Tank fire fighting: development trends. Part 4/8.

Introduction of the ISO 14001 to the disaster recovery – part 4/8.

Tank fire fighting development at U.S. companies is based on the assumption that in the case of fire, because of the long preparation time, fire will inevitably destroy the devices necessary to conduct the built-in or semi-stable extinguishing procedure, so they will not function when extinguishing starts.

Therefore, the devices previously built onto the tank by the plant in accordance with the specifications of the relevant standards should be ignored, and purely mobile devices should be used to extinguish the fire.

This idea can be realized with high-capacity foam guns.

Storage tank fire fighting: Foam Gun

In some instances of tank fire in America, plants in an emergency leased the equipment from the manufacturer of the high-capacity mobile extinguisher, and storage tank fire fighting was carried out by the specialists of the same company under contract.

Results are uncertain. It has been reported in some cases that the team arriving 17 hours after the ignition of the fire at the site, started the extinguishing only after four hours’ preparation. After all of this, the fire was successfully extinguished, in just 65 minutes



All together 22 hours and 5 minutes burning.

And a new world record.


Do you remember from the previous part, how much carbon black is given off into the air every minute?

14 tons. Every minute.


Fire prevention specialists are aware that the Prometheus legend is not true; there is no such thing as eternal fire. In the end, the flame went out also in that case. The value of the material “saved” in the tank was only a small portion of the cost of the contracted extinguishing, and even the tank was destroyed.


Outline of the problem with the use of high-capacity foam guns


Storage tank fire fighting with Foam Gun

Tank fire fighting with foam guns

Drawbacks of the use of the high performance mobile type of extinguisher:

  • it is not suitable for putting out the rim seal fire of tanks with a floating roof
  • for its operation, a high-pressure and high-output fire water system has to be built, which is very costly in itself
  • this critical infrastructure is highly vulnerable, the complete extinguishing system is paralyzed in the case of an earthquake or a terrorist attack.

Despite these drawbacks, awareness of this strategic solution is being increased because of lack of other solution.


The solution: development of autonomous systems


to be continued…

Leave a comment