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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 |
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
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 .
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 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.
ICEweb's Fire Detection page has numerous links to great information
ICEweb's fire protection page has great information - This details Inergen/HiFog/Halon replacement/FM200/Pyrogen and Very Early Smoke Detection techniques.
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 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.
A useful Fire and Gas Mapping Technical Reference from Micropack gives an excellent outline of the process.
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 - ICEweb's dedicated page has links to many technical papers on this subject
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
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,
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;
Oil Mist Detection as an Aid to Monitoring an Engine's Condition.
Oil Mist Detection in the Atmosphere of the Engine Room
Oil Mist and Machinery Space Fires
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;
Means of Escape
Fire and Gas detection
NFPA 329: Recommended Practice for Handling Releases of Flammable and Combustible Liquids and Gases, 2010 Edition
Explosion Hazard Assessment
Simplified Approaches to Fire and Explosion Engineering
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
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 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
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;
Normal Status - Visual - Steady Green Light , Audible None
Low Level Gas - Visual - Flashing Amber Light, Audible - Intermittent Single Tone
Platform Alarm - Visual - Single flashing Red Light, Audible - Intermittent Dual Tone
Prepare to Abandon / Evacuate - Visual - Dual Flashing Red Lights -Audible - Continuous Tone and Public Address
Abandon /Evacuate – Visual – Dual Steady Red Lights -Audible - Continuous Tone and Public Address
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.
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 - A direct link to ICEweb's comprehensive SIS page which is full of fantastic technical information.