When ensuring combustible dust standards compliance there are always situations that aren’t specifically indicated in the standard. Extraneous situations or circumstances can exist that make compliance with the existing standard a unique challenge. Keeping 1M square feet of industrial space dust-free can often be difficult or impossible. When you can’t comply with the strict code standards you have to hire a fire protection engineer to devise a solution that meets the spirit of the code and protects life-safety. Understanding the standards in full, their intent and various alternate solutions that maintain the same rigorous safety adherence are key to finding alternate solutions to difficult combustible dust risk mitigation issues. An Acensium fire-protection engineer delivers a Combustible Dust Audit and a performance-based solution that complies with code even though meeting the strict prescriptive standards is impossible.

The NFPA-654Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids & NFPA-652Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust standards are issued by the National Fire Protection Association. According to the NFPA website, the NFPA is “The leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical and related hazards” is devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. With a membership exceeding 50,000, the NFPA issues codes and standards and engages in research, training, education, outreach and advocacy operations worldwide. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896.

NFPA-654 – Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids; outlines the basic principles of identifying and managing the fire and explosion hazards of combustible dust particulate solids. With a goal of mitigating the risks of fire or explosion in any facility handling combustible dust, NFPA-654 covers equipment, process and facility design, detailing methodologies to control and mitigate risks of fire and explosion. NFPA-654 also provides methodologies to evaluate proposed designs to ensure hazard assessments have taken place.

NFPA standards for the volume of dust in a facility are important metrics for plant safety and combustion risk. NFPA-652 – Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust; expands on the combustible dust identification and management of combustible dust and provides requirements for handling any combustible particulate solid, regardless of particulate size. The standard includes various methodologies of establishing the amount of combustible dust risk and establishes standards for mitigating those risks. Physical detachment from other operations, barriers and fire doors, understanding the effects of entry points and penetrations on dust propagation, NFPA-652 can help you determine the realities of combustible dust risks, their magnitude and how to limit the risk by implementing specific components, systems, materials and procedures.

After all the code and compliance work, almost every facility is met with cold hard reality. There are situations, equipment and processes which cannot comply completely with the standards or code. For any number of reasons facilities often need to implement life-safety and fire-protection solutions where they cannot directly comply with code but that meet the same standards of rigorous risk mitigation. Acensium incorporates decades of engineering experience to deliver comprehensive a Dust Hazard Analysis and Combustible Dust Audit as well as a plan to mitigate combustible dust risk. Working closely with our partners, Acensium can evaluate material handling systems and facility design to both increase efficiency and mitigate operational fire and combustion risks. With experience mitigating dust risks in numerous and varied situations (even in sensitive locations) Acensium is the leader in Combustible Dust Audit, Dust Hazard Analysis and fire-protection solution services.