As a manufacturer of custom chemicals, our client has a raw material “tank farm”. The tank farm is used to store numerous chemicals and distribute them to various processes throughout the manufacturing facility. To ensure uninterrupted manufacturing, the client has regular deliveries of chemicals. One particular day, a truck delivering chemicals arrived at the tank farm. The usual procedure is to position the truck and connect it to the tanks, after connecting the truck to a static electrical charge eliminator. That day the static charge eliminator was not connected correctly. The tanker went on with the process, beginning to fill a tank with flammable liquids. The fire started when a static electrical charge ignited the vapors given off at the fill hose.
It’s not difficult to imagine the scale of this potential catastrophe. Fortunately, the foam system we had installed with optical flame detectors activated and prevented the loss of the tanker and the facility, but more importantly, loss of life.