Bund fires are often caused by leaking flanges or valves at the base of tanks, damaged or cracked pipe work, and sometimes because of spills as a result of maintenance work.
For a long time fixed foam systems have been used to protect fuel storage tanks, but traditionally fire fighters have relied on portable branchpipes or monitors to protect the bunded containment areas surrounding the tanks.
Both portable branchpipes and monitors have distinct disadvantages for protecting this risk.
In the case of portable branchpipes because fire-fighters may have to enter the bund to apply foam to the fire thereby putting themselves at risk.
Monitors are designed to project a stream of foam long distances at high velocity (Tank roofs or jetty protection). In the case of bund protection their application can be too forceful, plunging the foam into the burning fuel causing fuel/foam mixing, or splashing the fire over into other areas. They have the added disadvantage of applying low expansion foam – which can be slow to cover large areas to a sufficient depth compared with a medium expansion foam blanket.
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