FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ROCKFORD, IL, DECEMBER 6, 2019 — Defective or inadequately maintained fuel valve trains have led to countless boiler and furnace explosions. Rockford Systems stands committed to the prevention of fuel valve train accidents by offering combustion safety products and services that minimize or eliminate risks posed to facilities and workers alike, plus ensure that the system is fine-tuned for optimal performance.
“Fuel valve trains regulate the flow and pressure of combustible gases delivered to industrial fuel-fired equipment, making it critical for managers to recognize the potential for serious accidents,” explained Bob Sanderson, Director of Business Development for Rockford Systems. “It is the manager’s responsibility to see that each part comprising a fuel valve train is thoroughly inspected annually for leaks and general operation. This simple step reduces catastrophic accidents, since even a small leak into a boiler can create an explosive atmosphere.”
While jurisdictions and insurance companies have long recognized the need for inspection of this equipment, the real world shows that plant managers typically have only minimal knowledge of the testing requirements for the different components that make up a fuel valve train. Few realize that annual testing and preventive maintenance are not only an essential safety measure, but are also mandated by many insurance agencies, equipment manufacturers and national standards, including NFPA, ANSI, ASME and NEC.
Advises Sanderson: “Fuel valve trains are complicated configurations. If a plant manager is not trained to test them, a competent outside service should be hired for the annual inspection. Testing needs to be part of an organization’s culture regardless of costs. Every manufacturer should comply with code requirements for testing even if they are not forced to.”
Sanderson gives these starting points for plant managers:
• Can the plant manager find inspection documentation, such as stickers in the control box or other supporting paperwork?
• Do the test fittings look dirty and dusty on the shut-off valves?
• Since the majority of combustion system accidents are due to human error, what combustion safety training is done currently for employees?
• Does the facility have written procedures for start-up and shutdown? Consistent safe practices must be in place for every shift and employee.
• Are interlock and fuel train valves tested for tightness regularly?
• Has the plant manager checked jurisdictional requirements to ensure the correct fuel train arrangement and installation?
• Have all safety devices required by the adopted codes been installed?
• Are all components designed and applied as ntended for service by UL, FM or AGA? Always refer to the burner manufacturer instructions and safety precautions.
• Have the flame safeguard controls been altered by someone, either an employee or contractor, who doesn’t have the sanction of a nationally recognized testing agency?
If the plant manager cannot find evidence of a recent annual inspection, it is time to have a conversation with the maintenance team lead to schedule one. Rockford Systems provides its customers with extensive reviews of gas trains and burner management systems, inspecting valves, interlocks, switches, regulators, strainers, monitoring devices and gauges, along with performing a leak detection test. Besides identifying safety problems the inspection will indicate ways for the manufacturer to maximize energy efficiency.
To schedule an inspection, visit www.rockfordsystems.com/combustion-safety or call 800-922-7533.