Posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Last month, fire broke out in a production oven processing a rubber product at American National Rubber Co., located in Ceredo, West Virginia. No injuries were reported in the incident. The fire ignited inside the oven, apparently from self-heating of an accumulation of combustible residue. The fire spread into the exhaust ductwork, also facilitated by the presence of combustible residue accumulations. The fire department attacked the fire in the oven with hose streams, affecting extinguishment. They also made a separate attack with hose streams to extinguish the fire inside the ductwork. Firefighters observed that the oven was provided with an interior fire suppression system, which apparently was active, but not successful in extinguishing the fire. Further details are not publicly available.
The fire department report indicates that heat from the fire in the oven transferred by conduction or radiation to rubber material stored on pallets in close proximity to the oven, igniting this material. This fire was external to the oven and caused the activation of 5 sprinklers at the ceiling, which controlled the fire. The fire department completed extinguishment.
Although information on this fire is limited, it suggests three strategies that have proven very useful for safe operation of ovens and dryers that process combustible materials, and help to minimize the extent of loss should a fire occur. These are:
Additional information for managing the risks associated with industrial ovens and dryers can be found in NFPA 86, Ovens and Furnaces (2011 Edition), published by the National Fire Protection Association.
By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.
If you would like more information, or believe your firm could benefit from Harrington Group’s expertise, we invite you to contact us. Our engineers are trained to listen to your needs and concerns, and help you move forward to find the Best Total Solution.
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