Spray booth fires can be catastrophic and deadly, destroying equipment, buildings and entire plants often resulting in the loss of specialist equipment and livelihood.
By taking simple steps you can stop spray booth fires devastating your business.
What causes spray booth fires?
- Improper use of electrical equipment, electrical faults and short circuits
- Unsupervised or improper burning of waste material
- Improper use of welding equipment
- Incorrect disposal of cigarettes, matches and lighters
- Spontaneous combustion of materials caused by a chemical reaction from the build-up of overspray dust. This risk can be reduced with the use of lacquers that do not contain nitrocellulose.
How to prevent spray booth fires in the work place:
- Identify and assess potential fire hazards within your work place
- Determine the likelihood and consequence of fire risks
- Establish designated outdoor smoking areas away from building entrances and waste storage
- Provide cigarette butt bins in the designated areas
- Introduce a no smoking policy inside buildings
- Use and store hazardous and dangerous goods according to their instructions
- Train all staff to understand Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
- Collate and store MSDS as per regulations
- Dispose of chemically contaminated rags and waste materials as per MSDS instructions
- Install and maintain appropriate fire protection equipment. Your workplace should have a service agent who can advise what equipment you need
- Train all staff in how to use fire protection equipment
- Make sure you have an emergency management plan and practice it regularly
In the plant and equipment:
- All plant and equipment must comply with AS/NZS 4114.1
- Regularly change filter pad material in a spray booth and dispose of it correctly
- Ventilate the area well before carrying out hot work activities eg. welding, grinding
- Implement a hot work permit system before welding or grinding in spray booths
- Maintain and test all electrical equipment
- Have electrical faults and mechanical noises checked by a qualified tradesperson
- Only use intrinsically safe electrical lighting and equipment in spray booths
- Ensure proper use and maintenance of welding equipment
- Do not use flame or electrical bar heaters in or around spray booths
- Choose lacquers that do not contain nitrocellulose
- Seek council approval before burning waste material and never leave burning material unattended