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Recommendations For A Safe Boiler Room

Robert Ferrell
Senior Staff Engineer
National Board

Category: Operations

Summary: This article was originally published in the Fall 2010 National Board BULLETIN. (1 printed page)



  1. The boiler room is for the boiler.
    The boiler room should not be considered an all-purpose storage area. The burner requires proper air circulation in order to prevent incomplete fuel combustion and production of carbon monoxide. Therefore, keep the boiler room clean and clear of all unnecessary items.
  2. Knowledge is powerful, as are boilers.
    Ensure all personnel who operate or maintain the boiler room are properly trained on all equipment, controls, safety devices, and up-to-date operating procedures.
  3. Look for potential problems.
    Before startup, ensure the boiler room is free of all possibly dangerous situations, such as flammable materials or mechanical or physical damage to the boiler or related equipment. Clear intakes and exhaust vents; check for deterioration and possible leaks.
  4. Inspection matters.
    Ensure a thorough inspection by a properly qualified inspector, such as one who holds a National Board commission.
  5. Reinspection matters, too.
    After any extensive repair or new installation of equipment, make sure a qualified boiler inspector reexamines the entire system.
  6. Observe new equipment.
    Monitor all new equipment closely until safety and efficiency are demonstrated.
  7. Develop a maintenance schedule.
    Use boiler operating log sheets, maintenance records, and manufacturers’ recommendations to establish a preventive maintenance schedule based on operating conditions, as well as on past maintenance, repairs, and replacements performed on the equipment.
  8. Create thorough checklists.
    Establish a checklist for proper startup and shutdown of boilers and all related equipment according to manufacturers’ recommendations.
  9. Don’t overlook automated systems.
    Observe equipment extensively before allowing an automated operation system to be used with minimal supervision.
  10. Keep safety at the forefront.
    Establish a periodic preventive maintenance and safety testing program that follows CSD-1-2007, latest applicable edition, Part CM and the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Editor's note: Some ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code requirements may have changed because of advances in material technology and/or actual experience. The reader is cautioned to refer to the latest edition of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code for current requirements.