ipc valves

Fire Safe Valves: Do you have the right kind?

When you own a petrol pump, you don’t go around the market looking for the cheapest possible fire extinguisher.

However, some people might be making that mistake. Even when they are working in dangerous applications such as chemicals, they could end up buying cheaper valves to save on costs. 

Yes, they might buy ‘valves that are ‘fire safe by design’, or valves that are ‘fire-safe tested’, but unless they choose valves that are ‘fire safe approved and certified’, they are taking a grave risk. 

Valves are like front line soldiers on the field in any application. 

Now, when it comes to fighting a war, would you deploy soldiers that have studied the war in theory, but never actually picked up a gun and practiced fighting? No. 

Also, you will still be at risk if you deploy soldiers who are used to battle simulator, but have never been seen by anyone to be fighting on the field. 

That’s exactly what you are doing when choosing valves that are fire-safe by design or fire safe tested.

Fire safe approved and certified valves are soldiers that have been tested and deemed fit for deployment. 

Fire safe by design valves

Designed to be fire safe but not tested

Fire safe tested valves

Tested by the manufacturer, but not approved by any third party regulating body

Fire safe approved and certified valves

Tested, approved and certified in line with common valve standards by a third-party regulating body

When you are buying valves, considering which common standards it confirms to, and which regulating bodies have approved it could make a lot of difference in the long run.

Fire-safe does not mean the valve can withstand fire 

A fire-safe valve is essentially designed and tested to maintain a strategic distance from or sustain the pass of ignitable fluid (liquid or gas or gasses encircled from liquid stage) to pass, at a particular rate for a given time. 

This could be in operational occasions and may include exceptions including overheating of the pipeline, or fire brought in similar events. It’s important to know the specifications of fire-safe and its difference from a blaze safe valve as defined by danger examination.

Fire-safe does not mean the valve can be continued to use after the event of fire.

In no case, fire-safe valve means the valve can be continued in use after the event of fire. A fire-safe valve may guarantee safety only in specific fire events by taking upon itself the damage caused by fire. This means the internal or external components of the valve may undergo severe damage in the event of fire, but the valve may be able to protect the surrounding systems. The damage to the valve may render it of no use any further. 

A “fire safe approved and certified” valve has been tested, approved, and certified by a governing third party according to common standards like API 607, API 6 FA, ISO 10497, etc.

For more such resources and know-how on valves, please visit our website here.