For anyone in the chemical industry concerned with business interruption or process hazard analysis (PHA) this is, or should become, a familiar guide. The 7th edition of this classic guide is an update rather than a completely new version, but in my view one should always work off the latest version of a guide as important to safety and loss prevention as this one.
For those not familiar with Dow's Fire & Explosion Index Hazard Classification Guide, it provides engineers with a comprehensive step-by-step guide to determine the REALISTIC maximum loss that can occur to a process plant, or warehouse, from fire or explosion.
Knowing this potential loss, based on factors provided in the guide, allows you to learn more about your operations. Data in the guide can then be used for "what-if" assessments to reduce the risk. It does this in an educational way so that you can understand what you are doing, rather than just plugging numbers into a formula. Furthermore, since data in the guide have been established from historic loss data, material properties and the mitigating effect of loss controls, anyone who uses the guide has an authoritative, quantified risk assessment that can be communicated for rational decision making.
Although aimed principally at assessing potential damage to property, it is easy to see the link to safety of process plant operators, and others in the vicinity.