NFPA committee moves to strengthen safety requirements for purging of gas piping (2/26)
The Technical Committee initiated a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to change the current edition of the code on an emergency basis. The proposed change requires the discharge of gas purging to be directed outdoors and identifies specific requirements that must be met during the purging process. Specific requirements include:
- The point of discharge shall be controlled with a shutoff valve.
- Discharge point shall be at least 10 ft. from sources of ignition, located a minimum of 10 ft. from building openings and a minimum of 25 ft. from mechanical air intake openings.
- During discharge, the open discharge point shall be continuously attended and monitored with a combustible gas indicator.
- Purging operations introducing fuel gas shall be stopped when 90% fuel gas by volume is detected within the pipe at the point of discharge.
- All persons not involved in the purging operations shall be evacuated from the area within 25 ft. of the point of discharge.
In addition to the TIA, the Technical Committee also took first steps to change the next edition of NFPA 54. The Technical Committee’s actions on changes to the 2012 edition will be letter-balloted by all members of the Technical Committee and then be published and made publicly available in the Report on Proposals (ROP). At that point, all changes to NFPA 54 are opened for public review and comment until September 3, 2010. The 2012 edition of NFPA 54 is scheduled for issuance in the summer of 2011.
All relevant information pertaining to the development of the 2012 edition of NFPA 54 and the TIA can be found at http://www.nfpa.org/54.