Originally this paper was intended to be a review of fire protection measures and requirements for new and complex facilities. However, on reflection, I realized that the protection requirements for new complex facilities were really no different than for other facilities in the chemical industries. Fire safety challenges are equally daunting in all segments of the industry. This paper reviews methods commonly used to design fire protection measures for chemical plants, and proposes the use of performance-based fire protection analysis and design as an alternate to specification design methods.

Loss prevention techniques have been partially eclipsed by process safety management efforts launched to meet OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM), and EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements. But, fire protection, prevention, and explosion safeguards must continue to be included in plant design and operations to assure overall plant safety.