Offshore Fire Protection Services in the Gulf
When you work on an offshore oil drilling rig, you face various hazards every day, not the least of which are potential fires and explosions. By taking the right safety precautions and installing necessary fire suppression equipment, you can reduce the chance of fire and extinguish any blazes that do break out quickly and effectively to save lives and reduce property damage.
Offshore Drilling Rig Fires
According to federal labor statistics, 10 percent of all workplace fatalities related to fires and explosions occur in the oil and gas industry. Then, 15 percent of all fatal accidents in the oil and gas industry are from fires and explosions, with a total of 78 workers killed in such accidents between 2009 and 2013.
The worst offshore oil platform disaster on record occurred on the Piper Alpha in 1988 when 167 out of 226 workers were killed in serial explosions on the platform. The resulting fire took three weeks to put out.
A more recent incident in 2007 occurred when the Usumacinta Jack-up collided with the Kab-101 platform. The collision caused oil and gas leaks on the Usumacinta Jack-up, which eventually ignited and caused a fire. The incident claimed 22 lives.
Fire Hazards in Offshore Oil Drilling Rigs
Often viewed as a way of life, it’s easy for oil workers to focus on their given task and forget about the dangers associated with this type of work – or how to avoid hazardous situations. Some of the top fire hazards in offshore platforms include:
- Hazardous areas: Many special hazards exist on offshore oil drilling platforms where personal safety and consistent operation techniques are vital. Some potential areas where fires could break out include engine rooms, storage areas, generator rooms, and electrical control rooms.
- Defective equipment: Oil rigs feature a blowout preventer that acts like the lid of a pressure cooker to prevent high-pressure pockets of gas from rising. If the “lid” doesn’t close fast enough, gasses could rise, come in contact with something flammable onboard, and start a fire. This is just one example of an equipment defect.
- Unsafe procedures: In one instance, a contractor used a blowtorch to cut an oil line instead of the approved saw method. The oil inside the line ignited when the torch came in contact with it, causing an explosion.
- Negligence: Due to the level of danger associated with oil drilling equipment, everything should be inspected by a qualified supervisor on board. Then, fire protection equipment should be tested and maintained on a regular schedule to ensure effective extinguishing if a fire breaks out.
Fire Suppression for Offshore Drilling Rigs
You have two top options for offshore fire suppression: 3M Novec 1230 and HI-FOG.
3M Novec 1230 is an advanced, next-generation clean fire suppression agent designed to replace environmentally damaging halon and CO2 systems. In fact, it’s the world’s first viable replacement for halon, providing the same long-term applications without harming the environment. Novec 1230 is compact and lightweight and can be used to put out fires where personnel is present.
HI-FOG is a safe, efficient fire suppression system that uses water mist to fight fires on offshore platforms. It poses no risk to people and is eco-friendly. HI-FOG is available in several forms to meet the needs of different oil drilling rigs.
Offshore Fire Protection in Texas
If you’re looking for offshore fire protection near Houston, choose Kauffman Co. for the job. We recently designed and installed a sprinkler system in the living quarters of the Shell Mars B permanent offshore drilling platform in Galveston. To learn more about our experience with offshore fire protection, contact us online or call (713) 893-1090.
We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas:
- Deer Park
- Galena Park
- Jacinto City
- La Marque
- La Porte
- Lake Charles, LA
- Lake Jackson
- League City
- Missouri City
- Port Arthur
- San Antonio
- South Houston
- Sugar Land
- Texas City
- The Woodlands
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
Alvin | Angleton | Austin | Baytown
| Beaumont | Bellaire |
Clute | Conroe
| Deer Park | Dickinson | Freeport
Friendswood | Galena Park
| Galveston | Houston | Humble