The Fire and Explosion Risk Analysis System is a step-by-step
objective evolution of the realistic fire, explosion and reactivity
potential of process equipment and its contents. The quantitative
measurements used in the analysis are based on historic data, the
energy potential of the material under study, and the extent to
which loss prevention practiced are currently applied.
The purpose of the F&FI system is to:
1. QUANTIFY the expected damage of potential fire, explosion and
reactivity incidents in realistic terms.
2. IDENTIFY equipment that would be likely to contribute to the
creation or escalation of an Incident.
3. COMMUNICATE the F&E1 risk potential to management.
Beneath all the numbers, graphs and figures, however, lies the
most important goal of the F&EI System — to make
the engineer aware of the loss potential of each process
area and to help the engineer identify ways to lessen
the severity and resultant dollar loss of potential incidents in an
efficient and cost effective manner.
The F&EI is used in the Dow Risk Review Process.
Determination of the F&EI must be done in conducting a Process
Hazard Analysis or Level I Risk Review.
Insurance company assessment of potential exposures is typically
based on the worst imaginable incident. They might anticipate, for
example, that the complete contents of a reactor dump could
vaporize instantaneously and ignite; and their insurance loss
estimates, which are determined in part from this king of analysis,
can be extremely large. From a realistic point of view, this kind
of situation is rare.
The Dow F&EI systems attempts to determine the
realistic maximum loss that can occur to
a process plant (or process unit) or related facility — a loss that
could actually be experienced the most
adverse operating conditions. The calculation is based on
quantifiable data. Finite spill rates, process temperature in
relation to material flash points and boiling points and reactivity
are just a few of the many contributors to a probable incident.
Although the F&EI system is primarily designed for any
operation in which a flammable, combustible or reactive material is
stored, handled or processed, it may also be used in analyzing the
loss potential of sewage treating facilities, distribution systems,
pipelines, rectifiers, transformers, boilers, thermal oxidizers and
certain elements of power plants. The system can also be used for
risk evaluations of small process with modest inventories of
potentially hazardous materials; its application to pilot plants is
strongly recommended. The system can be applied if handling a
minimum of approximately 1,000 Ib (454 Kg) of a flammable or
A word of caution is in order for
those planning to use the F&EI system for the risk evolution of
facilities. Common sense and good judgment must be used during the
actual calculation and in the interpretation of its results.
Process hazards that contribute to the magnitude and probability of
losses have been quantified as "penalties" to provide factors for
computation. Not every penalty may be applicable to a specific
situation and perhaps some may have to be adjusted.
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