Managing Fire related Processes in a Steel...

Managing Fire related Processes in a Steel Plant Steel plant is a fire hazard industry. In a steel plant heat meets flammable materials almost everywhere. People, plant and equipments, and production all are exposed to high risk of fire almost in every area of the plant. Fires result into service disruptions and production downtimes. It causes damage to the plant and equipments and burn injuries, many times fatal injuries to the people. Even a small fire can paralyze the entire plant with disastrous economic damage. The fire risk in the steel plant is immense. There are processes with very high temperatures and at many places with open flames. There are control rooms, motor control rooms, hydraulic rooms, transformer rooms, oil cellars, cable tunnels, and rubber conveyor belts etc. which are fire prone. Handling of liquid metals and slags, products with high temperatures, hot waste materials, and sediments containing hot materials are involved. There are also handling, storages and transport of flammable materials such as fuel oils, fuel gases, coal and coke, cryogenic liquids, etc., as well as requirement of cutting and welding everywhere for meeting the maintenance needs. There is presence of electrical ignition sources. There are areas where there is significant unit related fire loads are there. Due to these reasons, fire related processes such as fire protection, fire prevention, fire safety, and firefighting all have important significance in a steel plant. Classification of fires Fires are classified in the following four classes (Fig 1) as per the internationally accepted classification. Class A – These are fires involving solid materials normally of an organic nature (compounds of carbon), in which combustion generally occurs with the formation of glowing embers. Class A fires are the most common. Effective extinguishing agent is generally water in...