NFPA Releases Draft "One-Stop" Standard for Combustible Dust

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November 7, 2023

The National Fire Protection Association seeks public feedback on its first draft of NFPA 660, aimed at consolidating six industry standards

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the long-awaited first draft of NFPA 660, Standard for Combustible Dusts. The emergence of a streamlined standard marks a major change in how facilities will determine which requirements apply as they move to identify hazards and deploy safeguards against combustible dust. 

NFPA 660 will clarify and consolidate six existing standards — 61, 484, 652, 654, and 664 (Food, Metals, Fundamentals, Chemical, and Wood) — into a single standard. 

The consolidated standard is expected to provide both fundamental and industry-specific requirements for managing combustible dust, carrying out dust hazard analyses, and promoting best practices to safeguard facilities from dust explosions and conflagrations.

Seeking feedback on the draft consolidated combustible dust standard

As they work towards the final version of the all-encompassing standard to be released in 2025, NFPA is requesting public feedback. The association will be accepting public comments on the first draft through Jan. 4, 2024. A second draft of NFPA 660 that incorporates that feedback is scheduled to be released for public review in October 2024.  

Although NFPA is a nonprofit safety organization, federal and state governments recognize their standards as generally accepted good practices. 

Addressing combustible dust hazards across industries

Across all manufacturing sectors, undetected accumulations of dust can pose significant hazards. Combustible dust continues to cause an average of 31 explosions per year and more than four times as many fires at U.S. manufacturing facilities

Devising and maintaining effective mitigation strategies requires a high level of expertise, as individual risk levels vary from process to process and day to day, as new hazards may be created by events such as the launch of new processes, the development of new products, or changes in raw materials. The introduction of a single, consolidated standard will offer industrial facilities a streamlined guide for completing dust hazard analyses and identifying equipment or process gaps that pose hazards or fail to comply with safety standards.

What Can We Help You Solve?

Exponent's fire and explosion experts leverage our combustible dust testing laboratory to help clients develop effective dust hazard mitigation strategies. We help you select from a variety of standard ASTM International tests, such as combustibility and explosibility screenings, and customized methods for accident recreation, hazard demonstrations, and hazard assessments. Several Exponent scientists sit on or chair NFPA dust standard committees.