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Risk-informed fire protection evaluation is a riskbased decision support tool that evaluates fire and explosion consequence likelihood and includes an analysis of fire protection system(s) performance reliability.

The type of risk-based evaluation and level of detail should be dependent on the complexity of the risk and the needs of the decision maker. Table 5-13.1 lists three general levels of decisions to help decision makers choose an appropriate basis for their decisions.

Based on the decision class, risk management goals, and risk-informed project objectives, the most efficient risk assessment and risk communication methods should be applied. The results must provide the information needed to make informed fire protection decisions based on risk tolerance and cost-effectiveness.

The risk-informed evaluation framework, presented in Figure 5-13.1, includes the following:

• Hazard evaluation
• Consequence analysis
• Fire risk evaluation method selection
• Risk-reduction decision making
• Risk monitoring

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of fire risk-informed evaluation methods. References are included to allow the reader to pursue further detail.  Emphasis is given to the fire risk evaluation method called fire protection system–layer of protection analysis (FPS-LOPA), which is becoming a popular approach for evaluating industrial process fire and explosion risks. An example FPS-LOPA is included in the chapter.

Figure1 Table1

Hazard Evaluation

All fire risk-informed methods start with hazard evaluation and consequence analysis. Risk-informed approaches supplement these evaluations but do not replace them.

The purpose of a hazard evaluation is to identify and analyze the hazards, identify initiating events and scenarios, and provide appropriate documentation. A hazard evaluation can be conducted in any stage of design, operation, or decommissioning. In industrial applications, there are generally the following three types of hazard evaluations:

1. Process hazard analysis (PHA) using techniques such as the following:

Hazard and operability analysis (HAZOP)
What-if analysis
What-if checklists2

2. Fire hazard analysis (FHA)

3. Special analysis

Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)
Human reliability analysis (HRA)

The most common hazard analysis and documentation techniques employed for industrial processes are what-if analysis and HAZOP. What-if analysis provides an adequate evaluation method for processes that are not highly complex and for processes that require a fair degree of operator monitoring and intervention. In general, for more complex processes, hazard and operability analysis (HAZOP) is typically used…

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