Canadian Biomass Magazine

Features Education
Tips for fire prevention


June 8, 2011
By Submitted by Allied Blower

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Fire protection for biomass and wood fibre conversion plants is critical from several key standpoints.

Fire protection for biomass and wood fibre conversion plants is critical from several key standpoints.

  • Inadequate or malfunctioning fire protection systems can result in production downtime.
  • The workplace safety concerns resulting from fire, deflagration, or explosions are very significant.
  • External insurers may increase insurance premiums or decline coverage if fire protection is not appropriately addressed.
  • Financing for operations or planned capital expansion may not be available if fire protection is not addressed.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the reference standard for fire safety. The relevant sections are NFPA 61, 68, 69, 91, 654, and 664. More information and a copy of the standards can be found at the NFPA’s website: www.nfpa.org .

When designing and engineering a biomass refinery or plant, keep the following in mind:

  • Consider spark detection at the earliest phase of dust system design. Fire protection equipment requires certain features that are difficult to make allowances for after equipment selection and equipment locations have been finalized.
  • Determine likely sources of sparks and install spark detection equipment as close to the source of spark generation as practical.
  • Optimize the system’s pipe sizing for air volume and flow for efficient selection and location of spark detection equipment. For example, a system velocity that’s higher than required leads to greater pipe length required for activation of protection devices.


Allied Blower & Sheet Metal (www.alliedblower.com ) specializes in turnkey fire protection, dust collection, HVAC systems, and is the Canadian distributor for GreCon spark detection and extinguishing systems (www.grecon-us.com ).


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