Boiler Explosion / Process Safety Management
The catastrophic failure of any industrial fired burner unit, whether boiler, heater or furnace, is absolutely preventable by the company. To prevent such catastrophe, usually resulting in death or serious injury, begins with careful planning and prevention. Any responsible company should begin with a Safety Instrumented Systems (“SIS”) analysis pursuant to applicable law, codes and regulations. Such include NFPA 85, 86 & 87; ANSI/ISA 84; OSHA regulations pertaining to Process Safety Management (“ PSM “) and Management of Change (“MOC”).
An appropriate SIS analysis, in conjunction with PSM, should identify hazards to workers associated with the particular process or activity. Upon completion of a diligent and thorough analysis, Company decides upon the level of risk relative to the safety of its workers by it Safety Integrity Level (“SIL”). Once a SIL is identified, selection of appropriate devices with Safety Integrated Functions (“SIF”).
BURNER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A Burner Management System (“BMS”) is a type of safety system used to monitor ignition,flame, fuel gas and air mixture. Upon start-up BMS will allow the operator to remotely engage the system to begin ignition process. The BMS will engage full gas source, igniter system, monitor flame and time the number of seconds until ignition. The operator runs the process from a remote, safe distance by way of a programmed panel. Continued operation of the burner (boiler heater or furnace) is performed through its PLC (“Programmable Logic Controller”) Safety PLC has been industry standard since the 1990’s.
BMS is a safe alternative to manual ignition of a massive boiler or heater by operators. Manual ignition is nothing more than an educated guess regarding the amount of fuel gas/ air mixture which may result in fuel gas flooding of the firebox resulting in catastrophic explosion.