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Extent of Fire Area?

asked Feb 3, 2017 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, 2017 by wangroc (3,280 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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