Monthly Archives: September 2011

  • NFPA believes new flue safety standard has 'global importance'

    The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued new guidance for cleaning flue accessories it hopes will have international application.

    A new standard for preventing fire and explosion during cleaning and purging flammable gas piping systems prohibits the use of flammable gas as a cleaning agent for the interior of pipes.

    The new standard was developed following an explosion at a Kleen Energy Power Plant in Connecticut last year.

    In the incident, highly pressurised flammable gas was used to clean debris from a pipe, which was then discharged into the atmosphere without controls, causing an explosion.

    The proceeding investigation resulted in the NFPA establishing the new safety standard.

    NFPA president James Shannon noted: "This is an example of the critical role NFPA plays in providing codes and standards for use by government and other entities throughout the world."

    The new guidance covers the cleaning of both new and repaired piping systems, as well as requiring written safety procedures to be developed in the US where the new regulations will apply.

  • NFPA believes new flue safety standard has 'global importance'

    The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued new guidance for cleaning flue accessories it hopes will have international application.

    A new standard for preventing fire and explosion during cleaning and purging flammable gas piping systems prohibits the use of flammable gas as a cleaning agent for the interior of pipes.

    The new standard was developed following an explosion at a Kleen Energy Power Plant in Connecticut last year.

    In the incident, highly pressurised flammable gas was used to clean debris from a pipe, which was then discharged into the atmosphere without controls, causing an explosion.

    The proceeding investigation resulted in the NFPA establishing the new safety standard.

    NFPA president James Shannon noted: "This is an example of the critical role NFPA plays in providing codes and standards for use by government and other entities throughout the world."

    The new guidance covers the cleaning of both new and repaired piping systems, as well as requiring written safety procedures to be developed in the US where the new regulations will apply.

  • Will higher gas prices see homeowners considering woodburners?

    Homeowners may be tempted to replace their gas fires with woodburners in light of rising energy prices, confirmed in the latest official figures released by the government.

    The price of gas purchased at a commercial level was 34.1 per cent higher during the three months to the end of June compared to the same period in 2010, according to data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

    Electricity prices also increased, although by a fraction of the proportion seen for gas.

    These figures reflect similar increases across the domestic market, which may prompt some homeowners to consider alternatives to gas to heat their homes.

    Many woodburners have the advantage of being carbon neutral, although it is advisable to consider all of the required changes that would be necessary to replace a gas fire.

    Differences in the temperature and quality of substances passing through flue accessories will likely necessitate different flue liners for woodburners than are traditionally used for gas fires.

  • Biomass generation sector set to get dedicated exchange

    The growing use of industrial biomass electricity generation as an alternative to coal has prompted the launch of a dedicated exchange.

    Energy Exchange APX-ENDEX's new biomass exchange will be officially launched on November 3rd, with a dedicated wood pellets clearing service set to be rolled out during 2012.

    The idea was originally floated by APX and the Port of Rotterdam in July 2010 in response to market demand.

    Port of Rotterdam Authority chief executive Hans Smits explained: "The trade platform is ... indispensible to make energy generation more sustainable via the use of biomass.

    "In the port area itself, we foresee a market of two to three million tonnes in 2025."

    Biomass is increasingly considered an important alternative to traditional energy production, in the face of rising raw materials costs.

    The industry is quickly adapting to the new demands for biomass processing and energy production, including the development of dedicated flue accessories.

  • Runcorn mum warns homeowners to check gas fire flues

    A mum of four is urging people to volunteer in her local city to help raise awareness of the dangers of blocked flue accessories.

    Lynn Griffiths' family was poisoned by carbon monoxide caused by a blockage in her home's gas fire flue, reports the Runcorn and Widnes World.

    Speaking to the newspaper after an event to raise awareness of the toxic gas, she said: "I am very pleased with the response. They were all very interested. Everyone said they learnt something."

    Earlier this month, Cumbria chief fire officer Dominic Harrison warned homeowners of the importance of checking flues for blockages.

    He noted that chimney fires are a particular threat as winter approaches, when more people will begin using their fires for the first time in months.

    Common blockages include birds' nests or outdoor debris blown into chimneys over the year, while built up soot can also pose a fire hazard.

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