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Fire Protection For Hazardous And Dangerous Goods Storage

Hazardous and dangerous goods storage requires a complete fire protection solution in order to protect the surrounding area, employees and equipment against the dangers of fire.

Types of Industries that handle and store hazardous and dangerous goods

There are many types of industries that handle hazardous and dangerous goods in Australia. These include:

* Transport and Logistics

* Mining, Oil and Gas

* Fireworks Manufacturing

* Chemical Manufacturing

* Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing

In this article we are going to breakdown some specific storage applications and types of dangerous and hazardous goods and their fire protection needs. Some substances that are regulated under the nation wide Dangerous Goods Act NSW include LPG, fuel oils (including motor vehicle fuel), pesticides, compressed gases and liquids. It’s important to note that even though many of these products make up the livelihood of our nation, they can be extremely hazardous if not handled properly.

Storage

Tank Farms

Tank farms are generally used for the storage of large quantities of dangerous goods, usually in liquid form. The materials may be petroleum products such as crude oil, fuel oil and gasoline. It may also be petrochemicals such as benzene and propylene.

Tank farms are intended to store large volumes of hazardous materials such as flammable liquids, combustible liquids, explosives, volatile chemicals and toxic chemicals.

The fire protection system is designed to protect against fires in the tanks and associated piping.

There are three primary sources of heat that can cause a fire in a tank: lightning strike; external heat source (e.g., adjacent tank or equipment on fire); or internal heat source (e.g., heated product).

A lightning strike can produce enough energy to ignite vapors inside a tank or ignite vapors when they are released into the atmosphere during normal operations (i.e., breathing losses). Lightning also causes electrical current surges that can damage electrical equipment, including control systems and instrumentation.

Fire protection for hazardous and dangerous goods storage is a very important consideration. For example, in the case of oil or gas tank farms, the potential for fire is huge. Fire protection systems are there to help minimise damage to both people and property and reduce the chance of a fire spreading beyond its initial point of ignition.

There are three main types of fire protection systems:

* Water spray systems

* Foam/water spray systems

* Foam system

The type of system you use depends on the specific hazards your tank farm presents. In Australia, AS 1940 provides guideance for fire protection in tanks that store flammable and combustible liquids. 

However, before you decide on which type of fire protection system is best for your tank farm, it’s important to identify what hazards you’re dealing with. The EPA has outlined some hazard categories for tanks that store flammable liquids.

fire drenching systems

Warehouses

Warehouses are an integral part of many businesses. They are a storage place for items that are waiting to be sold or delivered, and can also be an area where items are manufactured or assembled. The warehouse is an important part of a company’s operations, so it is important that it is protected against fires.

Fire protection for warehouses that handle hazardous and dangerous goods in Australia is a necessary safety measure.

Warehouses in Australia that store hazardous materials require specialist fire protection. Warehouse managers must ensure that fire protection systems are adequate for their building, contents and site risk.

warehouse storage and handling

The National Construction Code (NCC) provides the minimum requirements for warehouse construction and fire safety design. The Code classifies the storage of dangerous goods into 8 separate classes based on the level of hazard and risk.

In general, stores that handle hazardous and dangerous goods must have an approved sprinkler system installed. Sprinklers are a passive fire protection system which can help to minimise property damage, business interruption and loss of life, as well as meet regulatory compliance obligations.

There are three main types of fire protection systems for warehouses: sprinklers, fixed water-based systems and portable fire protection equipment. In some cases, a combination of these will be required. The type of system used will depend on the risks identified as part of the risk assessment.

Sprinkler

A sprinkler system is a network of pipes with sprinkler heads installed at regular intervals to control and extinguish fires. Sprinklers are activated by heat and are only triggered in the area where fire has broken out.

Fixed Water-Based System

A fixed water-based system can include:

Deluge systems

Deluge Systems automatically release large volumes of water from pipes suspended from ceilings or installed above racks

deluge sprinkler systems sydney

Monitoring nozzles – manually operated to direct large volumes of water onto the fire from ground level

water monitor

Foam systems – use foam instead of water to suppress fires involving flammable liquids

low expansion foam

Portable Fire Protection Equipment

There are main types of Portable fire equipment for warehouses in Australia that you can use. These include extinguishers, hydrants, monitors, hoses and hose reels, and foam products. You should make sure that the various types of firefighting devices work together and complement each other to provide the best protection possible.

In a warehouse or factory, the most common type of fire is a chemical fire. The chemicals involved in chemical fires are highly combustible and can cause explosions if they are not handled properly. These types of fires also have to be dealt with carefully as some chemicals may damage the equipment inside the building or even destroy it completely if left unchecked.

The most popular chemical protection systems are those that provide both water-based and gas-powered systems. Water-based systems are often used on large areas such as manufacturing plants or warehouses while gas systems work well on smaller areas such as garages or parking lots.

Fire protection for lithium batteries in Australia

All lithium batteries are Class 9, Miscellaneous Dangerous GoodsAs of last year, storage of lithium batteries and products containing lithium batteries is governed by AS1940 for the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids. The standard divides materials into different fire classes based on their flashpoint (the minimum temperature at which vapors above a liquid can ignite). Any hazard class that has a flashpoint of less than 60 degrees Celcius is considered a flammable liquid.

lithium battery storage and handling

Lithium batteries are in hazard class 3, which means they have a flashpoint up to 21 degrees Celcius. The Australian code or standard, states that all flammable liquids stored in packages must be stored separately from each other by distance or partition, or both. The minimum separation distance is 3 meters, but should be 15 meters if there is no physical barrier between them.

The minimum height of any storage area is 4 meters; however, this may be increased depending on the type and amount of material stored, as well as the size and location of the storage area. If you need help determining how much space you need to safely store your lithium batteries or other hazardous goods, consult with an expert!

Fire protection of dangerous goods and hazardous materials is not just important, but is also a necessity in Australia. The lack of correct fire prevention measures may lead to human injuries or even deaths as well as property losses. Every day, there are violations being committed when it comes to fire safety protocols for the storage and handling of these hazardous materials.
It is essential for the owners of these establishments to make sure that the right measures are being taken to avoid such violations.

Want to know more? Contact one of our friendly team at Complete Fire and Pumps today!!

Yours In Fire Safety

Alex

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