|Topic: Follow safe work procedures when starting ventilation systems after fires|
|Date Issued: August 22, 2017||Date Revised:|
Fires are a serious hazard in wood-processing facilities. Smouldering embers and sparks can be drawn into and stay in a ventilation system for hours or even days if not detected, causing an unsafe working condition. If a ventilation system is shut down because of a fire or suspected fire, extreme caution must be used when restarting the system. The start-up process disperses the dust already in the system and draws in new dust and fresh air. If any smouldering embers are in the system when it’s started, the dispersal of the existing dust combined with new dust and fresh air can result in a sawdust explosion.
Smouldering embers and sparks can be drawn into various parts of ventilation systems. Carefully inspect blower fans, dust collectors, ducting, and all other related equipment after a fire or suspected fire.
Adapted with the kind permission of WorkSafeBC.