Torus Joins Influential Property Insurance Research Group
9th February 2011
Torus joins leading property insurers as a contributing member of the Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG), a subdivision of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, which has a 25 year track record of using research to improve codes and standards to raise the level of safety in facilities worldwide.
The Foundation’s research projects identify and address real challenges faced by buyers and sellers of insurance, providing the technical basis for informed property risk management and control.
By contributing to the Foundation’s research mechanisms Torus seeks to benefit clients.
Chris Halm, Torus’ Global Head of Risk Engineering said: “Torus’ focus on risk analysis and engineering is at the heart of our whole approach to insurance. We look to work with clients long term to improve risk management effectiveness and manage the ultimate cost of risk. PIRG’s research is a tremendous force for good in terms of raising safety standards at plants worldwide: we share the same goals.”
For 2011, two key projects are currently planned:
1. Non-Listed, Non-Metallic IBC Storage of Class 1, 2 and 3 Liquids Protection Criteria for NFPA 30 – Protection criteria in NFPA 30 for the storage of non-listed, non-metallic IBC’s in racks and palletized containing Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 Liquids is nonexistent. We have protection criteria for listed, non-metallic IBC’s containing Class 2 and 3 Liquids in NFPA 30. It is time we had protection criteria for Class 1, 2 and 3 Liquids in non-listed, nonmetallic IBC’s. Industry representatives on NFPA 30 indicate customers prefer IBC’s over steel drums. This is seen in the facilities we visit. The use of non-listed, non-metallic IBC’s is pervasive. With no standards for adequate protection these IBC’s are stored and used wherever is the most convenient for the user without regard for safety or fire protection. This project will include a comprehensive assessment of the gaps in protection strategies; 2011 testing will address top priorities, including small quantities of IBCs in operational settings.
2. Lithium Ion Battery Storage Protection – There is no fire protection guidance available today for the bulk storage of lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion battery cells and small battery packs (8 to 10 cells) are in wide consumer use today. Superior capacity has driven the demand for these batteries in electronic devices such as laptops, power tools, cameras, and cell phones. In the very near future, vehicle manufacturers will bring electric or hybrid electric vehicles to market using large lithium ion battery packs (several thousand cells). Lithium ion batteries can experience internal short circuits due to internal defects (production issues), physical abuse (handling issues), or exposure to high temperature (fire). Once an internal short develops, a sudden release of stored energy occurs. This event can cascade through adjacent cells within a battery pack or a pallet load. Unlike most commodities, fires involving lithium ion batteries can initiate within the product. In storage, this means a fire can initiate within a pallet load and beyond the influence of conventional fire protection systems. As a note, one pallet may hold 60,000 lithium ion cells. In 2011, a comprehensive hazard assessment of these batteries in storage configurations, as well as challenges for fire protection systems will be conducted.