BakerRisk has successfully determined origin and cause for a multitude of fire and explosion incidents in a wide range of circumstances including residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
Our team members support clients in all phases of an investigation that culminate in cause determination. Our deep experience in examining incident scenes coupled with our analytical and testing capabilities allows us to formulate and analyze hypotheses for the causes of incidents.
Since the company’s inception, we have assisted clients with successfully determining the causes of incidents. A “Cause Analysis” can have different meanings, depending on the situation. For fire and explosion incidents, origin and cause refer to the location where the combustion event initiated and the circumstances that resulted in the incident. In chemical processing industries, cause analysis refers to determining causal factors that contributed to the incident and identifying root causes - the fundamental, underlying, system-related reason why an incident occurred. Regardless of the terminology, identifying an incident cause is a critical step in the development of new safeguards and/or procedures to minimize the chance of a repeat.
For root cause analysis, BakerRisk utilizes a proprietary cause analysis tree software tool called CATree™, which is a state-of-the art predefined methodology for determining root cause. This systematic approach is organized around the key elements of the AIChE Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety and analyzes incident scenarios to identify relevant casual elements.
Examples of Types of Incidents Investigated:
- Catastrophic equipment failure
- Chemical releases from loss of containment events
- Ignitable gas/vapor fires and explosions
- Combustible dust fires and explosions
- Offshore platform incidents
- Product and catalyst contamination
- Process control circuit logic anomalies
- Residential and commercial building fires and explosions
Examples of BakerRisk Cause Determination Activities:
- Conduct witness interviews
- Review electronic data: security camera footage, process information, automatic alarms, etc.
- Review and analyze process status and changes using physical or electronic evidence and witness statements
- Develop a timeline of events
- Identify potential ignition, fuel, and oxidant sources
- Map and analyze fire patterns
- Perform fuel dispersion, ignition, combustion, and other fire dynamics modeling
- Characterize damage indicators and perform explosion modeling
- Conduct structural response modeling
- Develop logic, event, and other cause analysis diagrams