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"Petroleum Refineries and Natural Gas Plants" report (PDF, 89 KB)

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Report: NFPA's "Petroleum Refineries and Natural Gas Plants"
Issued: January 2002

Statistical analysis of fires at petroleum refineries and natural gas plants including trends, incident type data, and area of origin, equipment involved, form of heat of ignition, ignition factor and forms and type of material first ignited in structure fires and outside fires. Published incident descriptions are also included.


This report contains information about fires in or at petroleum refineries or natural gas plants (fixed property use 767). These are the industrial processing plants, not storage facilities. Readers may refer to NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Division’s special data information package Tank Farms and LP-Gas Bulk Storage for information about fires in these related occupancies. Because refineries and gas plants also may have storage tanks on the same complex, both categories may apply to some fires.

An average of 228 refinery or natural gas plant fires occurred per year. During the five-year period from 1994 through 1998, an average of 228 fires or explosions were reported in or at petroleum refineries or natural gas plants per year. One quarter of the fires at these facilities were outside fires involving property of value. Although structure fires accounted for only one-fifth of the fires, more than half of the dollar loss resulted from these incidents.