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The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code was first published by the ASME in 1915 as the “Rules for the Construction of Stationary Boiler and for Allowable Working Pressures” in the Report of the Committee to Formulate Standard Specifications for the Construction of Steam Boilers and Other Pressure Vessels and their Care in Service. The Committee was officially known as the Boiler Code Committee. The document was 114 pages , and the scope was identified as follows:
These Rules do not apply to boilers which are subject to federal inspection and control, including marine boilers, boilers of steam locomotive and other self-propelled railroad apparatus.
The Rules are divided into two parts. PART I applies to new installations (Section I, Power Boilers; Section II, Heating Boilers). PART II applies to existing installations.
The purpose of the Code was to address the needs of the industry with regard to safety of fired steam boilers. The problem the Code was intended to address was that explosions of steam boilers were killing hundreds of people each year and causing great damage. From the turn of the century to 1915, thousands of deaths were caused by boiler explosions. The ASME addressed the issue by requesting engineers from industry to volunteer their time to write a set of engineering rules that could be adopted into state laws to ensure the proper construction of steam boilers . In the 50 years after the Code was first published, the number of deaths caused by explosions of properly operated boilers and pressure vessels was reduced to essentially zero when the construction rules of the ASME Code were met. Subsequently, this outstanding record of safety has remained intact. No other industry has a better safety record.