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Near miss fire – epoxy overheating

What happened?

Smoke was seen coming from a 20′ freight container on the deck of a vessel.  The smoke was caused by remnants of used epoxy which nearly caught fire.  When the container was opened by the vessel’s fire-fighting team, they found the smoke coming from a number of metal cans containing left over epoxy.

What went wrong?  What were the causes?

  • When the mixed epoxy containers were put back into the container, they were stored near each other, which meant that the excess heat generated as the epoxy cured, could not be dissipated;
  • The freight container was badly ventilated and not suitable for storage of chemicals.

What lessons were learned?

  • Chemical storage should always be in accordance with any local regulations;
  • Each chemical storage area should have a specific and separate risk assessment.

Our member recommends the following:

  • Store epoxy leftovers in metal cans and in small quantities (maximum 2 litres) to avoid the build-up of excessive heat;
  • Place cans on a metal drip tray in a well-ventilated area;
  • Keep storage area free of any flammable materials;
  • Residual epoxy mixture should be observed frequently until the material has cooled down;
  • During this curing process, CO2 and water fire extinguishers should be present.

Members may wish to refer to the following:

Safety Event

Published: 12 August 2019
Download: IMCA SF 19/19

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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