June 2, 2020
Things You Wanted to Know about Shelters-in-Place and Safe Havens
Kevin Sweeney, ABS Group
A plant’s emergency response plan may require some occupied buildings be designated as Shelter-In-Place (SIP) to mitigate potential exposure risks from toxic and/or flammable vapor cloud hazards to personnel within the building. Typically, the severity of these hazards is quantified as part of a facility siting study performed in accordance with API RP 752.
It is common to have buildings that were not originally designed for such a purpose performing as a SIP. The buildings have been adapted for the function and their performance subject to these hazards is not documented. Beyond SIPs, the API is currently developing guidance on additional requirements for a building to be designated as a Safe Haven.
This presentation will outline the three-stage process to qualify a building as a Shelter-In-Place. The first stage is understanding the hazards and ensuring an appropriate level of analysis has been done to quantify the flammable/toxic environment both inside and outside the building. The second stage is understanding the building’s potential to function as a SIP through fan pressurization testing (also known as “blower door testing”) and gas infiltration calculations. The third stage involves identifying opportunities to improve the building’s SIP performance, qualifying their effectiveness, and implementing potential mitigation measures to reduce the hazard exposure to personnel. In addition, the presentation will briefly discuss Safe Havens and what requirements are likely to be for them.