Handbook of Fire and Explosion Protection Engineering Principles - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9781437778571, 9781437778588

Handbook of Fire and Explosion Protection Engineering Principles

2nd Edition

for Oil, Gas, Chemical and Related Facilities

Authors: Dennis P. Nolan
Hardcover ISBN: 9781437778571
eBook ISBN: 9781437778588
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 9th December 2010
Page Count: 340
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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.

Key Features

  • A unique practical guide to preventing fires and explosions at oil and gas facilities, based on the author’s extensive experience in the industry
  • An essential reference tool for engineers, designers and others facing fire protection issues
  • Based on the latest NFPA standards and interpretations


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.

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




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William Andrew
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About the Author

Dennis P. Nolan

Dr. Dennis P. Nolan has had a long career devoted to risk engineering, fire protection engineering, loss prevention engineering and systems safety engineering. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration from Berne University, Master of Science degree in Systems Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a U.S. registered professional engineer in fire protection engineering in the state of California.He is currently on the Executive Management staff of Saudi Aramco, located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as a Loss Prevention Consultant/Chief Fire Prevention Engineer. He covers some of the largest oil and gas facilities in the world. As part of his career, he has examined oil production, refining, and marketing facilities under severe conditions and in various unique worldwide locations, including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and North and South America. His activity in the aerospace field has included engineering support for the NASA Space Shuttle launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center (and for those undertaken at Vandenburg Air Force Base, California) and “classified” national defense systems. Dr. Nolan has received numerous safety awards and is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, He is the author of many technical papers and professional articles in various international fire safety publications. He has written at least four books, several published by Elsevier.

Affiliations and Expertise

Loss Prevention Consultant and Chief Fire Prevention Engineer, Saudi Aramco