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Basic Fire Protection Systems Used in Oil

& Gas Plant, Refinery Units


In any oil & gas plant or refinery unit there are many hazardous fluids & gases
present or generated. These fluids & gases can be flammable or inflammable in
nature and can cause fire in the facility destructing the assets, pollution to the
environment & fatality to human life.

To prevent fire from happening the facility is to be protected with some fire
protection system is provided based on the hazardous nature of the fluids &
gases. The normal fire protection system which are generally present in the
plant are explained below:

1. Firewater Systems
Firewater systems shall be in accordance with NFPA 13 Standard for
the Installation of Sprinkler Systems and the Technical Requirements.

Risers or vertical pipe 3 NPS and larger shall have a flanged joint or a
mechanical coupling at each deck level.

Changes in pipe size shall be made with a one piece reducing fitting.
Reducing bushings, couplings and unions shall not be acceptable.

A maximum of eight sprinklers may be installed on any single branch


All sprinkler pipe and fittings shall be designed and installed so that the
firewater system can be drained completely, including both wet and dry
type systems. Branch lines shall include a minimum slope of 1/2 for
each 10-0 of pipe run. Cross and feed mains shall include a minimum
slope of 1/4 for each 10-0 of pipe run.
Firewater systems shall minimize low point traps to make the system as
self draining as reasonably possible. Where unavoidable, low point
traps shall be provided with drain valves. Drain valves shall also be
provided at the ends or remote points in the system. The minimum size
for drain valves shall be 1 NPS.

2. Foam Systems

o Foam systems shall be in accordance with NFPA 11 Low

Expansion Foam and Combined Agent Systems and the
Technical Requirements.

o Strainers shall be provided if solids large enough to obstruct

openings in foam equipment might be present.

o In fixed systems for exterior tanks, one flanged or union joint

shall be provided in each riser to permit hydrostatic testing of the
piping systems up to this joint.

o The laterals to each foam chamber on fixed roof tanks shall be

separately valved outside the fire area.

High Back-Pressure Foam Makers

o High back-pressure foam makers shall be positioned on the tank

so that an explosion within the tank which blows off the roof or
damages the uppermost roof plates would not result in the
interruption or reduction of quality of the foam discharge.

o The foam injection system shall be capable of being injected

directly into one or more product supply lines already connected
to the tank.

o The water line to each high back-pressure foam maker inlet shall
be valved separately.

Flushing and Draining Provisions

o Systems with foam concentrate piping and solution piping that are
normally empty shall be designed so that the piping can be
flushed with clean water after the system has been in service.

o Foam distribution piping shall be designed so that the system can

be drained. The piping shall be sloped toward the drain a
minimum of 1/2 for each 10-0 of pipe run.

3. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Systems

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Systems shall be in accordance with NFPA 12
CO2 Extinguishing Systems and the Technical Requirements.

Flow in piping shall only be split in the horizontal plane.

A dirt trap consisting of a capped nipple at least 2 long shall be

provided at the end of each pipe run. Dirt traps shall be installed as close
as possible to the last nozzle in any one pipe leg.

Pressure relief devices shall be installed in sections of closed piping

isolated by valves, unless the valves are designed to prevent entrapment
of liquid.

If pressure operated container valves are installed in a system, a means

for venting off any pressure that leaks from the containers shall be
provided. The design for venting shall not permit loss of extinguishing
agent when the system operates.