Industrial fires and explosions happen more frequently than most people think. They cause downtime, property damage, injury and sometimes death. These fires and explosions result from a dangerous mixture of flammable vapors with air and a source of ignition.
- Solvents, chemicals and other sources of flammable vapors and gases are present in many manufacturing, production and converting processes and act as the fuel in process fires or explosions.
- There are many potential sources of ignition which can trigger a fire or explosion: electrical sparks, friction, static discharge, hot surfaces, air streams, and direct-fired burners in ovens and thermal oxidizers. The third element necessary for a fire or explosion is oxygen. Since we can never be guaranteed that an environment will remain completely free of air or of a source of ignition, the most reliable means of preventing fire or explosion is to measure and limit the amount of flammable vapors to a safe level.