Burner Management System Standards

When constructing a complete burner management system, the experts at Profire ensure all required standards for your application and location are met. There are a variety of specific standards that need to be adhered to, whether it be in relation to the burner, controllers, or fuel trains, to ensure the system is performing safely. It is also imperative to maintain the integrity of your system by continually upgrading and completing regular maintenance of your system to ensure continued compliance of all required standards. Profire’s field services teams are available to complete scheduled 12-point inspections on your systems. Let’s take a quick look at the applicable standards for industrial heating appliances.


Performance and prescriptive based standards

Burner management standards can be classified under two main umbrellas: prescriptive and performance-based. 

Prescriptive-based standards are a set of compliance criteria outlining safeguards that should be implemented based on experiences from previous incidents or near misses. These standards do not specify how to properly implement them as they are generalizations that affect a wide array of heaters, furnaces, and boilers. 

Performance-based standards include more specified criteria for design objectives and are regulated through several governing bodies including the National Fire Protection Association Standard, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Control and Safety Devices, the Canadian Standard Association,  the International Organization for Standardization, and the interpretation of these standards is followed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) which can be comprised of different individuals who are authorized at a particular location.

Image of a PF3100

Prescriptive based standards

Here are some examples of prescriptive based standards Profire burner management systems adhere to:

NFPA 85 – applies to gas, liquid, and solid fuel boilers with a heat release exceeding 3.7 MW. This code addresses combustion systems hazards, design, installation, operation and maintenance procedures, and training. It covers in particular combustion and draft control equipment, safety interlocks, alarms, trips, and other related controls that are essential to safe operation.

NPPA 86 – applies to thermal oxidizers, incinerators, and a number of applications such as ovens, dryers, and specialist furnaces. It specially states that it does not apply to process heaters used in the chemical and petroleum industry and is designed in accordance with API 560 and API 566

NFPA 87 – applies to thermal and process fluid heaters. It does not apply to process heaters used in the chemical and petroleum industry and is designed in accordance with API 560 and API 556.

EN 746-2 – specifies the safety requirements for industrial furnaces and industrial heating equipment. It details the hazards associated with the use of industrial thermal equipment and specifies the safety measures required for compliance with the essential requirements of relevant European Directives. EN 746-2 covers a broad range of fired equipment from process industries such as cement, lime, ceramic, iron and steel, glass, waste incineration, drying, refining, chemical, and petrochemical. As EN 746-2 covers very different types of fired equipment, the application of its generic requirements on some equipment types may be impossible, impractical, or may not justify the cost.

ISO 13577-2 – applies to fired equipment from the same process industries as EN 746-2. This standard applies worldwide, although it annexes have distinct requirements for Europe, USA and Japan. The standard specifies the requirements to ensure the safety of people and property during commissioning, startup, operation, shutdown, maintenance periods, and dismantling, as well as in the event of possible malfunctions.

CSA B149.3 – specifies requirements for fuel-related components in their assembly on appliances in Canada. It applies to gas fired equipment for material processing.

AS 3814 – this code provides the minimum requirements for safe operation of gas fired industrial and commercial appliances in Australia. Of all codes and standards pertaining to industrial fired equipment, this standard is considered the most onerous to comply with because of its complexity.

Performance based standards

There are various standards that are applicable to a number of different components of a burner management system. These include:

API 538 – applies to industrial burners, in general refinery and petrochemical services. It was written by manufacturers and users of industrial boilers to supplement rather than duplicate the requirements of NFPA 85. API 538 specifies requirements and gives recommendations for the design, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of industrial boilers. It covers waterside control, combustion control, BMS, feedwater preparation, steam purity, emissions, etc.

API 556 – the standard addresses instrumentation, control, and protective systems for gas-fired heaters used in the refining industry. As it is specific to refinery process heaters, it is widely used by the refining industry, although local jurisdictions may also bring additional requirements. It was written by specialists covering the fields of fired equipment, instrumentation, control, and protective functions. It integrates the operating experience and incident history of major refiners to reduce the overall risk exposure to equipment and personnel. For each hazard scenario, API 556 provides recommendations on design, control system constraints/overrides, operator response to alarms, and protective functions to ensure satisfactory mitigation of the process hazard. With the exception of a few prescriptive “shalls”, the user may choose between solutions of different levels of sophistication and cost, which all mitigate hazards but provide different availability levels.

If you have any questions about your process heating equipment or want to begin researching the regulations for your application and location contact the experts at Profire.