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Industrial Fire and Explosions- The Role of Technical Safety BC in Safety and Explosion Investigations

Most Fire Protection Engineers are familiar with the Gas Safety Division as well as elevating devices division of Technical Safety BC.

Many of the fire and explosion risks set out in the BC Fire Code and other referenced standards- industrial ovens using flammable atmospheres, special atmosphere furnaces, industrial dryers and other potentially explosive operations- fall under the jurisdiction of Technical Safety BC.

Back in the 1980s insurance organisations retained their own engineering force- supported by a six week training programme- to review plans and undertake field reviews a part of a regular inspection service.  Internal guidance manifested itself in the detailed provisions of the National Fire Code. With deregulation of the insurance industry this task fell largely to government agencies.

While the BC Building Code references the BC Fire Code, professional practice has not always used the BC Fire Code as intended. The result is that new occupancies such as distilleries and micro-batch breweries may not be fully assessed at the design stage due to focus on the Building Code only- for building permit purposes. The BC Fire Code- based on the National Fire Code of Canada- is not always enforced by the Fire Commissioner's Office due to lack of resources. Expertise within fire departments is often not available to apply the fire code in their local area. Recent Fire and Explosions in the wood processing industry suggest that the relatively good fire performance of the industry back in the 1980s has deteriorated due to lack of internal resources, fire prevention procedures and other safety infrastructure.

Eric Lalli P Eng. is a Senior investigator and professional engineer with 30 years of experience in incident investigations, failure analysis, risk mitigation and safety consulting who has provided expert witness testimony in civil and criminal cases in Canada, USA and abroad.  Mr. Lalli is currently a Provincial Safety Manager and Leader of the Incident Investigations department for Technical Safety BC.

This presentation forms part of SFPE's efforts to improve liaison with WSBC and Technical Safety BC and obtaining their support for increased enforcement of codes and standards.

It is hoped that by working with these key agencies and the Office of the Fire Commissioner we can improve resources to the Fire Commissioner's Office as well as improving education and use of Fire Protection Engineering expertise in the fire risk assessment of facilities at both the design and occupancy phases.

Date:  November 19, 2019
Time: Registration and Reception 5:30pm
Location: False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville Street)
Cost: Members - $35; Non-members $40. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to BC Society of Fire Protection Engineers to cover the cost of dinner.
Registration Deadline: November 15, 2019

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.

Start date: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 17:30
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