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published on

July 2019

Can Your Site Benefit from a BakerRisk Fire Hazard and Mitigation Analysis?

“Fire Hazard Analysis” (FHA) is referenced in a number of industry standards, practices, and guidance documents and is often the key first-step to understanding potential fire exposure scenarios and developing a plan to manage those exposures.  While the concept and application of an FHA is often subjective, an FHA study should, at a minimum, define the limits of what is “manageable” with respect to fire consequences, examine specific scenarios that could breach those limits, and document solutions that minimize the potential for “unmanageable” fires to occur.  The challenge one faces is that many industrial facilities may have hundreds, if not thousands, of potential fire scenarios that range in consequence from minor to catastrophic.

BakerRisk’s unique and effective methodology, called “Fire Hazards and Mitigation Analysis” (FHMA), not only tackles this difficult task of performing FHAs, but also analyzes a site’s resources and capabilities to mitigate, or limit, the potential consequences of a fire.  FHMA can address the many possible fire scenarios by leveraging BakerRisk’s powerful consequence modeling tool, SafeSite©, to produce fire consequence data for both pool fires and pressure-fed (jet) fires.  This data is reviewed in conjunction with a site walkdown to examine the potential for fire growth or knock-on effects that can escalate a “manageable” fire into something potentially catastrophic.

Mitigating safeguards and aggravating factors between manageable and unmanageable events

BakerRisk’s proprietary FHMA tool, “FireHAT©, is then used to model the fixed fire protection systems for a given facility.  This tool graphically depicts the coverage of fixed systems which, when overlaid against the consequence model graphics, produces a picture of fire vs. mitigation.  This combined view instantly gives the analysis team a clear picture of gaps in coverage that could allow a fire to grow uncontrolled.  FireHAT© doesn’t stop there.  It also performs near-real-time computations of a site’s firewater system to examine delivery capabilities against expected firewater use and demand.

The keystone feature of FHMA is an experience-based, PHA-style workshop facilitated to develop the groundwork for design basis fire scenarios and establish the bounding site assumptions regarding emergency response and fire protection.  The workshop, coupled with the consequence and mitigation modeling capabilities, provides a comprehensive and actionable review of fires, consequences, escalation potentials, and mitigation / response capabilities.

BakerRisk’s FHMA leverages the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative techniques to provide a robust method of accurately defining firewater demands, determining adequate firewater overage, reviewing response capabilities and response times, identifying and closing gaps, and facilitating the creation of fire pre-pans.  Our FHMA studies can be easily updated as changes are made in the plant, allowing quick adjustments to account for the dynamic nature of plant operations.

To learn more about the benefits and applications of FHMA in your facility, see our FHMA Service Area and FireHAT© web pages.   You may also download a printable poster for your reference, or get a copy of our technical paper on this topic by submitting your information request.

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