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Fire and Gas Technical Information

Go to Subject Titles: Fire & Gas Cables | Fibre Optic Temperature Laser Radar | Fire Safe Actuators | Fire Detection | Fire Protection | Flare Radiation | Fire and Gas Detection Mapping Techniques | Fire and Gas Systems | Gas Detection | Oil Mist Detection | Useful Fire and Gas References | IEC61508 | IEC61511 | Combustible Dust in Industry | Visual and Audible Warning Devices | PFEER/UKOOA Regulations | Safety Instrumented Systems |

Fire & Gas Cables

When designing a Fire and Gas System the cables selected need specific consideration by the Fire and Gas  / Instrumentation Engineer in that they need to meet exacting specifications in order to ensure that the fire and gas detection/protection equipment performs satisfactorily under fire conditions. In addition considering must be given to ensure that the cables do not emit or limit toxic fumes under fire state and minimise fire propagation ie., fire resistant. Cables are generally specified as Low Smoke and Halogen-free.

The Fire and Gas Engineer must also consider the wiring within the Fire and Gas System Cabinets, these wires should also be selected with this in mind. PVC sheathed cables should not be selected for Fire and Gas Applications.

Fire and Gas Cable Technical References for Instrument and Fire and Gas Engineers

A Series of Excellent Technical References for Fire and Gas Cables are detailed in this document. It covers a range of pertinent subjects including Low Smoke / Zero Halogen Cables / Low Smoke Cable / Flame Retardant Cables and Fire Integrity in reference to Cables / Halogen Free Cable / Fire Safety of Cables / Cable Sheathing Materials / Fire Performance of Data Communication Cables / IEEE 1242 Guide for specifying and Selecting Cable for Petrochemical Plants /  European Test Procedures For the Functionality of Cables Under Effects of Fire  and Fire Safety Cables .

Fibre Optic Temperature Laser Radar

This unique technology measures the temperature profile along the entire length of an optical fibre sensor. It has a measurement range of up to 15 kilometres and senses fires along this whole length. These types of fire detector being based on fire optics are very effective in that they are small, light, can be installed easily and generally maintenance free. Also they can be used in dusty/dirty areas, in explosion-proof environments, near strong electromagnetic fields and in waterlogged environments. They utilise the “Ramon Scattering” Principle of Operation. Find more information here - thanks to J Power Systems Corporation.

Fire Safe Actuators

Fire Safe Actuators are generally used in the Oil and Gas Industry on Safety Valve Applications such as Emergency Shutdown and Blowdown Systems Valves. These types of Actuators are designed to maintain the integrity and operation of the valve over a set period of time under fire conditions. Usually special insulation materials are used to achieve this. Sometimes a special fire "blanket" or enclosure / cabinet  is used. For further information see ICEweb's Shutdown and Blowdown ESD Valves page.

Fire Detection

ICEweb's Fire Detection page has numerous links to great information

Fire Protection

ICEweb's fire protection page has great information  - This details Inergen/HiFog/Halon replacement/FM200/Pyrogen and Very Early Smoke Detection techniques.

Flare Radiation

Flares and Flare Radiation has to be considered carefully by Fire and Gas Design Engineers since they can potentially be the source of false alarms. Therefore the types of fire detection technology utilised and their location must be subject to review to ensure that false alarms and potential shutdown and blowdown does not occur.  The paper "Flare Radiation - Not so Friendly Fire" from Micropack and Fire Professionals has some useful engineering information to assist in this respect.

Fire and Gas Detection Mapping Techniques

Fire and Gas Mapping – This is a very useful software technique that can be used to determine optimum and verify detector placement using performance targets and grades of hydrocarbon risk volumes for gas detection. It models the “gas cloud” and optimises placement using a gas / flame and heat  detection software assessment tools. The results are often used to audit and validate designs at the design, construction, installation and maintenance phases of a project. In addition these studies may be used as part of a formal safety case and other safety related studies / investigations.

A useful Fire and Gas Mapping Technical Reference from Micropack gives an excellent outline of the process.

Fire and Gas Systems

Integrated Fire and Gas Solution - Improves Plant Safety and Business Performance - Fire and gas (F&G) detection and mitigation systems are key to maintaining the overall safety and operation of industrial facilities. F&G systems include offshore petroleum exploration and production, onshore oil and gas facilities, refineries and chemical plants, marine operations, tank farms and terminals, pipelines, power plants, mining and paper mills. A F&G safety system continuously monitors for abnormal situations such as a fire, or combustible or toxic gas release within the plant; and provides early warning and mitigation actions to prevent escalation of the incident and protect the process or environment. By implementing an integrated fire and gas strategy based on the latest automation technology, plants can meet their plant safety and  critical infrastructure protection requirements while ensuring operational and business readiness at project start-up - From Honeywell.

Gas Detection

Gas Detection - ICEweb's dedicated page has links to many technical papers on this subject

Oil Mist Detection

Oil Mist detection is an important “tool” in the mitigation potential of leaks in ship engine rooms, turbine and compressor enclosures and any other machinery spaces that are lubricated or fuelled by high pressure oil / fuel.  It detects an oil mist prior to explosive saturation levels.

There have been several high profile ship engine room leaks causing fires which have led to fatalities over the years. Also common are lubricating oil mist leaks on turbines, compressors etc.,  on ships, onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities .  Another advantage of this technology is that in the event of an oil mist leak without fire catastrophic failure of the mechanical equipment because of seizure may be avoided because of early detection.

There are many other potential applications for the technology which include thruster rooms, steering gear, hydraulic pumps, purifier rooms.

Using a smoke detection system alone means that the “fire event” has already occurred, whilst combining the smoke detection with oil mist detection means that “early detection” is likely, potentially avoiding a financial and more importantly a loss of life scenario.

Further references on Oil Mist Detection can be found at ICEweb's Oil Mist Detection References page. Included are technical articles on;

Useful Fire and Gas References

ICEweb's Useful Fire and Gas References are likely to be a useful addition to any Instrument or Fire and Gas Engineers Knowledge base. Typical subjects covered include;


IEC61508 - ICEweb's links to numerous technical papers on this standard.


IEC61511 - ICEweb's links to numerous technical papers on this standard.

Personal Gas Detectors- New Page Coming Soon

Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions

Many Dusts are Hazardous throughout various industries as in the right mixture they are combustible. Many solid substances become explosive when in the form of a fine dust. These substances include organic materials, for example grain, sugar, wood, and coal; synthetic organics, such as plastics, dyes, foams, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals; and combustible metals, such as aluminum, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Non explosive are mineral dusts, such as silicates, sulphates, nitrates, carbonates, and phosphates; salt; gypsum; sand; limestone; and cement. Therefore it is important to consider the design of the equipment to ensure that ignition sources are eliminated. Also minimisation of dust is important along with good cleanliness practices and other means of mitigating the effects of fire and explosions.

A number of excellent technical references on Combustible Dust follow on ICEweb's Combustible Dust Reference page. Subjects covered include;

Visual and Audible Warning Devices - Emergency Shutdown, Fire & Gas

Visual and Audible Alarms and Indicators are important components in Fire and Gas systems in that they provide warnings for Alert, Muster and Evacuation on Home, Commercial and a Wide range of Industries.

We are all familiar with our smoke alarm siren in our homes and the exit indicators and office alarms, these have saved countless lives. Also of course there are indicators such as exit signs, floor lights to exits on aircraft etc.

In hazardous industries indicators are used to indicate normal operation, alert, muster and evacuate by usually a combination of lights, colours, flash rates etc. The audio alarms have different tones to indicate these statuses also.

On oil and gas offshore platforms and plant various configurations are used, but typically would be as follows;  

Status Lights are generally High Intensity LED or Zenon nowadays. 

ICEweb's Visual and Audible Alarms Page has useful technical information references. These cover the following subjects.

PFEER/UKOOA Regulations

The PFEER Regulations provide guidelines on Alarms both Visual and Audible along with many other technical recommendations on the avoidance and mitigation of fires. 

ICEweb's PFEER/UKOOA Regulations Page has useful technical information references. These cover the following subjects.

Safety Instrumented Systems

Safety Instrumented Systems - A direct link to ICEweb's comprehensive SIS page which is full of fantastic technical information.