Looking at the world around us, you’ll see that pieces of machinery surround us. From computers to heavy machinery pieces, our daily life relies on them. One machinery that benefits us tremendously is a steam boiler. Yet, many of us don’t realise their importance and role in our lives.
In four-season countries, many residential owners own a steam boiler. But aside from steam and temperature production, steam boilers play a more significant role. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the furniture we use all use steam boilers. It’s fascinating how capable and reliable boilers are.
Because of their usefulness and reliability, many businesses in different industries designate a boiler room in their offices. After all, steam boilers are the backbone of some businesses’ operations and services. The thing is, a boiler room shouldn’t just be any free space in a building. A manager should mandate certain precautions that every person should follow whenever entering a boiler room.
If you’re wondering how to maintain a boiler room safe and secure at all times, here are five precautions to mandate in every boiler room.
1 – Designate a boiler room far from any office that could be at risk.
This first point is not a mandate in a boiler room but should be common knowledge that any boiler owner must do. If you use a steam boiler in your office building for steam and temperature production, I suggest designating a boiler room far from any office. If you have several admin offices next to or near the boiler room, relocate them as soon as possible.
According to boiler experts, steam boilers are like bombs that can explode when not maintained and used accordingly. Luckily, steam boilers have come a long way. Some people coined boilers as bombs due to their early malfunctions when first introduced on the market. But now, people are more knowledgeable about managing and using boilers accordingly.
Still, boiler explosions are not impossible to happen. That’s why it’s critical to designate a boiler room far from any office that could be at risk.
2 – Design a proper ventilation system inside the boiler room.
Did you know that steam boilers use the air in a building for their combustion performance? And, boilers do not turn the air humid unless there’s a leak in your boiler. If you notice humidity in your boiler room, the chances that there’s a possible leak or break in the pipes are high.
Now, why is a proper ventilation system necessary in a boiler room? According to boiler experts, having an adequate ventilation system promotes appropriate combustion performance. They say a boiler’s combustion system needs a fresh air supply to operate optimally. If your boiler’s air supply is not consistent, it can cause problems.
You should at least allocate four to six inches of airflow for every horsepower your boiler has. If you’re unsure how much horsepower your boiler has, I suggest consulting your boiler manufacturer about it so they can give you suggestions about proper ventilation allocation.
3 – The boiler room flooring should be slip-free and heat-resistant.
Water is a critical component that any boiler uses. Without water, there will be no steam source that the gas can interact with for production. Water is essential, whether for a fire tube or water tube boiler. And so, if you’re replacing the water in your boiler, possible leaks could happen.
That’s why it’s necessary to mandate having slip-free and heat-resistant flooring in a boiler room. If your boiler also operates 24/7 non-stop, your water pump could also cause leaks that could make the boiler room slippery. And so, to ensure that everyone who goes in and out of the boiler room is safe, the flooring should be slip-free and heat-resistant.
4 – Wear proper equipment at all times.
Some people who work in boiler rooms often forget to wear proper equipment when working with a boiler. Since they’re familiar and knowledgeable with it, they no longer feel the need to wear adequate safety equipment. However, even though you’re the best boiler professional in the world, wearing safety equipment should be a rule.
According to experts, hard hats, goggles, gloves, safety shoes, earplugs, and respirators are the proper equipment you should wear in a boiler room. If you’re used to the noises that boilers make when operating, you can skip wearing earplugs. You don’t also necessarily have to wear a respirator tank. A simple KN95 mask will do just to protect you from breathing chemical substances and gas.
5 – Keep a logbook and checklist of every activity done in the boiler room.
Businesses that use steam boilers for their products and services tend to turn their boiler room into a storage area. Unfortunately, many boiler rooms don’t look like hazardous areas. You can mistake them for stock rooms instead of a machinery room. If your boiler room is similar to my example, you likely need to follow my previous tips to start turning it into a proper machinery room.
Once you clear out the storage and unnecessary items in your boiler room, it’s time to mandate a logbook for every activity done in the boiler room. Whether it is as simple as adjusting the control system of the boiler or returning equipment, you should record every action in the room.
Keeping a boiler room checklist is also as critical as the logbook. Having daily, weekly, and monthly lists will help you monitor and inspect the condition of the boiler. Doing this will make it easier for you to troubleshoot minor issues with the boiler and keep it from affecting your work operations.
These simple mandates will help your business operate seamlessly.
Hopefully, these five simple suggestions will help keep your boiler room clean, organised, and safe. After all, your business relies on boilers which play a vital role in your daily operations. Following these room precautions will help you utilise your boiler in its optimal performance in the long run and avoid any accidents happening.
About the author:
Bianca Banda is a writer for Trilogy Boilers Australia, a veteran specialising in boiler and burner installations, servicing, engineering, and industrial gas plumbing.