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A Guide To Mitigating Backup Fuel Storage Risks In Emergency Power Systems
Atom Alloys
July 3, 2021
2 Mins Read Time

Energy resilience is a mounting need today for industries and essential services to ensure against power failures that can put lives at risk in hospitals, cause food to spoil in production facilities and result in large business losses costing millions of dollars.

For this reason, several sectors such as healthcare, data centres, manufacturing, assisted living etc. rely heavily on energy resilience to avoid business interruptions and stay operational. What they need is a reliable, regular supply of energy and an emergency backup plan in case of a power outage.

What Does a Backup Power System Do?

Many institutions, large infrastructure projects, and homes have backup power systems, whether emergency, standby or both. 

Life-safety systems such as fire alarms, life support systems, elevators, fire sprinklers, etc. are automatically powered through Emergency Power Systems whereas systems that are essential to firefighting or other rescue operations, such as lighting, heating, ventilation, smoke removal systems etc. are powered automatically by Legally Required Standby Power Systems. Optional Standby Power Systems on the other hand are used by the building owner to operate anything that they deem important; these can be activated automatically or manually.

Backup generators run on a variety of fuels such as diesel, gasoline, natural gas, liquid propane etc. Day tanks containing small amounts of fuel ensure a steady supply to generators during emergencies but longer outages and most large installations require greater amounts of fuel. Bulk fuel tanks are then required for storage.

In the US, the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 30 (Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code) and NFPA 110 (Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems) together outline the best practices and fuel storage requirements to be followed while installing, maintaining, and testing Emergency Power Supply Systems.

What Are The Safety Hazards Of Bulk Fuel Storage?

Image Source: Pulse.ng

In any building or location where flammable fuels are present, fires and explosions are immediate, potential safety risks. Fuel vapours are always present around fuel storage tanks, especially during refuelling. Combined with the heat generated by the generator and the bulk quantity of fuel involved, this is the perfect recipe for fires that lead to fuel tank explosions.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. It is always recommended that fuel tanks be kept in well-ventilated areas to disperse any flammable vapours and away from any heat sources to avoid ignition. 
  2. Generators should be allowed to cool off completely before refuelling because flammable liquids and vapours can ignite if they come into contact with hot engine parts.
  3. Smoking near fuel tanks and generators should be avoided as the sparks can trigger ignition. 
  4. Always store fuel tanks away from living quarters to avoid unwanted accidents.

In addition, ALWAYS store backup fuel in explosion-resistant containers, such as those offered by ATOM!

What is ATOM and why should you choose it?

Fuel tank explosions have disastrous consequences. The threat is multiplied when it is necessary to store multiple fuel tanks to power emergency generators. ATOM is an innovative explosion prevention system that suppresses fuel fires from escalating into fuel tank explosions. Our explosion-protected backup fuel storage systems are compliant with all safety codes and standards, ensuring secure and steady backup across industries. 

Visit www.atomalloys.com to learn more and to reach out to our experts.

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