Establishing Minimum Requirements for Fire and Gas Detection for Process Facilities

Dr. Andrew Walton, Akshat Khirwal, Jeff Cheng

Hazards Australasia 2013


Fire and gas detectors are provided in process facilities – both onshore and offshore for raising alarms as well as automatic shutdown / depressurization actions as part of essential safety design features. However, there is a wide variation in the approach and philosophy adopted during the design and implementation of such detector systems with associated impact on the safety of the facility.

Some companies have developed requirements based on their operating experience and incorporated them into their safety design philosophy. In practice, while the coverage for offshore facilities tend to be more extensive, onshore facilities comparatively have minimal coverage but without suitable justification based on hazards or risks.

In this paper, the authors have reviewed the current standards and approaches for onshore facilities, highlighted gaps in their implementation and tried to propose a set of minimum requirements and approaches to be adopted by the industry. This includes using a screening technique to determine the approach to be adopted. The paper also discusses about establishing a relationship between detector coverage and the detection failure probabilities considered in QRA.

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