Automatic Fire Suppression Systems

FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS

A Good Reason To Install Automatic Fire Suppression

Why is a machine-mounted fire suppression system better than manually powered intervention or fire response program?

Fire is a risk to many different types of machines. Each type of machine may have multiple risk areas where a fire can possibly take hold and effectively render the machine a write-off. I am often asked; “What is the main difference between installing an automatic fire suppression system, and a traditional or external process through the use of a portable extinguisher or fire response program on site?”

The rationale is quite simple -

Automatic fire suppression; the machine mounted fire suppression system is designed to suppress the flames from inside the machine. The MusterII system uses sensors and nozzles which are located within body of the machine. This means that the fire suppression fluid is sprayed directly onto the high risk areas of the machine, thus providing an effective automatic response to the fire before it has the opportunity to take hold.

Automatic Fire Suppression

Some critical factors in the use of automatic fire suppression are:

  • Targeted response - The automatic fire suppression system is located on the inside of the machine or under the skin of the protective panels of the body. This allows the suppressant to be sprayed without being inhibited by body panels.

  • Designed to perform - The system is designed to suit the application and demands of the machine. This means tailoring the system to best suit the risk areas.

  • Risk monitoring - The MusterII system nozzles can be targeted directly at the heat sources and high risk areas to increase effectiveness over portable extinguishers.

  • Close range defence - The system remains close to the flames; unlike a human that can be pushed back by a high heat blast of flames.

Most importantly this response means that a human does not need to get close to the flames.

Traditional or external fire suppression methods work in a totally different way. They cool the outer skin of the machine, stopping the migration of the fire to other machines or to the surrounding environment. This is achieved by using a flooding response with a fire hose or by using a hand held extinguisher. There are, however, a couple of issues with this:

Automatic Fire Suppression

  • Control of the water - Using a fire hose, the liquid being used is sprayed across the machine. This is done in an effort to cool and control the migration of flames. It is very difficult to ascertain how much of the liquid is getting past the protective panels and outer skin of the machine.

  • Extinguisher volumes - Hand held extinguishers are portable and therefore need to be at a manageable weight. Due to this most hand held portable extinguisher makes will have a maximum of 9litres capacity before they move to a trolley mounted system. These still have a gross weight of over 12kg, which is a heavy weight to move around.

  • Slower response – Critically, the longer the flames are taking hold of the machine the more damage can be done; a fast response limits the damage.

Most importantly this response means that a human needs to get close to the flames.

MusterII is a fire suppression system that is designed to meet the needs of the machine or piece of equipment it is installed on. It is a solution that offers a fast automatic response to an event of a fire on a machine. This keeps the operators and response crews out of harm’s way.


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