Risk-Based Approach – Domino Effect and Escalation Triggered by Fires

Escalation and domino effect triggered by fires is a well-known phenomenon that has caused past severe accidents in the process industry. This paper proposes a risk-based approach for domino effect analysis by combining Exceedance Curves (ECs) with Thermal Stress Dynamic Analysis (TSDA). ECs such as Heat Flux Exceedance Curves (HFECs) are constructed and used for the identification of target equipment that may be impacted by heat flow received from primary industrial fires. Given a target frequency, the corresponding thermal flow is identified and can be used to screen equipment from further consideration. Otherwise, further analysis is conducted to estimate the Time to Failure (TTF), which is the available time for mitigation. A case study is developed for illustrative purposes. Additionally, the effectivity of certain mitigation measures such as fire-proof insulation is discussed and simulated to predict a new, longer TTF which allows more time to extinguish the fire and minimizes the possibility of escalation and domino effect due to fires.

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