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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2005

Fire Protection in Powder Coating Booth

Q. What are the requirements for automatic sprinkler system protection in powder coating applications? The NFPA is somewhat evasive but seems to treat the requirements the same as solvent based liquid spray painting.

A. I tend to follow the NFPA recommendations and OSHA requirements. I have not read what OSHA says but I always caution my clients that for insurance purposes, in my opinion, it is wise to follow existing guidelines and not adopt one of your own.

Since you didn't give me the motive for your question I assume that due to your affiliation you might be an underwriter looking at the risks associated with less fire protection than for liquid coatings. Is that correct?

While the risks of fire in a liquid coating facility are predominantly due to the use of flammable solvents, the risks in a powder coating booth are due to electrostatically charged dust particles. Unfortunately, I can't comment on these two very different risk factors, but you might want to contact the Powder Coating Institute ( for more information.

Can you please get back to me if you find out something new? I would very much like to know how the risks differ.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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