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The Burning Question


Preventive Maintenance / Fire Blog 

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! No really, it’s really on fire! Fires can cause a lot of damage to manufacturing equipment, infrastructure and your pocketbook. Fires can also threaten the health and safety of your employees. But how did the roof really start on fire? What preventive measures could this company have taken to prevent the roof from starting on fire?  

A good preventative maintenance schedule. 

Fortunately for this company an employee smelled the smoke, prior to the plant closing for the day. The result could have been an end to a 50-year-old company.  

So, what really started the roof on fire? 

Soot from an industrial combustion burner that is used in many manufacturing applications, such as parts washers, furnace applications, ovens and a variety of other processing equipment. Combustion burners lose tune and should be serviced every 3-6 months. Issues such as dirty air cleaners, dirt laden fan blades, loose linkage adjustment, inoperable modulating motors & faulty gas regulators or something as simple as incoming gas pressure fluctuations from the main gas valves. 

When a burner loses tune and problems arise it is generally errors on the rich side, causing the heat exchanger to build deposits on the heat exchanger walls. Soot from an incomplete burn of combustible gas, if continue to operate long enough, the heat exchanger will foul through the loss of convection. Carbon deposits some as large as golf balls will combust and travel thru the heat exchanger. Still burning these deposits exit the exhaust stack, depending on wind conditions can travel to open fields or settle on the rooftops, as what happened in this operation, which was enough to ignite the roof on fire. 

All in all, always make sure that you don’t overlook preventative maintenance on your industrial combustion burners. Susa Corporation has sellable preventative maintenance programs in place for our clients as well as new clients. We service all makes of equipment and industrial combustion burners, we travel worldwide and offer many other services. Please visit our preventative maintenance plans or more information.