Petroleum Storage Tank Facilities – Part three


Petroleum Storage Tank Facilities – Part 3

by Brenna ShumbamhiniJune 9, 2022


In earlier installments of this sequence we talked in regards to the types of petroleum storage tanks, their places, widespread fire hazards, described the types of fires, and fireplace suppression systems that storage tanks might have.
In this third and last article we will talk about firefighting methods and ways in addition to pre-incident response planning fundamentals.
Firefighting Strategies and Tactics

Firefighting strategies and tactics begins with a nicely planned and examined pre-incident response plan. This will be discussed later within the article. Storage tank fires are advanced occasions. These fires will require the implementation of plans, preparation, proper utilization of assets, and an extensive logistics part to make sure the assets are available and arrive on scene in a coordinated and timely trend. The following methods and ways for firefighting presume that the planning and preparation levels have been performed by plant and fire division personnel. Experience tells us that successful and protected extinguishment of tank fires can only be achieved when primarily based on planning and preparation, with all related participating in all features of the method in addition to the exercising of the plan. Exercising the plan can be carried out with desk top eventualities in addition to periodic full scale exercises.
As soon as a fire department receives notification of an incident, size up and intelligence gathering should be started. Information must be gathered shortly to begin the event of firefighting methods. The following must be considered:
Rescue of personnel within the immediate area

Life security hazards to web site personnel




Environmental influence

Community impression

After the quick points are addressed, we have to establish the kind of hearth present:
Vent fire

Seal fireplace

Piping-connection fireplace

Full floor involvement fire

Once we have examined the above info we will then begin to develop our useful resource listing and incident motion plan (IAP). Remember that the type of product involved may also impact our resource needs and techniques. The following are numerous forms of fires and firefighting ways:
Ground Spill or Dike Fires

These fires may be considered as easy pool or spill fires. Calculate the area (length x width) and use the proper utility fee based mostly on NFPA eleven, Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam. Knowing the product may also provide the correct sort of froth focus and application technique. Alcohol products would require a delicate utility methodology. Firefighters shouldn’t enter the dike space except secure to do so and permitted by the Incident Commander in session with the incident’s Safety Officer. Atmospheric testing should be conducted prior to and during entry. Exposures such as tanks, associated piping, and pumps must be protected with water through floor or mounted screens. Ground fires ought to be extinguished first, then utilizing dry-chemical tools, valves and flanges extinguished. The most effective tools for these mixed fires could be hydro-chem™ expertise whereby foam/water answer as well as dry-chemical could be delivered simultaneously through the identical nozzle.
Specialized transportable monitor placed on lip of storage tank.
Rim Seal Fires

Rim seal fires can normally be extinguished utilizing the mounted or semi-fixed foam methods if put in and correctly maintained. On exterior floating roof tanks, if the fastened or semi-fixed fire protection techniques aren’t present, guide firefighting will need to be performed. Under the protection of a water spray, a firefighting crew will ascend to the gauging platform with hand-held foam equipment. The major methodology should be using foam wands to capture the fireplace (Photo 1- Foam Wand) which allows the location of specialised monitors to be placed on the lip of the tank. (Photo 2- Specialized moveable monitor) The displays can then be used to extinguish the rim seal hearth using the reach of the monitor so that hoselines and personnel are not working from the wind girder away from the ladder. If this equipment isn’t obtainable, then foam hoselines could probably be used from the wind girder. This is a hazardous operation, and only undertaken if there is a structurally safe wind girder with handrails. (Photo 3- Foam chamber and Wind Girder) Personnel should be secured to forestall falling.
In some cases, elevated streams from fireplace autos have been used. This is not a major methodology of extinguishment. It has been noted that there’s all the time a chance of sinking or tilting the roof beneath the surplus water/foam resolution, thus creating a larger downside, which may embody an obstructed /unobstructed full floor fireplace.
On tanks fitted with internal floating roofs, these fires could additionally be thought-about rare, but they do happen. They shall be extremely difficult to extinguish unless fixed or semi-fixed hearth protection methods are put in. Foam chambers and foam dams are the best, and the design of the system should be calculated on a full surface hearth, particularly if the pan beneath is aluminum.
The most difficult method of extinguishment in a coated floating roof tank will be to shoot foam water resolution via the eyebrow vents. Using hydro-chem™ into these vents has proven efficient in the past.
Full Surface Fires

Staffing necessities for a major tank fire will differ depending on the type of tank, location, water provides, nature of the incident and the availability of trained personnel. Attacks on these fires will predominantly use the Type III “Over the Top” method of extinguishing agent delivery. The product involved will determine the required foam utility price and percentage of focus to water flowed. The measurement of the tank may even determine the application fee. For larger tank diameters a bigger utility price is required. The chart below is accepted by trade experts to be the minimal application rates based on the tank diameter:
Table 1– Application rates

Foam solution (foam focus + water) move rates to be established are based on the following formulation:
Foam answer flow price = Tank floor area x application fee (as noted in desk 1)

Tank surface space = 3.14 x radius2

Application rate = as per table below

Foam Concentration Flow Rate (lpm [gpm] of froth concentrate)

Foam focus move rate = Foam answer flow price x foam percent

Foam % = 1%, 3%, 6% relying on kind of froth, product on hearth and manufacturer’s recommendations

Foam Concentrate Quantities

Foam concentrate circulate rate (lpm or gpm) x period

Duration = 65 minutes for Type III (over the top) purposes

Please note that these portions are for extinguishment purposes. For vapor suppression after extinguishment it is an accepted practice to double our extinguishment provides to maintain up the suppression of vapors and stop the potential reignition of the product.
Some of the above flows may be nicely in excess of 37,854 lpm (10,000 gpm) and would require large capability supply gadgets such as giant trailer mounted displays and enormous moveable pumps.
Now that we all know our circulate charges and foam concentrates required we have to additionally have a look at other elements similar to:
Position and situation of roof drains

Volume of the product

Status of tanks and valves

Depth of water bottoms

Structural condition of tank

Product in tank and its bodily properties

Is there room within the tank to accept the total foam resolution without causing an overfill

What other tanks, piping, or constructions may be uncovered

Wind path

Weather conditions (present and expected)

Foam chamber on tank. Note the wind girder with appropriate handrail. If the froth chamber was not present or did not function properly, the wind girder could be used to advance foam hoselines for seal fire extinguishment.
In any fireplace state of affairs we need to involve the native facility personnel in our planning section as technical specialists. They can also be at the command publish advising the Incident Commander immediately. These fires are not our strange ‘bread and butter’ operations and must be handled as an incident that may change quickly and unexpectedly, usually with extreme penalties. Do not attempt to extinguish a full floor fire without all needed resources on the scene. Cooling of adjacent tanks would be a tactic to be used previous to all foam delivery and personnel assets are on the scene. The cooling of the tank that’s on fireplace just isn’t recommended until full 360 degree cooling may be achieved, which is rare. Also, when cooling a tank, use solely the quantity of water necessary. When the cooling water stops turning to steam, you may shut down the streams and start them up once more when needed. This will conserve water provides for extinguishment and cut back the water flowing into the dike areas. Generally between 1,893 lpm (500 gpm) and three,785 lpm (1,000 gpm) will be required for each tank cooled. In addition to the correct delivery devices and foam provides, we want to be sure that our foam answer supply zone on the floor will be ready to unfold out once it hits the surface and canopy the entire surface area. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) foam can travel effectively across no much less than 30m (100 ft) of burning liquid. We imagine that for calculating foam runs, this quantity must be reduced to 24m (80 ft), guaranteeing that our landing zones journey and overlap each other. Firefighters should concentrate on the space a master stream can attain in addition to the touchdown zone length and width. These can be obtained from the producer of the displays and nozzles and verified in the area during drills and workouts. By knowing this data we will pre-plan the positioning of our master streams. Range finders can be used throughout operations to gauge distances to the tank to assist with monitor positioning. There are a number of occurrences that can happen at a storage tank fire that the fire service should be aware of. These are:

This event can occur when a water stream is utilized to the new surface of burning oil, supplied that the oil is viscous and the temperature exceeds the boiling level of water. It causes a short length of slopping of froth over the rim of the tank with a minimal of intensity.

Frothover is a gradual, gradual shifting froth over the rim of a tank and not using a sudden and violent response. Frothover could happen when the tank isn’t on hearth and water already inside the tank is obtainable in contact with sizzling viscous oil which is being loaded. An instance is when hot asphalt is loaded into a tank automotive and comes into contact with water in the tank, causing the product to froth over the top. During a fire with crude oil it might also happen when the heat wave created by the burning crude oil reaches the water layers (stratums) in the crude oil. This heat wave will convert the water to steam, causing a frothover.

This event is a sudden and violent ejection of crude oil from the tank because of the response of the hot-layer and the accumulation of water at the bottom of the tank. The light fractions of crude oil burn off, producing a warmth wave within the residue. The residues with their associated heat wave sink towards the bottom of the tank. This warmth wave will ultimately reach the water that usually accumulates on the backside of the tank, and when the 2 meet the water is superheated and subsequently boils, increasing explosively inflicting a violent ejection of the tank contents and hearth. The expanding contents being expelled can travel the distance equal of ten tank diameters. Careful consideration should be given during pre-incident response planning of the placement of the command post, staging areas, rehab, gear placement, and so on.
Pre-Incident Response Planning

When planning for a response to a petroleum storage tank facility it’s best that the information gathered is finished on-site and with the help of facility personnel. While on website, access roads that you can be use to access the world and place fire apparatus (appliances) must be pushed by the automobiles that shall be used during an incident. Many instances the turning radius of apparatus is simply too great to make the turns needed in the facility. Swales or culverts may also impede apparatus. If the equipment chassis is too lengthy and or low, it might grasp up or ground while traversing a swale or culvert. Bridges on site could not permit the weight limit of new apparatus, stopping its use at an incident.
During pre-incident response planning data that must be gathered includes the following:
Tank sorts, dimensions, contents and capacities

Pipe isolation valves, areas, and working mechanism

Fixed fire safety systems available

Access factors to facility and tank

Contact cellphone numbers

Locations and operation of emergency shutdown devices (ESD’s)

Availability of firefighting resources

Water supplies

Pumping necessities

Foam concentrate requirements

Mutual/automatic aid obtainable

Other data could be obtained primarily based on the needs and necessities of your division. While these articles are not totally inclusive of all data that a fireplace division needs to know, it is a good begin. Other resources are listed at the finish of this article. It is necessary that firefighters attend courses on this specialised firefighting, pre-plan these services, and train the pre-plans. Don’t allow these amenities to turn out to be a half of the panorama. Visit these amenities and ask questions!

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American Petroleum Institute [API]. API Recommended Practice 2021: Management of Atmospheric Storage Tank Fires. Washington, DC: API, 2001, Reaffirmed 2006 Hildebrand, M. S. & Noll, G. G. Storage Tank Emergencies: Guidelines and Procedures. Annapolis, MD: Red Hat Publishing, 1997 Institution of Chemical Engineers [IChemE]. BP Process Safety Series: Liquid Hydrocarbon Tank Fires: Prevention and Response. Rugby, UK: IChemE, 2005 Shelley, C. H., Cole, A. R. and Markley, T. E. Industrial Firefighting for Municipal Firefighters. Tulsa, OK: PennWell, 2007References 1.
Shelley, C. H., Cole, A. R. and Markley, T. E. Industrial Firefighting for Municipal Firefighters. Tulsa, OK: PennWell, 2007.[/su_note]

Top Image:- Foam wand being placed during training. Note the protective hose stream in place.

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