Fire departments respond to more than one million fires each year in the United States alone. And while that number has been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, fires still present the potential for extremely hazardous situations whenever they occur. But while they all burn, not all fires are the same. In order to group fires—and the ways to extinguish them—fire professionals developed a system to classify fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a clean agent is an electrically non-conducting, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation. A clean agent fire suppression system uses either a chemical or inert gas to suppress a fire at the inception stage before it can grow and is incredibly effective in extinguishing Class A, B, and C fires.
The fire suppression agent, Halon is still in use today; however, there is no new production of Halons. While Halon is considered a clean agent by The National Fire Protection Association because it’s electrically non-conducting and does not leave a residue, Halon has an extremely high potential for ozone depletion and contributes to global warming potential. On January 1, 1994, Halon production ceases in compliance with the Montreal Protocol and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The use of Halons has been reducing over the years, but there is still demand for it for specific applications.
Clean agent fire protection systems that use chemicals like FM200 and discharge as a gas are considered to be safe in normally occupied spaces. FM200 complies with NFPA Standard 2001: Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, EPA SNAP Program (Significant New Alternative Policy), Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), and Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC). FM200 is a clean and colorless agent that suppresses fires through heat absorption. It is electronically non-conductive, making it safe for sensitive equipment and leaving no residue behind minimizes the downtime after a fire incident.
Not all fire suppression systems use gas to put out fires, but many do. Unlike water, powder, or foam fire suppression systems, gas suppression systems can put out fires without damaging equipment. Some gaseous fire suppression systems do not require any clean up at all after they put out a fire.
After halons were phased out of fire suppression systems back in the 1990s, it created a need for alternatives. The challenge was that halons were very effective in extinguishing most types of fires, electrically non-conductive, safe for limited human exposure, and leave no residue. The disadvantage of halons and why there was a ban placed on them is due to their strong ozone depletion potential. Over the past several decades, several fire suppression agents and technologies have emerged. In this post, we will explore aerosol fire suppression systems.
Fire in wind turbines is the second most common type of accident reported after blade failure. While certain types of wind turbines have a higher occurrence rate of fire, all wind turbines have fire risk factors. Within the nacelle, highly flammable materials including, hydraulic oil and plastics, are located near electrical wiring and equipment. A fire can quickly start and spread if there is an ignition source like an electrical arc or a fault within the transformer.
Most experienced machinists have seen at least one fire on the job. Cutting metals at high speeds creates plenty of opportunities for sparks to ignite flammable materials. Many fires in machine shops are preventable, either by minimizing sparks or making sure they do not ignite flammable materials. But mistakes can happen. Our analysis of 24 fires in machine shops shows that one mistake, in particular, causes almost 30% of all fires.
When it comes to protecting dust collectors, one size or system does not fit all. Several factors need to be considered when selecting a fire suppression system for your dust collector. Learn three types of systems that will protect your dust collector and keep your employees and business safe.
According to Dust Safety Science, in 2018, dust collectors ranked the highest when it came to combustible dust incidents with 51 fires, 12 explosions, 23 injuries, and one fatality. While reported dust collector fires are not as common as in other equipment, the damage and threat to personal safety are significant. Learn about fire hazards and fire protection methods.
If a piece of ground support equipment catches on fire, it has an immediate impact on operations and can have devastating and costly consequences. A fire can put the ground crew, flight crew, and passengers in danger and cause severe damage to equipment or the airplane. It is important to understand the fire risks and prevention.
If a piece of ground support equipment catches fire, the operator or ground crew can try to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher or contact the aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) team. Learn about additional fire protection for equipment by installing an automatic fire suppression system.