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  • Writer's pictureRAN FPE

Dust Hazard Analysis

Many industries, including those that involve manufacturing, distributing, and handling, are subject to fires and explosions due to combustible dust particles. These solid particles have diameters of 420 microns or less, and this dust can be extremely dangerous. A dust explosion will occur when the following exist: dispersion of the dust, oxygen, and an ignition source.

In order to decrease the chances of a fire or explosion happening in these high-risk industries, the National Fire Protection Association created NFPA 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts. NFPA 652 summarizes that the owner of a company must take the appropriate actions to prevent fires and explosion where combustible dust is or may be present. This standard is enforced to protect the people in these working environments, as well as prevent devastating damage. Upon a state’s adoption of the 2018 International Building and Fire Codes, facilities with potentially combustible dust must comply with NFPA 652 and a Dust Hazard Analysis is required under this standard. These safety regulations may feel overwhelming for business owners, but these regulations and requirements are put in place for a reason.

The Dust Hazard Analysis is a valuable tool used for NFPA 652, to improve safety and prevent fires and explosions by identifying combustible dust hazards. The facility in question is reviewed and evaluated to determine where hazards, like fires and explosions, are likely to occur due to combustible dust. Each of the areas is individually evaluated to determine its specific hazards. After determining the appropriate hazards, prevention plans are constructed to minimize or alleviate the risks. Dust Hazard Analyses should be reviewed and updated at a minimum of 5 years, as well as whenever there is a change or update to a facility since new hazard areas can occur during these changes.

RAN Fire Protection Engineering has gained experience with Dust Hazard Analyses and have proudly added it to our list of offered services to ensure ongoing compliance and safety. One of our more recent projects focused on a mix room that contained combustible dust hazards. RAN’s own, Sam Wile, worked on this project and performed the DHA. In order to correctly identify the hazardous areas, Sam held three site visits to evaluate the full facility and obtained relevant information from the client. Once the areas and hazards were identified, Sam presented her findings and provided options to minimize or alleviate the risks of a fire and/or explosion. With Sam’s help, our client was able to protect their employees and facility, while complying with NFPA 652.

Regardless of what a project entails, we are passionate about helping our clients stay safe and to continuously aide in the protection of our client’s business and employees. With a Dust Hazard Analysis, RAN is able to stay ahead in fire prevention and in protecting buildings and facilities against dust hazards.

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