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by the NFCC


Superheated steam and hot pipes

Hazard Knowledge

Some electrical turbines that rely on steam to generate electricity have complex pipelines that may contain superheated steam as part of the power generation process.

These pipelines will be hot and present a significant burn hazard to fire and rescue service personnel.

Pipes are likely to be lagged; lagging can obscure leaks and can expose firefighters to sudden high pressures when disturbed.

Superheated steam leaks are potentially very dangerous because they are:

  • Colourless
  • Not visible to the naked eye (no vapour cloud visible)
  • At temperatures from 200°C to 1200oC
  • Capable of igniting material in close proximity to the leak
  • Released at high pressure