Earlier this week, a fire was reported in a Pennsylvania manufacturing plant’s paint booth system. While this may not seem out of the ordinary, the key thing to note here is that this was in a system that was used to apply water-based paint materials.
Often when fire officials analyze the hazards presented by a potential flammable liquids operation, they look at the safety data sheets, and if there is no noted flammability concern with the raw product, the operation is considered to have no fire hazard. However, even though the carrier liquid is water-based, the solids within the material may be combustible. This means that not only can dried material in filters and ducts cause a significant fire, but any dust generated from these dried materials could still pose the threat of a combustible dust explosion. You must take a look at the application equipment, ducts, and filter systems.
Always be vigilant about manufacturing processes that seem to be completely non-hazardous. While the elimination of the solvent-based carrier liquid greatly reduces the risk of a flash fire, the potential for the finish material to burn still exists.
Fire breaks out at Mercer County manufacturing plant
HEMPFIELD TWP., Pa. -Fire departments from surrounding communities were called to the Reynolds East Business Park when a fire broke out at a business there. Workers were evacuated from Northeast Industrial Manufacturing on Keystone Road just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when a fire was reported in the in the paint shop area.
First firefighters on the scene reported smoke coming from the roof. The fire broke out in the paint booth filtering system, according to investigators. Firefighters reported that the fire was under control in about 25 minutes, but flames burned a 30 by six-foot hole in the side of the plant and damaged some pipes, motors, and fans.
Hempfield Fire Chief David King estimates damage at $20,000 and doesn’t believe there is any environmental hazard since the paint used is water-based. Chief King says the company should be able to conduct limited production by Wednesday. No one was injured.
The company makes containers for the scrap, recycling, and construction-demolition industries.