Hazards Analysis, Code Compliance & Procedure Development

Services to identify process safety hazards and facilitate compliance with established standards and codes.

Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion and reactivity hazards

Flammable Gas & Vapor Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Chemical Reactivity Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify reactive chemical hazards, including the possibility of material incompatibility, instability, and runaway chemical reactions

DIERS Methodology

Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods

Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safety handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature


Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents


Model transport of airborne virus aerosols to guide safe operations and ventilation upgrades


Model transport of contamination for source term and leak path factor analysis

Fire Analysis

Model transport of heat and smoke for fire analysis

Flammable or Toxic Gas

transport of flammable or toxic gas during a process upset

OSS consulting, adiabatic & reaction calorimetry and consulting

Onsite safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical

Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid flow, electric power systems

Battery Safety

Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

Hydrogen Safety

Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen

Spent Fuel

Safety analysis for packaging, transport, and storage of spent nuclear fuel

Decommissioning, Decontamination and Remediation (DD&R)

Safety analysis to underpin decommissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Bespoke testing and modeling services to validate analysis of DD&R processes

Nuclear Overview

Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant.

Severe Accident Analysis and Risk Assessment

Expert analysis of possible risk and consequences from nuclear plant accidents

Thermal Hydraulics

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Environmental Qualification (EQ) and Equipment Survivability (ES)

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Testing and modeling services to support resolution of emergent safety issues at a power plant

Adiabatic Safety Calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment and Parts for the DSC/ARC/ARSST/VSP2 Calorimeters

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory


Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions


Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities


Our highly experienced team keeps you up-to-date on the latest process safety developments.

Process Safety Newsletter

Stay informed with our quarterly Process Safety Newsletters sharing topical articles and practical advice.


With over 40 years of industry expertise, we have a wealth of process safety knowledge to share.

Recent Posts

How Special Hazards Fire Suppression and Traditional Sprinkler Systems Differ

Posted by The Fauske Team on 09.18.18

By Mike Angstadt, President, Flagship Fire (Guest Blogger) with Dr. Ashok Dastidar, Vice President of Dust and Flammability, Fauske & Associates, LLC

Foam Deluge System
Foam Deluge System

Not all fires are created equal, and how you attack a blaze depends on both the source and the surrounding environment. Most buildings will be adequately protected by a traditional sprinkler system, but in the wrong setting, a sprinkler system can cause additional damage to inventory or equipment, or even make the fire worse.

To understand why and how to choose the right fire suppression system, it's important to first understand how traditional and special hazards fire suppression systems differ.

How traditional sprinkler systems work

Traditional fire sprinklers send a spray of water to the immediate area. Each sprinkler head is heat activated and only triggers when it detects a temperature substantially above the norm. In a traditional setup, the sprinkler heads will not all turn on at once — each activates on its own.

The main goal of a traditional sprinkler system is to extinguish a traditional fire — the type that might be encountered if a stack of paper in an office or warehouse were to be ignited. This is accomplished by initiating a sprinkler head that disperses water over a predetermined area. Depending on the design of the system, this water might be dispersed as large droplets, a fine mist, or something in between.

Where traditional sprinkler systems fall short

The biggest downside to traditional sprinkler systems is the risk of additional property damage. This is especially true in a business setting with computers, other electronics, or paper documents that might be caught in the spray. While fire would also obviously be damaging, this doesn't mean that accepting water damage is the only other alternative.

The other area where traditional sprinkler systems are ineffective is in certain types of fires. Just like you shouldn't dump water on a kitchen grease fire, water can make electrical or industrial fires worse. In addition to spreading the flames, it could cause electrical shocks or other injuries to occupants who either haven't yet evacuated or are trying to extinguish the blaze.

Special hazards

There are numerous potential hazards that must be taken into account when designing a fire suppression system. Flammable liquids or bulk materials could be spread around by a liquid spray. Chemicals, gases, or other industrial materials may require a specific type of suppressant. In other cases, the fuel for the fire may allow it to burn too hot or too fast for traditional suppression methods.

Vapor ImageEach application requires its own special design to contain and control the flames. This may include using multiple types of fire suppression systems within the same building if different areas within the buildings have different needs. While this may involve a higher construction or refitting cost than a traditional sprinkler system, not using the right fire suppression system presents tremendous risk to life and property and may carry an increased insurance cost.

“Using a one-size-fits-all fire suppression system in locations of flammable/combustible pools or where deposited dusts could be present is very risky, states Dr. Ashok Dastidar, Vice President of Dust and Flammability, Fauske & Associates, LLC.  "The pressure or flow from the suppression system can loft the deposited dust or pool of flammable/combustible liquid creating a large flash-fire or even an explosion. Care and detailed engineering considerations should be taken when devising a fire suppression strategy. There is even a greater concern when metal fines and filings are present. Water suppression systems can react with the hot burning metal to create explosive hydrogen gas!”

How special hazards fire suppression systems help

Unlike traditional sprinkler systems, which often take a one size fits all approach, special hazard fire suppression systems are designed specifically to quickly and safely extinguish a particular type of fire in a particular environment.

There are several different types of these systems depending on the environment that needs to be protected.

Deluge systems

A deluge system dumps massive amounts of a mixture of water and foam all at once, rather than a slow and steady spray or mist. With a deluge system, the goal is instant extinguishment rather than containment.

Water deluge systems are used in high risk areas where there is extreme danger from a quickly spreading fire, but no chemicals or equipment that would make water ineffective or dangerous. Where water can't be used, a foam deluge provides an effective alternative.

Chemical systems

Chemical and CO2 suppression systems

Chemical systems provide a dry fire suppression alternative, using CO2 or other chemicals to starve the fire of the oxygen it requires to burn.

Chemical systems are commonly used in server rooms and other places with expensive electronics. The chemicals leave no trace and provide the possibility that the equipment can be used again in the future or can protect data for recovery. Chemical systems provide a dry fire suppression alternative, using CO2 or other chemicals to starve the fire of the oxygen it requires to burn.

There is little risk to life when these systems are used. They work quickly enough that the fire is suppressed and oxygen is restored from surrounding areas that most occupants will feel minimal, if any, effects.

Special hazards fire suppression agents

In order to be effective, a special hazards fire protection system must include both fire detection and control. Some of the common fire suppression agents used in special hazard fire suppression systems could include:

● Clean agents

● Inert gases

● CO2

Water mist

● Foam

● Hybrid systems

● Dry chemicals & nitrogen generators

Know which system to use

Both traditional fire sprinklers and special hazard fire suppression systems have their place, and choosing the right system, or a combination of systems is essential to protecting property, equipment and personnel.

“I would also caution people occupying or repurposing a previously existing structure," adds Dr. Dastidar.  "The old fire suppression system was not designed for your specific process and the new inherent hazards that it brings. For example, a facility that was designed for general storage that now houses a metal working operation was not designed with a fire suppression system that can handle metal filings or fines. Re-engineering the suppression system is warranted. The same review is necessary if accidents involving flammable/combustible liquid spills are now possible in the repurposed storage location.”

For more information regarding fire suppression and traditional sprinkler systems, contact Mike Angstadt at Flagship Fire (866) 242‑3307.

For more information regarding a flammability test of liquids, gases, vapors and hazardous or combustible dust lab testing and related on-site safety services, please contact Dr. Ashok Dastidar at Fauske & Associates, LLC, info@fauske.com or 630-323-8750.

Subscribe to Blog

Topics: Combustible Dust


Is My Dust Combustible?

A Flowchart To Help You Decide
Download Now