Publication Details

Technical Paper TP08

Why ISO 13702 and NFPA 15 Standards May Lead to Unsafe Design

Authors: S Medonos, Petrellus Engineering Ltd, Dr R Raman, Lloyd’s Register. Proceedings of the European Safety and Reliability Conference ESREL 2008.


Many international standards specify firewater deluge rates intended to protect personnel from thermal radiation from the fires during escape, and to cool equipment and structures affected by thermal radiation or direct flame impingement. ISO 13702 and NFPA 15 are popular international Standards, frequently used for the design of firewater systems in the oil and gas industry both offshore and onshore, and the chemical process industry. Process fires in these industries are often pool fires and jet fires, where jet fires are high momentum gas or multi-phase fires. Recent attempts for practical applications in plant design of the deluge rates specified in these Standards have shown that these deluge rates are not fire specific, but generic. Since fires vary widely in intensity and mechanism of escalation to structures, use of generic deluge rates may lead to inadequate fire protection of personnel and plant. This Paper:

  • examines potential fire situations, and escalation mechanisms
  • provides a critique of existing fire protection standards with respect to deluge systems
  • identifies and suggests further development of technical information and Standards to provide design guidance, and
  • proposes deluge rates for interim practical applications in the hydrocarbon process industries until new information becomes available.

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