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published on

December 2022

Fire safety is a vital part of any organization, especially industrial or manufacturing facilities where flammable chemicals, explosive materials, and other hazards are a part of day-to-day operations. While you may already have some fire safety measures in place, it’s never a bad idea to perform a fire hazard analysis (FHA).

Comprehensive fire hazard identification studies can help you uncover potential threats at your facility and take steps to secure the safety of site personnel and equipment. Fire hazard myths are prevalent in many industries, including myths about fire hazards studies themselves and fire hazard analysis.

Today, let’s disprove 10 fire hazard myths so you know how to better protect your facility and grasp the true value of fire hazard analysis.

5 Fire hazard myths you can debunk with fire hazard studies

Despite widespread fire hazard awareness, many executives, managers, and site personnel believe inaccurate or erroneous things about fire dangers. Here are some of the most prevalent and potentially dangerous fire hazard myths that proper fire hazard studies can debunk.

Gas detection = fire protection

Simply having gas detection on-site is not the same thing as having adequate fire protection. For one, gas leaks are not the only potential causes of worksite fires. For another, part of fire protection is maintaining capabilities to put out small fires before they spread. Gas detectors do not necessarily assist with this if their coverage is not comprehensive enough or if the gas ignites immediately upon release.

A fire hazard study can help you eliminate gaps in coverage and understand the best ways to maintain true fire protection beyond just installing gas detectors.

fire hazard analysis chart from fire hazard analysis software

Our site has plenty of monitors – firewater is guaranteed to reach hazards

Having monitors throughout the facility is not the same thing as being able to apply firewater to fires. Performing a fire hazard study can identify potential gaps in your monitor coverage, plus analyze where and what equipment your firewater system can reach. A fire hazard study may further provide you with data to improve your firewater coverage throughout your facility.

We had water for a previous fire, so we have enough for all fires

Putting out one fire in the past is excellent. But it doesn’t mean that you automatically have enough firewater (or a good enough firewater distribution system) to combat all potential fires that may impact your worksite.

Perform a fire hazard study with fire protection experts like BakerRisk to determine how much firewater you need, how you can bring the firewater to potential fire sites, etc.

We train, so we don’t need fire pre-plans

If you already mandate fire training for site personnel, continue to do so. But training may not be enough if your personnel does not know exactly where to go, what to do, who to contact, or what other hazards are present within the facility. Fire pre-plans are important elements for any facility and are crucial parts of comprehensive training. A good fire hazard study can provide you with vital information to develop the best fire pre-plans for your facility’s unique layout and needs.

Our operators fight fires, so we don’t need fixed systems

Your facility certainly benefits from having operators trained to fight fires personally, as they can begin combating a blaze before emergency services arrive. But fixed systems, such as sprinklers, can provide greater safety for site personnel and critical equipment and begin the application of firewater before site personnel even know a fire has started.

Fire hazard identification studies will show you the best ways to implement fixed fire protection systems throughout your facility, as well as provide data to help you implement these changes cost-effectively.

A group of people on tour at a fire hazard testing facility

5 Myths about fire hazard analysis

Fire hazard analysis are also subject to certain myths regarding what they do, their comprehensiveness, and what they are meant to help your organization achieve.

Fire hazard analysis develops fully-designed solutions

Fire hazard analysis are not intended to develop ready-to-go, fully-designed solutions to existing or potential fire hazards. Instead, the purpose of fire hazard identification and analysis is to:

  • Identify potential fire hazards at your facility
  • Assess the consequences of certain fire scenarios
  • Determine the adequacy and reliability of currently available protection features, like sprinklers
  • Determine the emergency response capabilities of your organization or local emergency services in response to a fire event
  • Identify gaps in your emergency response capabilities and fire protection systems

Put more simply, FHAs break down what fire hazards may exist and analyze how prepared your facility is to prevent or counteract them. An FHA from BakerRisk is just the start of making your facility better equipped to avoid and resist fire disasters.

Fire hazard analysis only needs to be done once

Fire hazard analysis is an important part of ongoing fire safety. You cannot perform an FHA once and deem it enough. Instead, it’s appropriate to order FHA regularly, especially during facility upgrades or changes to site equipment, machinery, chemical storage, etc.

Fire hazard analysis closes gaps in existing documentation

Furthermore, fire hazard identification and analysis are not meant to close any gaps that currently exist in your facility’s documentation. Again, the primary purpose of any FHA is to identify fire threats and how well your organization is prepared to prevent or respond to them.

Your documentation will need to be independently reassessed and updated, preferably before conducting a thorough FHA with a fire protection expert!

Fire hazard analysis always makes valid assumptions about existing fire protection equipment

Even with extensive care and attention, fire hazard analysis may make invalid or inaccurate assumptions about your existing fire protection equipment. In other words, don’t assume that FHA conclusions are automatically correct; if you know something the administrator doesn’t, say something so the model can be updated appropriately.

Fire hazard analysis is only a safety process

At its core, fire hazard analysis is an operational and safety process rather than just the latter. As an operational process, FHA helps your facility set good operational standards and make persistent improvements.

For example, BakerRisk’s FHA process can identify gaps in existing firewater coverage, as well as offer important data to help clients create better solutions. In one such instance, a client upgraded firewater piping to meet a more realistic firewater demand while minimizing additional expenses.

Contact BakerRisk today

Fire hazard analysis are only effective if performed by trained, experienced experts like BakerRisk. When you contract BakerRisk for fire hazard analysis, we’ll use a unique, comprehensive approach that combines our fire protection experts’ real world with our innovative fire hazard analysis software and modeling tools.

A fire hazard analysis from BakerRisk can adapt according to the specific limitations or equipment at your facility. Furthermore, our fire protection experts can perform new FHAs from scratch or modify existing fire consequence models based on what your facility needs. Don’t wait until the next fire threat appears – contact BakerRisk today.