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Protecting Against Flash Fire & Combustible Dust

What is a Flash Fire?

Flash fire is a hazard in any environment where concentrated fuel (flammable solids and liquids, or their gases, vapors, or dust) may become mixed with enough oxygen to support combustion. A flash fire is a sudden and unexpected ignition that is relatively short in duration, averaging three seconds or less. Flash fires are a common hazard in petrochemical plants, molten metal and glass foundries, mining operations, and gas utility services, as well as in oil and gas refineries and extraction and pipelines services. 

NFPA 2112 / CGSB-155.20*

NFPA 2112 and CGSB 155.20 outline the certification, performance, and testing requirements for flash fire protection. These recognized standards help define requirements for flame resistant garments for the protection of industrial personnel against flash fires. These standards specify the minimum performance requirements and test methods for flame resistant fabrics in areas at risk for flash fires. These include:

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Evaluation and certification 

These apparel elements are aimed at reducing the severity of burn injuries resulting from accidental exposure to flash fires.

NFPA 2113

NFPA 2113 assures the proper selection and care of garments to ensure the maintenance of required protection and safety levels. Understanding and meeting these standards is essential when it comes to protecting your employees, your workplace, and your reputation.

What is Combustible Dust?

A combustible-dust hazard occurs when potentially flammable dust particles are suspended in the air in an enclosed location. An explosion can occur when an ignition source, e.g., a spark from electrical equipment or metal-to-metal contact, an open flame, or even static electricity, comes into contact with the dust.

OSHA reports show combustible dust can be produced from a variety of materials, including:

Wood dust
Metal dust (e.g., aluminum, magnesium, zinc, and bronze)
Organic dust (e.g., sugar, flour, paper, soap, and soybean)
Coal and other carbon dust
Plastic and rubber dust
Certain textile materials

Workers in a variety of industries are exposed to combustible-dust hazards. These industries include:

Food products
Forest and furniture products
Metal processing
Tire and rubber manufacturing
Paper products
Textile processing
Coal handling and processing

It’s important to protect workers from potential combustible-dust injury by ensuring they wear proper PPE, including flame resistant clothing. G&K will work with you to develop safety solutions, based upon a worksite assessment, to meet your safety goals.

See OSHA’s reissued  and NFPA 654 for more information on combustible dust hazards and regulations.