion protection?
- PLC has several years of technical expertise and industry experience advising on explosion safety measures at facilities throughout Canada and Internationally.
- In addition, members of our team participate on codes and standards committees for the National Building Code of Canada, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada.
- PLC’s innovative approach allows for early schedule planning, reduced financial commitments and optimal resource utilization.
Download our Complete Services Guide
Our Services Guide provides complete descriptions of all our fire and life safety services, a mapping of services to sectors, plus information about our:
- Quality Management Program
- Health and Safety Program
- Corporate Security Program