Inspectioneering Journal

Pay Attention to the Condition of Your Passive Fire Protection and the Potential Risk It Hides

By Justin Nickel, Corporate Marketing Manager at PK Technologies. This article appears in the May/June 2017 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


When was the last time you thought about the condition of your Passive Fire Protection (PFP)? Do you know if you have Corrosion Under Fireproofing (CUF) issues? Are you in compliance with OSHA regulations and/or Industrial Requirements? Is your facility, your people, or a vital piece of equipment/structure at risk due to degradation of the fireproofing you currently have in place? These are questions that every facility should be able to answer.

Unfortunately, companies often neglect the condition of their fireproofing and allocate more time, effort, or attention to Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) than CUF. The problem with this philosophy is that CUF is a hidden monster that can put your people and your facility at risk. It’s out of sight and out of mind. Are you willing to let another day, month, or year pass before you take the initiative to inspect your fireproofing for CUF? Fireproofing plays a vital role in the overall safety of your facility and, left unchecked, could also play a vital role in its destruction during a fire.

Hopefully by now you are thinking about the current condition of your fireproofing and the possible risk it represents. You may also be trying to figure out when your fireproofing was last inspected. The important thing to remember is fireproofing must be monitored to maintain its integrity as well as the reliability of what it protects. Determining fireproofing requirements for petroleum or petrochemical facilities requires an experience-based or qualitative risk-based evaluation that includes developing fire scenarios.

Managing CUF

An effective risk-based approach to managing CUF will evaluate fireproofing needs for facilities in which hydrocarbon fires could rapidly expose structural supports to very high temperatures. Fireproofing can temporarily protect against intense and prolonged heat exposure that could cause the collapse of unprotected equipment and lead to the spread of burning liquids and substantial loss of property. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.119 mandates that facilities operating with large quantities of petroleum materials must protect their employees and the surrounding community. API RP 2218 specifically addresses how to mitigate and develop fire envelopes to protect against potential property loss protection for pool fires and, to a lesser extent, jet fires or vapor cloud explosions. Knowing the purpose fireproofing serves along with the guidelines and mandates in place, it is important to find internal or external specialists with expertise in fireproofing condition assessment, especially identifying potential signs of CUF.

Many people claim to be fireproofing experts and tout the ability to identify potential CUF issues. However, to fully mitigate the risk of CUF in today’s plants, it is important to utilize risk assessment technology that is specifically designed for fireproofing by true subject matter experts then plan and execute field verification assessments.

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Posted by tarek Elsakaan on August 22, 2017
Dear First of all accept my complements .... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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