What are NFPA 2112 and NFPA 2113? View some of the most frequently asked questions DuPont receives about these standards that work to protect industrial workers from fire hazards.
What is NFPA 2112?
Answer: The National Fire Protection Association 2112 Standard provides minimum requirements for the design, construction, evaluation, and certification of flame-resistant clothing for use by industrial personnel. It does not attempt to provide any guidance on matching the PPE to the quantified hazard — that is what NFPA 2113 is designed for.
Are all industrial fires three seconds or less?
Answer: Short-duration fires are a rare exception. Open the newspaper, turn on the TV, or visit a website such as U.S. Chemical Safety Board to see firsthand evidence of just how extensive fires usually are when they occur at manufacturing, chemical, and petroleum-based industrial sites. Three seconds is a performance specification that is only used to qualify a garment as FR. It has nothing to do with establishing the correct level of PPE workers need in your particular fire hazard environment.
What minimum percent body burn is required to pass NFPA 2112 testing?
Answer: For a garment to pass NFPA 2112 testing, it must exhibit 50 percent or less total predicted body burn using a standardized burn injury model.
Is a garment that generates a 50-percent predicted body burn from a standardized model acceptable to your organization?
Answer: If not, then you need to look beyond NFPA 2112 compliance and evaluate garment systems for their actual performance levels, and not simply a pass/fail criterion based on the 50-percent predicted skin burn injury model.
If a garment carries an NFPA 2112 “pass” rating, does it mean it will protect your workers adequately or meet applicable OSHA regulations?
Answer: There are no short cuts — do the homework, generate the data, and work with garment providers to understand what type of garments or garment systems will provide the levels of protection required.
Under NFPA 2113, is a hazard assessment really necessary?
Answer: Under NFPA 2113, a hazard assessment must be conducted that will deliver a quantified energy level for the various tasks that workers perform. To properly conduct a hazard assessment, the following are critical questions to be answered: a. What materials are burning? or: What is your fuel source? b. How much air is available to mix with the fuel to support combustion? c. How long will it take for a person to recognize that he or she is in trouble and do something about it? d. Are workers wearing gear that will slow them down?
Isn't knowing the duration of the fire critical in selecting the proper thermal personal protective equipment (PPE)?
Answer: Knowing the duration of a fire is usually important in understanding potential damage to infrastructure and fire escalation factors (as have occurred in large industrial incidents). However, for the selection of PPE, it is the duration of the potential thermal exposure a person might experience during escape that’s important. This is normally determined through a site and task hazard analysis. Several tools can assist in this process. The Center for Chemical Process Safety of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (CCPS) and the NFPA 2113 standard have been recognized by OSHA as guides to assist in this process and to select the appropriate thermal protective PPE.
NFPA 2113 refers to “flash” fires, Are “flash” fires the only industrial fire hazard that can cause burn injury?
Answer: No. There are many other fire hazard risks in process industries that work with or handle flammable materials. These fire hazards occur from unplanned equipment failures that release, with subsequent ignition, process gasses, liquids, and solids from spills or pressurized line breaks. Many of these fires begin when a flash, or vapor cloud, fire burns back to the source of the release. Overall, industrial fire hazards are generally classified as: - Vapor cloud fires, with: a) No explosion, b) Resulting from explosion, and c) Resulting in explosion, - Fireballs (instantaneous release and ignition of liquefied gas above boiling point), - Jet flames (directed fire from flammable materials escaping under pressure), - Flammable liquid fires, forming one or both: a) Pool fires, and b) Running liquid fires, - Solids fires, in the form of: a) Dust fires, or b) Fires of solid materials (i.e., pyrophoric metals), - Structural fires (i.e., fires of warehouse, office, and support buildings), and - Fires associated with oxygen.