Fire protection is considered only part of a facility's safety and loss prevention program. Fire protection systems are designed to respond to events after they have occurred, and do not take into consideration other systems in place that prevent the event from occurring in the first place. In many instances, and especially after events have occurred, lawsuits have been filed, regulatory consent orders have been issued, and recommendations from outside experts and insurance companies have been issued, directly pressuring the company to take action. Other companies with similar risks have also felt indirect pressure to install additional protection systems. Good engineering judgment has not always been applied to assure that the money was well spent.

This paper will present a fire protection risk assessment methodology for oil and chemical facilities. In this methodology, not only are fire protection issues considered, but also select management, process safety and engineering systems are reviewed. The systematic review of these factors will assist a facility in establishing its own risk assessment criteria.

ECRC has applied and proven the benefits of this methodology at a Gulf Coast refining and petrochemical complex. I will summarize the results of this work during this presentation.