Fire Protection & Prevention plays a very important role in the oilfield. So, an understanding as to why both are necessary will reduce hazards.
There is a big difference between fire protection and prevention. Fire protection is the deployment of tools, systems and processes to manage safety and reduce hazards should a fire occur. In contrast to that, fire prevention is the processes in place to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place.
Protection from fire within the oilfield relies on system components to detect and prevent fires from occurring early. Additionally these systems help to mitigate the consequences of a fire should it occur.
Monitored Fire Alarms
Protection systems include monitored fire alarms that alert operations to early detection of fires. Examples of these alarms include control panel, flame detectors, heat detectors, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Fire Suppression Devices & Compounds
The fire protection systems also include fire suppression devices, such as sprinkler systems, hydrants, backflows and extinguishers, that stop the spread of fire should it already be started.
Further to that, they include fire suppression compounds like foam, low and high pressure CO2, as well as clean agents.
And finally, they include integrated security, access control, and video to provide the necessary surveillance in preventing and managing fires.
Maintaining Mechanical Systems
Fire prevention requires significant attention to the maintenance of fire protection mechanical systems. To clarify, these systems all need to be in good running order. That means they need regular inspection, testing, and maintenance of all mechanical parts for deficiency detection, proper function, valve actuation and water flow.
In addition to physically maintaining equipment and such, procedures and policies need to be in place. And more importantly, they need to be followed religiously. This means performing regular risk assessments, and identifying any weak areas to improve upon. It also means identifying and resolving deficiencies within the facility that emit heat or are combustible, flammable, or make the building more susceptible to fire. Further to that, it includes adherence to fire regulations and NFPA standards. Similarly, it requires performance of regular fire drills that keep building owners, operators, occupants, and emergency personnel up to date regarding the deployment of fire protection systems within the facility.
And let’s not forget the importance of regularly train staff on fire prevention practices.
In conclusion, best practices (fire prevention) are equally important to the equipment and systems in place (fire protection). Tat’s because both are required to properly prepare your staff and your facility for a fire event.
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To learn more, check out our Fire Suppression services.