Hughes Environmental is proud to be a member of the National Fire Protection Agency, also known as the NFPA. The NFPA is a nonprofit whose mission is to reduce and eliminate fire hazards through the use of codes and regulations. Through their advocacy work the NFPA has become an authority on fire, electrical, and building safety, with many industries adopting their codes and standards.
One of NFPA’s focuses has been on preventing combustible dust fires and explosions. The ‘NFPA 654 Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids’ is the publication currently used to manage combustible dust hazards. It covers what industries are at risk, what creates combustible dust risks, how to prevent combustible dust explosions, and other important information.
One area of NFPA 654 that is particularly relevant to the combustible dust remediation services that Hughes Environmental provides is Chapter 8, which deals with housekeeping and cleaning procedures. In this chapter of fire codes it provides details for the frequency that combustible dust needs to be cleaned to reduce risk, what types of methods can safely be used to clean the combustible dust, and what cleaning methods can actually create more of a risk.
Two common dust cleaning methods that go against NFPA 654 codes are using compressed air to clean dust accumulations and using regular vacuum cleaners that are not grounded or static dissipative. Blowing dust using compressed air creates the dangerous dust cloud that can easily ignite. Plastic hoses and collection areas on a standard vacuum can create static electricity when dust particles move through it, and the exhaust vent can blow dust into a cloud. Even a spark from static electricity can be enough to ignite a combustible dust cloud. Many fires or explosions have been created when someone was performing cleaning this way.
If you need a professional team to clean the combustible dust in your facility and get it up to code, contact Hughes Environmental, an NFPA member. We use grounded, explosion proof vacuums to clean the dust, and take extreme care to prevent and remove any dust hazards.