The following response came from Dwight Lutsko:
First of all the major causes of DC fires are:
3 Spontaneous Combustion
4 Improper dillution of air streams
6 External Sources
Lets look at prevention:
1 Designate the area non smoking
2 Sparks happen in blast cleaning all the time, fortunately they do not have the weight or magnitude to generally get to the dust collector. Spark arrestors such as Cyclones or spark boxes can be added.
3 Spontaneous Combustion happens in many non ferrous and ferrous mixed applications, this chemical process produces heat and then the fire. Empty the hopper daily, per shift, do not accumulate the dust. Add a Rotary air lock.
4 Mixing of air streams is generally not a dust collector problem for most of the users; it involves high temp air that must be cooled before it gets to the dust collector.
5 Fans, Clean the fan, Install non sparking fans, check the cleaning equipment of the dust collector, and Clean the Ducts to and from the DC.
6 External sources, grinding, welding and donít forget sabotage.
You can add a friendly dust; try lime adders to reduce the chance of a fire.
You can change to a wet Scrubber. Although I know of one fire that did occur in a wet scrubber.
Last (and definitely last), donít blast the work yourself. Outsource the potential problem.
By all means check with your insurance carrier on your policy, it will probably say you must comply with the NFPA Standards for your manufacturing item.
Dwight E. Lutsko
Jet Wheelblast Equipment
517 263 0502 x220