Preplanning Dust Explosion Hazards

BY MAT CHIBBARO When you hear the term "combustible dust," what image enters your mind? For some, it's a smoldering pile of dust, hardly an imminent hazard as most emergency incidents go. But let's think about this a minute. If that pile of dust is tossed into the air and ignited, you can be faced with a flash fire or an explosion. Even small flash fires are rapid-combustion events, so rapid that you would not be able to outrun them. If the amount of dust is large, you have a potential for a major incident. Secondary explosions can occur as more dust is released or disturbed. Traditional firefighting tactics can get you into trouble very fast when combustible dusts are present, ...

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