Delaware School LPG Training Pad

Delaware School LPG Training Pad

LPG pad at Delaware State Fire School is large enough for two groups to train at the same time. At right top are LPG storage tanks.

Staff photos

Fog pattern both protects hose crew and provides cooling effect to reduce pressure in LPG tanks. In this training evolution, men move in to shut valve on large tank with flame from simulated broken pipe impinging on smaller tanks, causing them to overpressure and burn at the safety.

An expansive training area for handling liquefied petroleum gas incidents is now in operation at the Delaware State Fire School in Dover.

Equipment on the pad includes a pipeline meter assembly with a relief valve, pressure reducer and main line block valve. The training installation also has 100 and 420-pound LPG tanks, such as are used at residential and commercial installations, and 1250gallon LPG supply tanks. There are also two mockups simulating a piping junction with multiple feeders to a pump.

Each half of the pad has a complete set of simulation facilities so that two groups can go through the full set of training evolutions at the same time.

The 65 X 100-foot pad is 6-inch concrete mixed to highway specifications, and the pad has a pitch of ¼ -inch to the foot to a 3-foot gutter that channels the runoff water to a separator to meet environmental protection requirements.

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Tank layout is the same on each half of training pad with one tank, two 100-pounders and a 1250-gallon tank in the background. Holes made in obscure places in tanks make them safe.Natural gas pipeline mockup includes a meter, the largest unit in photo, relief valve on vertical pipe, pressure reducer on horizontal pipe at left and main line block valve on left vertical pipe.Storage tanks to supply propane to pad are piped so that they feed both liquefied gas to pump in center and vapor directly to pad.Piping point mockup is for training in closing valves under fire conditions to shut off gas to 360-degree flange fire.

The gas supply piping on the pad is in pipe troughs to eliminate the possibility of men tripping over pipes. In each trough, the pipe toward the front of the pad is for LPG vapor and the one toward the rear is for gas still in the liquid state.

Valve features

The valves for both lines are raised above the surface of the pad so that hose lines can’t accidentally turn them. The supply line valves are quarter turn valves and are about 2 feet above the pad so that instructors can slap them shut in a hurry if necessary. All these valves are closed when the handle is horizontal, and this provides a visual check on the condition of the valve.

The LPG supply for the pad is contained in two 1250-gallon delivery truck vessels so that more than 2000 gallons of LPG can be kept in storage. A 65-gpm, vane-type, propane pump, powered by an electric motor, is hooked up to the liquid discharge line from the vessels. This pump supplies liquid propane to some of the props for larger fires.

Adequate vapor provided

Propane in the gaseous state is used for other props, and that is one of the reasons two LPG storage vessels are used. Two storage tanks provide a larger total liquid surface and therefore there is greater vaporization to provide an adequate vapor supply during certain evolutions. It was feared that with only one supply tank, the demand for propane in the gaseous state during some evolutions on the pad might exceed the available vapor.

The cost of the gas pad was about $20,000. However, with the exception of valves and fittings, most of the equipment and vessels was donated to the fire school. All the piping was put together by senior instructors on the school staff and by part-time instructors from the volunteer fire service.

The pad is used for training not only fire fighters, but also the employees of industrial companies throughout Delaware.

Supply valves for training props are raised above pad for safety and convenience.Lighting off appliances is done by instructor using a propane brush burner connected to the vapor line with a safety valve.Ignition brings flames like this around large tank. Crew moves in with fog to close valve between tank and simulated faulty pipe.

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