Understanding Flame and Fire Detection

Fires are created by the combination of fuel, heat, and oxygen. Different gases and substances can constitute as fuel, such as combustible gases and dust. Fire in an industrial setting can pose a number of hazards for the facility, its personnel, and the neighboring communities. The release of flammable material may result in several scenarios, including a fireball, pool fire, flash fire, flare or jet fire, or an unconfined explosion.

Two inherent hazards associated with fire are smoke and thermal radiation. Smoke created from fire poses two types of danger: visibility may be obscured, and health hazards arise due to inhalation and eye irritation. Thermal radiation can damage property and generate burns on exposed skin.

However, fire can also be used as a tool for mitigating a hazardous chemical’s potential impact. Deliberate ignition of a hazardous gas can minimize damages and produce more suitable environments. This technique has been successfully used for many years at oil and gas well sites.

Every industry working with combustible and toxic gases needs to have an understanding of the impact of the many hazards associated with fire. Proper fire detection solutions can be used to enable better situational analysis and more informed decision making during a fire event.

Technologies for Flame/Fire

A flame detector is designed to detect and respond to the presence of a flame or fire. Responses to a detected flame depend on the installation, but can include sounding an alarm, deactivating a fuel line, and activating a fire suppression system. A flame detector can often respond faster and more accurately than a smoke or heat detector due to the technology it uses to detect the flame.

Selecting the right flame detector for your application depends on several factors: the nature of the fire, the size of the area to be protected, environmental conditions, and detector capabilities and limitations are among the many concerns that must be considered.

Learn more about the advantages of using Sierra Monitor's flame detectors »