Vehicle fire suppression systems are required by MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) for mining applications. These systems can also be required by independent insurance companies to comply with their policies for coverage.
While many industries have steps in place to prevent vehicle fires, such as requiring drivers to stay with vehicles so many minutes after shutting down, only an automatic vehicle fire suppression system can guarantee the prevention of vehicles fires.
Basics of an automatic vehicle fire suppression system
Vehicle fires can occur at any time, even when the vehicle is unattended or not in use. An automatic vehicle fire suppression system detects and suppresses a fire in minutes. This early detection is vital not only for the safety of the driver, but also for the longevity of your business and protection of other vehicles.
Automatic vehicle suppression systems are designed with detection wires that are wrapped around the perimeter of the vehicle’s engine. When the insulation on one wire melts (reaching a temperature of 356℉ or higher), the melted wire touches the other wire and a message is sent to the control panel to dump the system and extinguish the fire.
Manual systems on the other hand require the operator of the vehicle to push a button to initiate the suppression system.
Common causes of vehicle fires
There are several industries where vehicle fire suppression systems are used on heavy equipment. For example, landfills, underground mines, paper mills, railyards and power plants all have fire safety requirements for vehicles.
Common causes of vehicle fires vary by industry, with the most common being:
- Abrasion against a high-pressure hydraulic line causes a pinhole and leaks atomized hydraulic fluid onto a hot manifold.
- Combustible solids gather behind the hot exhaust manifold in the engine compartment of a trash truck.
- A short occurs in one of the machine’s electrical cables, setting the cable insulation on fire.
- Natural Gas or Hydrogen, highly flammable invisible fire hazards, ignite from the accidental discard of a cigarette butt.
- Coal dust ignites from a metal spark.
- A wiring harness near the battery shorts against the vehicle’s chassis, melts, and then ignites.
What type of vehicle fire suppression system is right for me?
There are two types of vehicle fire suppression systems: wet systems and dry systems. Dual-agent systems can also be installed, using both wet and dry chemical.
Dry Systems work by saturating a vehicle engine compartment with a fire-fighting agent to smother the flame.
- Designed for use on large, off-road type construction and mining equipment and specialty vehicles.
- Effective against Class A (debris), Class B (fuel), and Class C (electrical) fires.
Wet Systems use a wet chemical agent that flows into areas where flammable liquids may settle and provides both fire suppression and cooling of superheated surfaces while blanketing the fuel and cutting off oxygen to help prevent reflash.
- Designed for use in a wide range of industries, underground and surface mining, forestry/logging, construction, waste management, metal processing, transportation, power generation, agribusiness, and others.
- Used for Class A (debris) and Class B (fuel) fire suppression.
Dual-Agent Systems uses both wet and dry chemical agent. The dry chemical knocks down flames while the wet agent cools surrounding areas, minimizing the possibility of reflash.
- Designed for use on large, off-road type construction and mining equipment, underground mining equipment, and specialty vehicles, waste management equipment and forestry vehicles.
- Used to combat Class A (debris), Class B (fuels), and Class C (electrical) fires.
Why choose Fire Systems?
For over 30 years, Fire Systems, Inc. has been recognized as the most competent company in the Southeast for vehicle fire suppression installations and service. Our lead technicians have extensive experience working with all types of vehicle systems. Fire Systems offers:
- 24/7 service for recharges and repairs
- On-site repairs
- Intuitive tracking software so you don’t miss an inspection
- Training in the proper use of your systems
We’ll also promise to never use sub-contractors. Inspections and repairs are performed using Fire Systems technicians.
Call Fire Systems today at 770-33-7979 or visit our website for more information.