June 4, 2020
Hazards Inside Blast Resistant Modules
Quentin Baker, BakerRisk
Research performed in the past few years has revealed that occupants of blast resistant modules (BRMs) may be exposed to internal hazards from an external explosion or fire. Many BRMs are rated for significant blast pressures, often up to 8 psi. BRMs are designed not to fail at their rated blast load, but the walls and roof will deform, potentially creating internal debris hazards from architectural features, furnishings and equipment. BRMs can also slide, causing potential personnel fall and equipment toppling hazards. Direct flame impingement fire tests have shown that temperature rises and off-gassing of architectural items in BRMs can become life threatening in a matter of minutes. There is a false sense of security among operating companies that BRMs can be placed at the overpressure contour of its rating with no hazard to occupants. The purpose of this presentation is to educate the audience on the hazards so that BRMs can be sited appropriately.