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HSE OTI 92 608
Existing fire design criteria for secondary, support and system steelwork
Work Package FR5
BFETS Phase 1
This reports reviews the available information on the design of secondary steelwork when subjected to fire. During the preparation of this report, little information was identified which directly related to fire design criteria for secondary support and system steelwork. The reader is advised to refer, for additional general information, to the technical report on the package FR2 which details fire design criteria for primary steelwork.
Fire-resistant strategies should be considered for secondary steelwork since its failure could lead to the escalation of an incident, the loss of control/fire fighting systems and the destruction of escape or evacuation routes.
The potential consequences of secondary steelwork failure are:
- The failure of systems containing hydrocarbons could result in an additional fuel source for the original incident, resulting in potential further explosions or more severe fires. The magnitude of the consequences will be related to the type of system failure and the composition, volume and condition of the system inventory;
- The failure of control/fire fighting systems may result in the inability to intervene and suppress an incident, or could even result in the total loss of control of the platform. Communication and control systems need to be maintained for the management of an incident. Active fire systems also need to be safeguarded to ensure the endurance of the system itself during a fire;
- Maintenance of the structural integrity of escape routes in emergencies has to be ensured by the design and provision of fire protected walkways, stairways, corridors and other escape routes.
The work reported in this document has revealed that, almost without exception, secondary steelwork has not previously been designed to withstand fire loads, although the following areas have been considered in the past:
- The influence of secondary steelwork at locations where it is connected to passive fire protected primary steelwork;
- The insulation of hot systems to safeguard personnel and for thermal efficiency.
It is possible to increase the fire performance of secondary steelwork in key areas by making use of Materials with enhanced fire-resistant, durability and corrosion properties.
The full report is publicly available from the HSE Website at www.hse.gov.uk/research/otipdf/oti92608.pdf.
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