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  1. #1
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    Default hydrocarbon fires

    I have justed joined the safety dept and am given charge of the fire dirll. My understanding of fighting hydrocarbon fire techniques needs more credbility.
    Therefore just clear my doubts:

    The ethylene units are provided with water curtains: are they for cooling or for confining the gas leak????
    In case of a gas fire should we use a water jet or water spray to cool the surrounding equipment???
    It is better to approach the fire upwind what do we do if we cannot approach upwind as in the case of absence of a hydrant??


    In a gas leak is there a procedure/method to disperse the vapors by water spray to help the operator approach the isolation valve????

    If a fire is burning it is better to let it burn and isolate the source of gas.
    water should not be used in a oil fire as oil floats on water.
    before using foam in a dyke fire ensure the deluge system is isolated so as not to break the foam blanket.
    If there is a gas leak do not permit the fire tender to enter the area as the engine can present an ignition source to the fire.

    Thank you

    Vinay


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    MembersZone Subscriber Eno305's Avatar
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    http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/...ide=116&poly=1

    I work in an industrial setting as well- so I figured I'd start with the basics and refer you to our emergency response guide 116P from Canutec. This will give you an accurate source of information to build your drill by outlining your initial response protocols as if you'd never seen the product before. At least this way the information I give you is objective, instead of subjective.

    It sounds like you have things figured out. As for approaching from downwind for lack of a hydrant... If I can't find a patent water source to protect my people with a large quantity of water- I might be figuring out another way. This stuff does NOT like heat, even a little bit so I'll be depending on a steady water supply before I start sending people in to take care of valves. With that being said- the stuff isn't a predominant health hazzard... I'm more worried about the resulting air mixtures being as explosive and reactive as they will potentially be.

    I'm not sure of the configuration of your site- but judging by what I'm reading I'll be taking a long, hard look at my plan if I'm doing anything without access to a hydrant- nevermind from downwind. If the vapours find a source of ignition my truck has no water to fight a prolonged battle with, and the fire is probably going to be between my truck and my people. Maybe I need to put more high-vol on my trucks to reach that hydrant that would otherwise be out of reach? Incident pre-planning will pay off if you're not sure.


    Nice thing about the water curtain is it will cool the structures in the immediate area and also act to suppress vapours. Naturally, the runoff is going to carry potentially volatile pools of your product away on its back... so foam application on those pools is going to be important. I'm not going to worry about isolating the deluge... because it's not the flames in that immediate area that I'm worried about- everything there that can be exposed to flame is being covered in water... and probably huge amounts of it. I'll apply foam more to the runoff. Remember to be mindful of the drains and sewers in that area. You'll want to dyke that off so you don't have problems further down the line.


    Let me know what you think so far... perhaps I'm way off the mark?
    Last edited by Eno305; 04-08-2009 at 07:39 PM.
    Ian "Eno" McLeod

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    Default

    I agree that you have a pretty good start but I do want to say something and I promise I am not being a smart *****, not even a little but it may come out this way so again, please don't take this the wrong way...

    That said, you really need to actually fight a hydrocarbon fire to teach someone else how to. Yes, there are basic rules and tactics that you both covered very well but actual, hands on training is needed. Hydrocarbon, especially compressed gas (which ethylene is) can bite you in the tail at the very least and could easily wipe your crew out if you make just a single mistake.

    Being able to actually see how and react to the foam/water spray/control and containment techniques in a controlled enviroment will be worth it's weight in gold.

    Good luck on your drill !!!

    Be safe, R2

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    At the outset thank you for your contribution.

    Suppose we have a dyke fire. The deluge spray on the tank should be stopped to apply foam to the burning liquid fire. for eg Hexane in a Hexane tank drill.

    What is the difference between a fog and a mist in relation to a water spray?
    vinay

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    MembersZone Subscriber Eno305's Avatar
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    Good point. From a safety perspective I suppose this pertains more to operators et al, and not necessarily the fire department guys or first responders... whichever you have.

    I know most of our site Emergency Response Plans basically say to call us, evacuate to a certain designated area and start accounting for personnel. Accounting for personnel, depending on your permit process, can be a nightmare so getting people accustomed to that might be a good start. Notice the initial evacuation distances in larger leaks is about a mile...
    Ian "Eno" McLeod

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    Thank you Bob and Eno,

    I understand and appreciate your suggestions. I am trying my best to impart whatever knowledge I have and gleaned from experts like you. However, excercising will instill in us a anticipation of what to expect in such scenarios even though we have not faced one.

    Vinay

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinaydeep View Post
    At the outset thank you for your contribution.

    Suppose we have a dyke fire. The deluge spray on the tank should be stopped to apply foam to the burning liquid fire. for eg Hexane in a Hexane tank drill.

    What is the difference between a fog and a mist in relation to a water spray?
    vinay
    Hexane fire... yes. You will want to stop the deluge when applying foam as the foam blanket can be broken by the deluge. You need to have your ducks in a row and ready to foam the minute you kill the deluge... may even start the foam on the outset of the dyke just before you stop the deluge. Big concern here is the fire impingement on the tank causing localized shell failure or a BLEVE if the tank is under pressure or the reliefs can't handle the pressure increase. Actually, you have a better chance of a chime blow out (which will most likely happen on older tanks before they have a chance to go full BLEVE) Timing is a big thing.

    Fog vs. Mist... water droplet size controlled by volume and pressure. The more pressure/volume, the larger the water droplet. On some apparatus (or would it be appuratie :P ) this is done mechanically such as on a Turbo-jet nozzle. Gave both since I'm not sure if your still thinking fixed system or hoseline/monitor. I personally would have no use for a mist.

    And by all means... practise!!! When things are blowing out around you and it's for real... you want deployment to be as automatic as possible and have at least a workable strategy to launch from.

    And thanks for the kind words but I am no expert. If someone says they are an expert in this business, run the other way as fast as possible

    Be safe, R2

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