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Combustible Dust

Nearly every industry handles or generates combustible dust. Unchecked, combustible dust fire, flash fire, and explosion hazards present risk to people and property. FRA is your trusted partner, offering cutting-edge solutions backed by experience to mitigate combustible dust risk in a pragmatic, cost-effective, and code-compliant manner.

Dust Hazard Analysis

A Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) is the first step in understanding the potential risk to your operations from processing and handling combustible dust. Through the DHA, we identify where credible fire, flash fire, and explosion hazards exist and establish appropriate measures to manage risk. Our DHAs are tailored to meet your specific needs. From checklist compliance audits to comprehensive engineering and risk-based analyses, we offer a solution that works best for your organization.

Dust Testing

When evaluating dust-producing operations, a thorough understanding of the material hazards is necessary. Is the dust combustible or explosible? How easy is the dust to ignite? Are there self-heating or reactivity hazards? What data is necessary to complete a DHA or design explosion protection systems?

FRA works with our clients to understand their process and develop an appropriate testing plan to gather necessary data while avoiding extraneous tests and overly conservative results. We can be involved in each step of the testing process. From sample collection, test plan development, coordination with recognized testing laboratories, and interpretation and application of results, FRA has you covered.

Fire and Explosion Protection Design

When a Dust Hazard Analysis determines that fire and explosion protection systems are necessary, there are many commercially available solutions. However, identifying appropriate and cost-effective protection technologies can be challenging. In addition, the codes and standards that govern the design and installation of such systems are complex, vary among jurisdictions, and can change with each new edition.
FRA’s licensed engineers have extensive experience in the analysis and design of fire and explosion protection systems. Our approach offers an unbiased solution to manage hazards in a cost-effective, safe, and code-compliant manner. Beyond design, FRA offers bid assistance and construction administration that includes vendor design reviews, installation oversight, and commissioning and final acceptance testing.

Performance-Based Design

Operational constraints and pre-existing conditions often create challenges when attempting to implement prescriptive fire and explosion protection requirements found in applicable codes and standards. Retrofitting existing buildings can be particularly challenging, if even viable.
FRA has extensive experience implementing performance-based designs for a wide range of commercial and industrial facilities. Our interactive approach identifies stakeholders, establishes performance goals and objectives, and utilizes state-of-the-art engineering methods and computational models to develop innovative designs. Our engineers have demonstrated success in taking performance-based design projects from concept, to completion, and approval by authorities having jurisdiction, including fire code officials and insurers.

Explosion Modeling

FLACS-DustEx is a state-of-the-art 3D CFD tool used by FRA to simulate dust explosions in both simple and complex geometries. Our engineers use FLACS-DustEx to perform consequence modeling assessment of deflagration events in equipment such as hammermills, bucket elevators, silos, mechanical conveyors, and customized equipment. It is also used to optimize mitigating measures such as venting, explosion isolation, and oxidant concentration reduction. Our experience helps us to provide exceptional insight into the potential hazards and risks faced by our clients and to work with them to develop performance-based solutions.

Hazardous Area Classification

Electrical equipment for use in, or around, atmospheres with flammable gases/vapors, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers must be carefully selected to ensure it does not serve as an ignition source. FRA has extensive experience working with hazardous area classification requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC), Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), and ATEX. We work with our clients to evaluate potential hazards, establish appropriate hazardous area classifications, determine necessary electrical installation requirements, and develop supporting engineering documentation. Our engineers can also conduct site inspections to evaluate existing installations and identify gaps and recommendations for remedial actions.

Safety Management Systems

Safety management systems are the backbone of administrative controls for managing combustible dust hazards. Effective programs for Management of Change (MOC), housekeeping, personal protective equipment (PPE), maintenance, emergency response planning, incident investigation, and training are key aspects of combustible dust safety. FRA takes a collaborative approach to evaluating and optimizing these management systems to include combustible dust matched to your organizational culture.


Knowledge empowers safety. FRA offers in-person, remote, or pre-recorded training tailored to meet your facility-specific processes and materials. Our team has successfully delivered both initial and annual refresher training to a wide range of clients and industries throughout the world.

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Fire & Risk Alliance is comprised of highly talented and motivated engineers searching for a new challenge. Click on the brochure to learn about the engineering & design services we can provide on your next project.