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Greg Staple - SOUTH AUSTRALIAN METROPOLITAN FIRE SERVICE - Combustible dust from an Emergency Services Responder position

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Greg Staple delivered the presentation at the 2014 Dust Explosions Conference. …

Greg Staple delivered the presentation at the 2014 Dust Explosions Conference.

The 2014 Dust Explosions Conference examined industrial hazards, the means to control or eliminate dust and analysed the latest technology to ensure the maximum protection and safety of organizations. The event also featured recent industrial case studies and new safety recommendations.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/dust14

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  • 1. Dust Explosions From an Emergency Services perspective. Date of issue: April 14 Document number: DEx 3.5 Version number: 2.0 Review Date: April 15 Authorised by: Commander Greg Staple South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS)
  • 2. Dust Explosions Conference: The AIM of this presentation:  Is to discuss my experiences of fires in organic dust storage and process facilities from an Emergency Services perspective, including:  Case studies and the broad MFS Investigations  Emergency Service personnel Expectations and  Assumptions Dust Explosions
  • 3. Firefighting: Building and system constructions? and Fire science? Dust Explosions
  • 4. Recent MFS events:  April 1998 - Grain storage Facility fire.  September 2010 - Grain storage facility fire.  February 2012 - Grain storage facility fire.  March 2012 - Feed mill processing facility fire. Dust explosions
  • 5. Recent MFS events: April 1998 Dust explosions
  • 6. Recent MFS events: Dust explosions
  • 7. Dust explosions In summary
  • 8. Sept 2010 Operational Overview. Aerial view of storage area
  • 9. Sept 2010 NORTH
  • 10. By the nature of the information available -
  • 11. Summary The Front End Loader stopped directly under a skylight (approximately 15metres above). The skylight failed Construction Fires impact Firefighting
  • 12. Plan: Dust explosions What was our plan?  The Strategy.  The Intel.  The Outcome. This was very time consuming to undertake safely
  • 13. Recent MFS events: February 2012, Fire origin area
  • 14. February 2012 Area affected by fire Smoke staining of windows Fire affected area
  • 15. February 2012 Dust explosions
  • 16. Recent MFS events: Feed mill March 2012, Dust explosions
  • 17. March 2012
  • 18. March 2012 Critical fire ground factors – Overview
  • 19. Feed mill approx. layout: Dust explosions Feed mill, fire origin Screw conveyor Elevator Slide Storage Silo
  • 20. Feed mill: Dust explosions Feed mill, fire origin Screw conveyor Elevator Slide Storage Silo The Screw Conveyor – was fire damaged The Elevator – was fire damaged The silo was approximately 2/3 full of fine dusty organic material With the aid of thermal imaging – the external surface of the silo was 150 degrees Celsius, at about 2/3 up from the bottom
  • 21. Feed mill: Dust explosions Fire A large problem was that, this silo was connected to others via the top and also, via the discharge devices, dust collection devices and duct work, which resulted in a shared air space Duct work, which is shared to Various parts of plant
  • 22. Feed mill: Dust explosions Fire Duct work, which is shared to Various parts of plant This potentially enabled a pathway for any products of combustion to be dispersed to other areas, OR IF, An event was to occur in the fire effected container (explosion), this could be shared by other plant and vessels with catastrophic consequences
  • 23. Feed mill: Dust explosions What was our plan? Initially it was to undertake a defensive position and monitor the temperatures within the silo Fortunately management was on hand and remained so as an extremely valuable reference and information source Once established that the fire was contained only to the silo, a plan was established to remove the product This was very difficult and time consuming to undertake safely, discuss
  • 24. Were there Risks of a Dust Explosion at any of these events? ABSOLUTELY YES Dust Explosions
  • 25. From a Firefighting perspective: What risks exist?  There a Five conditions for a Dust explosion. 1. Fuel 2. Oxygen 3. Confinement 4. Ventilation and the ability to suspend and mix, and 5. IGNITION SOURCES Dust Explosions
  • 26. Explosive environments: Of the five elements considered for an explosive environment, IGNITION SOURCES are the most likely that a Firefighter may initially control.
  • 27. Remove Ignition sources: A Fire Service is at the event probably as a result of a fire or a known risk of fire. Therefore, there potentially has been or still is an ignition source.
  • 28. Investigate: Any Fire Service should seek as much information as possible prior to developing an action plan which involves a crews tactical deployment.
  • 29. General Firefighting activities:  Removal of the ignition source will reduce the risk!  With the right conditions  A primary and then possibly a secondary explosion may occur.
  • 30. Situational Awareness  We should NEVER assume that a initial event has removed the possibility of a further flash fire or explosion. Dust Explosions
  • 31. Practical Firefighting Risks: Fire Services attendance Is the present situation a potential precursor to a flash fire or a deflagration? Dust Explosions
  • 32. Practical Firefighting Risks:  Types of events.  Process fires: Dust Explosions
  • 33. Practical Firefighting Risks: Dust Explosions Storage fires: Fires in storage devices for the finished or primary products.
  • 34. Practical Firefighting Risks:  Oxygen limiting, closed or semi- closed  Open Dust Explosions
  • 35. Practical Firefighting Risks: Oxygen limiting, closed or semi- closed Dust Explosions
  • 36. Regional Communications Common Silo arrangement Product entry or inspection point
  • 37. Regional Communications Common Silo arrangement Product entry or inspection point Air space
  • 38. Regional Communications Common Silo arrangement Product entry or inspection point Air space Stored product
  • 39. Regional Communications Common Silo arrangement Product entry or inspection point Air space Stored product Discharge point
  • 40. Regional Communications Common Silo arrangement Product entry or inspection point Air space Stored product Discharge point Ignition source
  • 41.  Ignition source  Result Common Silo arrangement Product entry or inspection point Air space Stored product Discharge point Ignition source
  • 42. Practical Firefighting Risks:  What now occurs? Dust Explosions Product entry or inspection point CO Stored product Discharge point Ignition source
  • 43. Practical Firefighting Risks: As the product moves, dust may evolve Dust Explosions Product entry or inspection point CO Stored product Discharge point Ignition source
  • 44. Practical Firefighting Risks: This dust, in the right concentrations, may rapidly and violently ignite (Flash Fire) Dust Explosions dust
  • 45. Practical Firefighting Risks: This will dramatically increase the pressure within the container. This pressure could force the container to fail at the weakest point This inadvertently will create more dust adding to the fuel load Dust Explosions Ignited dust
  • 46. Practical Firefighting Risks: Failure? Where could Firefighters be conducting fire suppression activities? Dust Explosions
  • 47. Practical Firefighting Risks: Dust ExplosionsImperial sugar 2008
  • 48. Storage containers: Open Dust Explosions
  • 49. Practical Firefighting Risks: Open or Oxygen limiting? How can we know? or Dust Explosions
  • 50. Practical Firefighting Risks:  There are numerous possibilities for ignition sources with all installations  Friction  Mechanical or electrical failure  Chemical reaction  Human error  Lighting strikes  Foreign objects  Etc etc Dust Explosions
  • 51. Practical Firefighting Risks: Dust Explosions The ignition source has probably already been established prior to our arrival,
  • 52. Stakeholder expectations? Putting the fire out. Dust Explosions Subjectively, all fire go out,
  • 53. Stakeholder expectations? Technically, the fire service has been called to the event to mitigate the risks! Dust Explosions There is an expectation that we will put the fire out and make the area safe.
  • 54. Tactical solutions All Fire Services understand the principals of dynamic risk assessments, particularly risk vs benefit. Dust Explosions
  • 55. Tactical Solutions  Approach  Consequences  Comparisons Regardless, in the right conditions the initial consequences can be similar. Dust Explosions
  • 56. Tactical Solutions  Measures  Flammability  Measuring a precursor to a dust explosion Dust Explosions
  • 57. Tactical Solutions Firefighter safety will always be paramount. Heavy consultation to industry experts Dust Explosions
  • 58. Tactical Solutions Any Fire Services Tactical plans will always provide a safe exit pathway and effective exposure controls. Dust Explosions
  • 59. Thank you, Any questions?