You’ve heard of flash fire – and it may even be a hazard in your workplace, requiring you to wear flame resistant clothing (FRC) – but what exactly is this type of thermal hazard?
Scott Margolin, our resident technical expert, takes us back to the basics with a closer look at the flash fire hazard:
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines a flash fire as: “A fire that spreads by means of a flame front rapidly through a diffuse fuel, such as dust, gas, or the vapors of an ignitable liquid, without the production of damaging pressure” (source: NFPA 2112 and NFPA 2113).
So, a flash fire is characterized by:
Because the rapidly-moving flame front quickly consumes the diffuse fuel, flash fires are also very brief in duration—typically three seconds or less in any single location where a worker may be standing.
How can we protect workers from flash fire hazards?
Because the flash fire is over quickly, we can protect workers from fatal and catastrophic burn injures with a single layer of secondary personal protective apparel – that is, by wearing FRC. FRC will not ignite and continue to burn when the flash fire is over, insulating you from the hazard and dramatically reducing or eliminating burn injury.
Who is exposed to flash fire hazards?
Among others, this type of hazard is present in oil and gas and chemical manufacturing settings, as well as manufacturing environments where combustible dust can accumulate.
What standards govern flash fire protection?
Learn more about flash fire protection:
Have a question? Our resident Technical expert, Scott Margolin, is available to help! Register now for a complimentary 15-minute technical consultation. He’ll schedule a mutually agreeable time to contact you.