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Extent of Fire Area?

asked Feb 3 in Engineering by Mikhai Witt (190 points)
What is the recommended fire area when designing and placing equipment in a facility? In another word, when planning the general layout of a facility, what should be considered?

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answered Feb 3 by wangroc (3,240 points)

Per API RP 521, if the equipment is located in an area where type and volume of the inventory and drainage system design is such that a sizable fire might occur:

The horizontal extent of fire zone should be a 65 ft diameter circle from a potential source of fire.  A shorter fire zone could be assumed if equipment is segregated by firewalls or by a curbed area capable of containing or restricting the exposure to the spilled inventory.

Assume that all piping and equipment up to 25 ft above deck, ground, or any other fire-supporting surface is exposed to fire.

For air coolers with tubes located higher than 25 ft above grade or other surface at which a major fire could be sustained, the extent of fire should be as follows:

  • For forced draft units (the tubes would be shielded from radiant heat exposure by the fan hood), wetted area should be taken as zero (no fire exposure).
  • For induced draft units, the wetted area should be taken as the projected area (length multiply width) of the tube bundle.
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