The Fire Prevention Forum 2016 (21-22 September) will be kept “at our home”, that is our city. This will be an occasion to face a salient topic in the fire prevention field: the fire risk assessment in the industrial activities and its impact on the active protection system performances, of which our company deals with them for twenty-seven years.
Let’s focus on the preview topic.
The Fire Prevention Code (D.M. 3rd August 2015) transfers the activity fire risk assessment to the designer, who is a qualified technician or a fire professional. When the risk profile has been found, the designer chooses a mitigation strategy, which includes the known fire standards with the related performance levels, in order to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. It is known that each performance level corresponds with conform solutions – that means those which follow the national technical standards, alternative solutions (rarely implemented) or dispensed solutions.
End of the story, even if simplified. The designer will present the project assessment request, in which he will provide the system specifications for each active protection system and, after the approval, he will dispense the implementation of the foreseen design solutions to the technician, waiting for the declaration of conformity or the declaration of correct installation with the related attachments.
Although linear, this approach has some relevant and problematic aspects, which will be faced during our technical seminar.
First of all, the attribution of the task of carrying out the risk assessment to the designer. In our opinion, the legislator did not considered in deep that the risk assessment in industrial field requires a team with diversified competences, because the knowledge of the process and its innumerable specificities gets involved the activity responsible person and the prevention and protection service responsible person, the production manager, the foreman, the maintenance representative, sometimes even other professionals with specific competences (electric, chemical, mechanical, etc.).
Many international guidelines for the fire risk assessment connect the choice and the performances of the active protection systems to the typology of the used process fluids, to the storage modalities, to the adopted production technologies, etc. So, it is necessary that this assessment would be carried out by all stakeholders, and not only by the designer.
The second topic concerns the choice of the performance levels, which, for the active protection systems, is strongly connected to a risk assessment which does not limit itself to the identification of a reference level, but that, through the system specifications, will be able to precisely define which fields of the activity are interested, which technologies should be used, and the project parameters of these systems. It is not infrequent that a sort of risk assessment “in phase of offer” towards the Customer would be transferred to the technician, in which the most relevant factor is not the system performance but the lowest price. From the point of view of the Customer, typically not much motivated to invest in safety, what difference can do a sprinkler system with water-foam nozzles which discharges the liquid foam for 15 or 30 minutes? If no specific indication is defined before, the cheapest solution will be chosen.
A third salient aspect is the correlation between the active protection system choice (that is of mitigatory measures) and the careful analysis of the wide overview of preventive measures associated to the industrial risks. The experience of some industries (i.e. food industry) teaches that a deep process comprehension, supported by numerous guidelines, brings to the introduction of a number of preventive measures, more than the active protection ones, which assume a complementary function. An important part of the technical seminar of the forum of September will be dedicated to this specific aspect, which overtakes the forecasts of the section S.10 of the Code.
Therefore, different reasons to visit us at stand 75 and to participate at our formative meeting and to know our last news.