Handbook of Fire and Explosion Protection Engineering Principles

for Oil, Gas, Chemical and Related Facilities


  • Dennis P. Nolan, Loss Prevention Manager and Chief Fire Prevention Engineer, Saudi Aramco

Handbook of Fire and Explosion Protection Engineering Principles: for Oil, Gas, Chemical and Related Facilities is a general engineering handbook that provides an overview for understanding problems of fire and explosion at oil, gas, and chemical facilities. This handbook offers information about current safety management practices and technical engineering improvements. It also provides practical knowledge about the effects of hydrocarbon fires and explosions and their prevention, mitigation principals, and methodologies. This handbook offers an overview of oil and gas facilities, and it presents insights into the philosophy of protection principles. Properties of hydrocarbons, as well as the characteristics of its releases, fires and explosions, are also provided in this handbook. The book includes chapters about fire- and explosion-resistant systems, fire- and gas-detection systems, alarm systems, and methods of fire suppression. The handbook ends with a discussion about human factors and ergonomic considerations, including human attitude, field devices, noise control, panic, and security. People involved with fire and explosion prevention, such as engineers and designers, will find this book invaluable.
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Fire Protection Engineers, Health, Safety and Environment professionals, Safety or Loss Prevention Engineers, Risk Consultants. The major industrial market is the Oil and Gas sector including exploration, production, refining, distribution, chemical processing & storage, engineering and consulting, project engineering, safety experts, fire & safety regulatory bodies.


Book information

  • Published: December 2010
  • ISBN: 978-1-4377-7857-1

Table of Contents


About the Author

1 Introduction

    1.1 Fire, Explosions, and Environmental Pollution

    1.2 Historical Background

    1.3 Legal Influences

    1.4 Hazards and Their Prevention

    1.5 Risk Management and Insurance

    1.6 Senior Management Responsibility and Accountability

2 Overview of Oil and Gas Facilities

    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 Exploration

    2.3 Production

    2.4 Enhanced Oil Recovery

    2.5 Transportation

    2.6 Refining

    2.7 Typical Refinery Process Flow

    2.8 Marketing

3 Philosophy of Protection Principles

    3.1 Introduction

    3.2 Legal Obligations

    3.3 Insurance Recommendations

    3.4 Company and Industry Standards

    3.5 Worst Case Condition

    3.6 Independent Layers of Protection

    3.7 Design Principles

    3.8 Accountability and Auditability

4 Physical Properties of Hydrocarbons

    4.1 Introduction

    4.2 General Description of Hydrocarbons

    4.3 Characteristics of Hydrocarbons

    4.4 Flash Point

    4.5 Autoignition Temperature

    4.6 Vapor Density Ratio

    4.7 Vapor Pressure

    4.8 Specific Gravity

    4.9 Flammable

    4.10 Combustible

    4.11 Heat of Combustion

    4.12 Some Common Hydrocarbons

5 Characteristics of Hydrocarbon Releases, Fires, and Explosions

    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Hydrocarbon Releases

    5.3 Gaseous Releases

    5.4 Mists or Spray Releases

    5.5 Liquid Releases

    5.6 Nature and Chemistry of Hydrocarbon Combustion

    5.7 Hydrocarbon Fires

    5.8 Deliberate Terrorist Explosions

    5.9 Semi-Confined Explosion Overpressures

    5.10 Vapor Cloud Overpressures

    5.11 Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions

    5.12 Smoke and Combustion Gases

    5.13 Mathematical Consequence Modeling

    5.14 Methods of Extinguishing Flames

    5.15 Incident Scenario Development

    5.16 Terminology of Hydrocarbon Explosions and Fires

6 Historical Survey of Fire and Explosions in the Hydrocarbon Industries

    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Lack of Industry Incident Database and Analysis

    6.3 Insurance Industry Perspective

    6.4 Process Industry Perspective

    6.5 Major Incidents Affect Process Industry Safety Management

    6.6 Incident Data

    6.7 Summary

7 Risk Analysis

    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Risk Identification and Evaluation

    7.3 Specialized Supplemental Studies

    7.4 Risk Acceptance Criteria

    7.5 Relevant and Accurate Data Resources

    7.6 Insurance Risk Evaluations

8 Segregation, Separation, and Arrangement

    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Segregation

    8.3 Separation

    8.4 Manned Facilities and Locations

    8.5 Process Units

    8.6 Storage Facilities - Tanks

    8.7 Flares and Burn Pits

    8.8 Critical Utilities and Support Systems

    8.9 Arrangement

    8.10 Plant Roads - Truck Routes, Crane Access, and Emergency Response

9 Grading, Containment, and Drainage Systems

    9.1 Introduction

    9.2 Drainage Systems

    9.3 Process and Area Drainage

    9.4 Surface Drainage

    9.5 Open Channels and Trenches

    9.6 Spill Containment

10 Process Controls

    10.1 Introduction

    10.2 Human Observation

    10.3 Electronic Process Control

    10.4 Instrumentation, Automation, and Alarm Management

    10.5 System Reliability

    10.6 Transfer and Storage Controls

    10.7 Burner Management Systems

11 Emergency Shutdown

    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 Definition and Objective

    11.3 Design Philosophy

    11.4 Activation Mechanism

    11.5 Levels of Shutdown

    11.6 Reliability and Fail Safe Logic

    11.7 Esd/Dcs Interfaces

    11.8 Activation Points

    11.9 Activation Hardware Features

    11.10 Isolation Valve Requirements

    11.11 Emergency Isolation Valves

    11.12 Subsea Isolation Valves

    11.13 Protection Requirements

    11.14 System Interactions

12 Depressurization, Blowdown, and Venting

    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Objective of Depressuring

    12.3 Blowdown

    12.4 Venting

    12.5 Flares and Burn Pits

13 Overpressure and Thermal Relief

    13.1 Introduction

    13.2 Causes of Overpressure

    13.3 Pressure Relief Valves

    13.4 Thermal Relief

    13.5 Solar Heat

    13.6 Pressure Relief Device Locations

14 Control of Ignition Sources

    14.1 Introduction

    14.2 Open Flames, Hot Work, Cutting, and Welding

    14.3 Electrical Arrangements

    14.4 Electrical Area Classification

    14.5 Electrical Area Classification Divisions and Groups

    14.6 Surface Temperature Limits

    14.7 Classified Locations and Release Sources

    14.8 Protection Measures

    14.9 Smoking

    14.10 Static

    14.11 Lightning

    14.12 Internal Combustion Engines

    14.13 Hot Surface Ignition

    14.14 Pyrophoric Materials

    14.15 Spark Arrestors

    14.16 Hand Tools

    14.17 Mobile Telephones, Laptops, and Portable Electronic Field Devices

15 Elimination of Process Releases

    15.1 Introduction

    15.2 Inventory Reduction

    15.3 Vents and Relief Valves

    15.4 Sample Points

    15.5 Drainage Systems

    15.6 Storage Facilities

    15.7 Pump Seals

    15.8 Vibration Stress Failure of Piping

    15.9 Rotating Equipment

16 Fire and Explosion-Resistant Systems

    16.1 Introduction

    16.2 Explosions

    16.3 Definition of Explosion Potentials

    16.4 Explosion Protection Design Arrangements

    16.5 Vapor Dispersion Enhancements

    16.6 Damage-Limiting Construction

    16.7 Fireproofing

    16.8 Radiation Shields

    16.9 Water Cooling Sprays

    16.10 Vapor Dispersion Water Sprays

    16.11 Locations Requiring Consideration of Fire-Resistant Measures

    16.12 Flame Resistance

    16.13 Fire Dampers

    16.14 Smoke Dampers

    16.15 Flame and Spark Arrestors

    16.16 Piping Detonation Arrestors

17 Fire and Gas Detection and Alarm Systems

    17.1 Introduction

    17.2 Fire and Smoke Detection Methods

    17.3 Smoke Detectors

    17.4 Thermal or Heat Detectors

    17.5 Gas Detectors

    17.6 Application

    17.7 Catalytic Point Gas Detector

    17.8 Infra-Red (IR) Beam Gas Detector

    17.9 Ultrasonic Area Gas Detector

    17.10 Alarm Setting

    17.11 Calibration

    17.12 Hazardous Area Classification

    17.13 Fire and Gas Detection Control Panels

    17.14 Graphic Annunciation

    17.15 Power Supplies

    17.16 Emergency Backup Power

    17.17 Time Delay

    17.18 Voting Logic

    17.19 Cross Zoning

    17.20 Executive Action

    17.21 Circuit Supervision

    17.22 Vibration Avoidance

18 Evacuation

    18.1 Introduction

    18.2 Emergency Response Plan

    18.3 Alarms and Notification

    18.4 Evacuation Routes

    18.5 Emergency Doors, Stairs, Exits, and Escape Hatches

    18.6 Marking and Identification

    18.7 Shelter-in-Place

    18.8 Offshore Evacuation

19 Methods of Fire Suppression

    19.1 Introduction

    19.2 Portable Fire Extinguishers

    19.3 Water Suppression Systems

    19.4 Water Supplies

    19.5 Fire Pumps

    19.6 Fire Pump Standards and Tests

    19.7 Firewater Distribution Systems

    19.8 Firewater Control and Isolation Valves

    19.9 Sprinkler Systems

    19.10 Water Deluge Systems

    19.11 Water Spray Systems

    19.12 Water Flooding

    19.13 Steam Smothering

    19.14 Water Curtains

    19.15 Blow Out Water Injection Systems

    19.16 Hydrants, Monitors, and Hose Reels

    19.17 Nozzles

    19.18 Foam Suppression Systems

    19.19 Manual Firefighting Utilization

    19.20 Gaseous Systems

    19.21 Chemical Systems

    19.22 Dual Agent Systems

20 Special Locations, Facilities, and Equipment

    20.1 Introduction

    20.2 Arctic Environments

    20.3 Desert Arid Environments

    20.4 Tropical Environments

    20.5 Earthquake Zones

    20.6 Offshore Facilities

    20.7 Pipelines

    20.8 Exploration Wellheads (Onshore and Offshore)

    20.9 Loading Facilities

    20.10 Electrical Equipment and Communications Rooms

    20.11 Oil Filled Transformers

    20.12 Battery Rooms

    20.13 Enclosed Turbines or Gas Compressor Packages

    20.14 Emergency Generators

    20.15 Heat Transfer Systems

    20.16 Cooling Towers

    20.17 Hydrocarbon Testing Laboratories (Including Oil  or Water Testing and Darkrooms)

    20.18 Warehouses

    20.19 Cafeterias and Kitchens

21 Human Factors and Ergonomic Considerations

    21.1 Introduction

    21.2 Human Attitude

    21.3 Control Room Consoles

    21.4 Field Devices

    21.5 Instructions, Markings, and Identification

    21.6 Colors and Identification

    21.7 Noise Control

    21.8 Panic

    21.9 Security

    21.10 Accommodation of Religious Practices


Appendix A: Testing Firewater Systems

    A.1 Testing of Firewater Pumping Systems

    A.2 Testing of Firewater Distribution Systems

    A.3 Testing of Sprinkler and Deluge Systems

    A.4 Testing of Foam Fire Suppression Systems

    A.5 Testing of Firewater Hose Reels and Monitors

    A.6 Fire Protection Hydrostatic Testing Requirements

Appendix B: Reference Data

    B.1 FIre Resistance Testing Standards

    B.2 Explosion and Fire Resistance Ratings

    B.3 National Electrical Manufacturers Association (Nema) Classifications

    B.4 Hydraulic Data

    B.5 Selected Conversion Factors

Acronym List