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Industrial Fire Protection Engineering

ISBN: 978-0-471-49677-9
400 pages
April 2003
Industrial Fire Protection Engineering (0471496774) cover image

Description

Based on the successful course which the author has been teaching for some years at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, this text shows engineers how they can build fire protection into their products, whether they are dealing with an engineering plant, machine, building or its contents. Covering general considerations which relate to the application of all fire protection engineering, the text also examines specific problem areas such as warehousing, storage of flammable liquids, and the safety of electrical equipment and computers. Features include:
  • Presentation of the latest research in the field, such as the protection of cabling from fire
  • Offers full international coverage, giving reference to European as well as American codes and standards
  • A variety of up-to-date and international case studies, making this text as relevant to the practitioner as well as the academic sector
  • Addresses problems in a manner that is practical and immediately relevant
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Introduction and perspective 1

1.1 Engineering approach to industrial fire protection 1

1.1.1 Fire/explosion scenario identification 2

1.1.2 Consequence analysis 6

1.1.3 Alternative protection evaluation 8

1.2 Statistical overview of industrial fires and explosions 10

1.2.1 Industrial occupancies in large loss fires 10

1.2.2 Types of fires/explosions in the largest losses 14

1.2.3 Facilities involved in multiple fatality fires and explosions 14

1.2.4 Ignition sources 17

1.2.5 Need for automatic detection and suppression 18

1.3 Historic industrial fires and explosions 20

1.3.1 Fire protection lessons learned 21

1.3.2 Lessons not learned 23

References 24

2 Plant siting and layout 27

2.1 Fire protection siting considerations 27

2.1.1 Safe separation distances 27

2.1.2 Water supplies 36

2.1.3 Local firefighting organizations 41

2.1.4 Local codes and attitudes 42

2.1.5 Local environmental effects 42

2.2 Plant layout for fire/explosion protection 43

2.2.1 General principles and procedures 43

2.2.2 Hazard segregation and isolation 43

2.2.3 Ignition source isolation 46

2.2.4 Passive barriers 51

2.2.5 Sprinkler system layout 51

2.2.6 Accessibility for manual firefighting 52

2.2.7 Emergency exits 52

2.2.8 Computer aided plant layout 54

References 53

3 Fire resistant construction 57

3.1 Construction materials 57

3.1.1 Steel 57

vi CONTENTS

3.1.2 Steel insulation 61

3.1.3 Concrete 61

3.2 Fire resistance calculations 61

3.3 Fire resistance tests 67

3.3.1 Furnace exposure tests 67

3.3.2 Empirical correlations 69

3.3.3 High intensity fire resistance tests 72

3.4 Fire walls 73

3.4.1 General criteria for fire walls 73

3.4.2 Fire wall design 73

3.4.3 Fire wall loss experience 78

3.5 Fire doors 78

3.5.1 Types of fire doors 78

3.5.2 Fusible links and detectors 81

3.5.3 Reliability issues 81

3.6 Insulated metal deck roofing 83

3.6.1 Description 83

3.6.2 White house tests 84

3.6.3 Small-scale tests and classifications 85

3.7 Water spray protection of exposed structures 86

References 87

4 Smoke isolation and venting 91

4.1 Isolation and halon suppression within ventilated equipment 91

4.2 Isolation within rooms–building smoke control 96

4.2.1 Buoyancy pressure differences 96

4.2.2 Volumetric expansion pressures 99

4.2.3 Isolation via ventilation exhaust 100

4.2.4 Upstream smoke propagation 104

4.2.5 Door and damper smoke leakage 107

4.3 Heat and smoke roof venting 107

4.4 Heat and smoke venting in sprinklered buildings 112

4.4.1 Testing 112

4.4.2 Loss experience 113

4.4.3 Mathematical modeling 113

4.4.4 Closing remarks 114

References 114

5 Warehouse storage 117

5.1 Warehouse fire losses 117

5.2 Storage configurations 118

5.3 Effect of storage height, flue space, and aisle width 124

5.4 Commodity effects 128

5.4.1 Generic commodity classification 128

5.4.2 Laboratory flammability testing 132

5.4.3 Small array tests 135

5.4.4 Large array sprinklered fire tests 145

5.5 Sprinkler flow rate requirements 148

5.5.1 Ceiling spray sprinklers 149

5.5.2 In-rack sprinklers 157

5.5.3 Early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinklers 158

5.6 Sprinklered warehouse fire modeling 159

5.6.1 Conceptual model overview 159

5.6.2 Free burn heat release rates and flame spread rates 159

5.6.3 Warehouse fire plumes and ceiling jets 159

5.6.4 Sprinkler actuation model 162

5.6.5 Spray-plume penetration model 163

5.6.6 Reduction in heat release due to actual delivered density 164

5.6.7 Fire control criteria: can wetted commodity be ignited? 165

5.6.8 Fire suppression criteria 166

5.7 Cold storage warehouse fire protection 167

References 168

6 Storage of special commodities and bulk materials 171

6.1 Roll paper 171

6.1.1 Commodity description 171

6.1.2 Loss experience 173

6.1.3 Roll paper fire tests 173

6.1.4 Roll paper protection requirements 177

6.2 Nonwoven roll goods 178

6.2.1 Commodity description 178

6.2.2 Loss experience 179

6.2.3 Fire tests 179

6.2.4 Sprinkler protection requirements for nonwovens 181

6.3 Rubber tire storage 181

6.4 Aerosol products 184

6.4.1 Product description 184

6.4.2 Aerosol warehouse fires 185

6.4.3 Aerosol product formulation effects 186

6.4.4 Sprinkler protection guidelines 188

6.5 Solid oxidizers 188

6.6 Bulk storage 191

6.6.1 General description 191

6.6.2 Spontaneous ignition testing 192

6.6.3 Spontaneous ignition theory 192

6.6.4 Detection and suppression of bulk storage fires 196

References 198

7 Flammable liquid ignitability and extinguishability 201

7.1 Incident data 201

7.2 Ignitability temperatures 202

7.2.1 Flash points and fire points 202

7.2.2 Autoignition temperatures 205

7.2.3 Time to reach fire point 205

7.3 Electrostatic ignitability 209

viii CONTENTS

7.4 Pool and spill fire heat release rates 215

7.4.1 Confined pool fires 215

7.4.2 Unconfined spill fires 217

7.5 Spray fires 219

7.6 Water spray extinguishment 222

7.6.1 High flash point liquids 224

7.6.2 Water miscible liquids 226

7.6.3 Low flashpoint liquids 227

7.6.4 Spray fires 228

7.7 Foam extinguishment 230

7.7.1 Low Expansion Foam 230

7.7.2 Medium and high expansion foam 234

7.8 Dry chemical and twin agent extinguishment 234

7.9 Carbon dioxide suppression 236

7.10 Halon replacement suppression agents 237

References 238

8 Flammable liquid storage 243

8.1 Storage tanks 243

8.1.1 Generic tank designs 243

8.1.2 Storage tank loss history and fire scenarios 247

8.1.3 Tank burning rates and spacing criteria 251

8.1.4 Tank emergency venting 256

8.1.5 Tank fire suppression 266

8.1.6 Portable tanks and intermediate bulk containers 267

8.2 Drum storage 268

8.2.1 Drum designs and storage modes 268

8.2.2 Loss experience and fire scenarios 270

8.2.3 Drum failure times and failure modes 271

8.2.4 Fire suppression systems for drum storage 276

8.3 Flammable liquids in small containers 279

8.3.1 Container types 279

8.3.2 Loss experience 281

8.3.3 Container failure times and failure modes 282

8.3.4 Sprinkler protection for flammable liquids in small containers 285

References 293

9 Electrical cables and equipment 297

9.1 Electrical cables: generic description 297

9.2 Cable fire incidents 300

9.3 Cable flammability testing and classifications 304

9.4 Vertical cable tray fire test data 309

9.5 Horizontal cable tray fire test data 311

9.6 Cable fire suppression tests 314

9.6.1 Sprinkler and water spray suppression tests 314

9.6.2 Gaseous suppression system tests 316

9.7 Passive protection: coatings and wraps 317

9.8 Protection guidelines and practices 319

9.9 Electronic equipment flammability and vulnerability 322

9.9.1 Electronic component flammability 322

9.9.2 Electronic cabinet flammability 323

9.9.3 Electronic equipment vulnerability 324

9.9.4 Detection and suppression of electronic equipment fires 326

9.10 Transformer fire protection 327

9.10.1 Transformer generic description 327

9.10.2 Transformer fire scenarios 328

9.10.3 Transformer fire incidents 329

9.10.4 Installation and fire protection guidelines 332

9.10.5 Water spray protection of transformers 332

References 334

Appendix A: Flame Radiation Review 337

A.1 Flame emissive power 337

A.2 Flame height 341

A.3 Configuration factor 342

A.4 Atmospheric transmissivity 342

A.5 Point source approximation 343

References 346

Appendix B: Historic industrial fires 347

B.1 General Motors Livonia fire – August 12 1953 347

B.2 McCormick Place fire – January 16 1967 350

B.3 K MART fire – June 21 1982 351

B.4 New York Telephone Exchange fire – February 27 1975 354

B.5 Ford Cologne, Germany Warehouse fire – October 20 1977 358

B.6 Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire, N.Y.C. – March 25 1911 361

B.7 Hinsdale, Illinois Telephone Central Office Fire 363

B.8 Sandoz Basel fire 369

References 373

Appendix C: Blast Waves 375

C.1 Ideal blast waves 376

C.2 Pressure vessel ruptures 378

C.3 Vapor cloud explosions 379

C.4 Vented gas and dust explosions 379

References 380

Index 381

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Reviews

"...a timely and very significant contribution...will remain a reference for many years...presented in an extremely captivating manner..." (Fire Safety Journal, No. 39, 2004)
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