A decision model to allocate protective safety barriers and mitigate domino effects
Faculty of Applied Economics
Engineering sciences. Technology
Reliability engineering and system safety. - Barking
, p. 44-52
University of Antwerp
In this paper, we present a model to support decision-makers about where to locate safety barriers and mitigate the consequences of an accident triggering domino effects. Based on the features of an industrial area that may be affected by domino accidents, and knowing the characteristics of the safety barriers that can be installed to stall the fire propagation between installations, the decision model can help practitioners in their decision-making. The model can be effectively used to decide how to allocate a limited budget in terms of safety barriers. The goal is to maximize the time-to-failure of a chemical installation ensuring a worst case scenario approach. The model is mathematically stated and a flexible and effective solution approach, based on metaheuristics, is developed and tested on an illustrative case study representing a tank storage area of a chemical company. We show that a myopic optimization approach, which does not take into account knock-on effects possibly triggered by an accident, can lead to a distribution of safety barriers that are not effective in mitigating the consequences of a domino accident. Moreover, the optimal allocation of safety barriers, when domino effects are considered, may depend on the so-called cardinality of the domino effects.