We are told that everything is being improved all the time. So why are unexpected fires and ‘thermal incidents’ still causing risks to workers, capital losses and business interruptions?
Equipment design is constantly being upgraded. Lessons learned from previous incidents and near-misses area used in ad-hoc improvements and incorporated into next-generation machinery. Real time remote monitoring and automation reduce the rate of human error in identifying and remediating minor problems before they become major incidents.
Component technology is continually improving. New materials are introduced, better methods of construction and connection are devised, and there is constant downward pressure on failure rates.
Fire protection and suppression is always developing. Changes include improved and better positioned sensors, more effective suppression systems and greater automation to reduce the scope for human error. These are intended to deal with small thermal events before they become full-scale blazes.
So what goes wrong? Why do fires still happen?
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