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Fire prevention in hazardous materials storage

Fire prevention, detection and suppression in warehouses

WAGNER worked in cooperation with Fuchs Lubritech and VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH in Cologne to develop a concept that would meet the sophisticated fire protection challenges hazardous materials warehouses pose. The concept protects personnel as well as the building, the goods, the storage technology and the environment. Part of this concept is based on theOxyReduct® active fire prevention system: the oxygen reduction system lowers oxygen concentrations inside the hazardous materials warehouse to 13.5% vol. Maintaining this low oxygen concentration level ensures that most substances cannot ignite spontaneously in the first place.

However, a few materials have ignition thresholds below this level. To guarantee optimum fire protection for these materials as well, WAGNER also installed a flame detector-controlled CO2 extinguishing system; if an alarm is triggered, this system will flood the area with CO2 extinguishing gas up to a height of around five metres, thus reducing oxygen concentration levels to 8% vol. and allowing especially effective fire suppression. To ensure maximum extinguishing flood effectiveness, especially flammable and hazardous materials are stored only in the lower part of the warehouse.

The earliest possible fire detection—maximum head start, minimum damage

TITANUS® air sampling smoke detectors are also very important in hazardous materials storage facilities, as they detect fires early on so that counteractive measures can be taken quickly. These air sampling smoke detectors provide quick, reliable detection with up to 2,000 times more sensitivity than conventional smoke detectors. And thanks to integrated filters, WAGNER’s patented LOGIC∙SENS signal processing, and drift compensation, TITANUS® are exceptionally secure against false alarms as well.

If worse comes to worst in a hazardous materials storage facility, and a fire does break out, it is absolutely essential that proper action be taken in order to prevent more serious damage.

The VisuLAN® risk management system allows a variety of hazardous situations and security systems to be monitored centrally and continuously. The software offers more than 500 manufacturer-independent interfaces, allowing users to monitor fire alarm, video surveillance, and access and evacuation systems. Users always have all information available at a glance. Any irregularities or incidents are displayed directly so that users can take appropriate corrective action.

Laws and regulations on fire protection in hazardous materials warehouses

Peroxide, sodium, magnesium and phosphorous are just a few examples of substances posing critical fire hazards. Accordingly, there are rules and regulations regarding how these substances are stored and utilised, such as:

• Chemicals Act (ChemG)

• Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV)

• Technical Rules for Hazardous Materials (TRGS)

• Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV)

• Technical Rules for Operational Safety (TRGS)

When it comes to handling hazardous materials, there are a variety of safety regulations in place, such as the Technical Regulations on Flammable Liquids (TRbF) or the Technical Regulations on Hazardous Materials (TRGF). VdS guidelines regulate, among other things, the usage and storage of flammable materials in separate areas from a fire-engineering perspective.

Combining systems

A supplementary FirExting® gas extinguishing system, which puts out fires efficiently and with no residue, can be employed to suppress fires and prevent them from spreading.