Many businesses in the wood products industry utilize mobile equipment in their daily operations. One of the most common risks associated with mobile equipment, off-road vehicles, and tub grinders are fires. Some of the reasons for these fires are:
- The equipment operates for long durations
- Modern emission control systems require much higher temperatures
- Continuous heat is generated from engines, turbo charges, and brakes
- They utilize flammable liquids, grease, and hydraulic fluids
- Wood dust and chips build up around heat producing components
- The equipment is usually located outside of areas with access to fast fire department response
A fire to your mobile equipment can result in loss of income, equipment down time, and costly repairs. Keeping up with preventative maintenance can help combat fires, however, paired with the addition of a fire suppression system can dramatically reduce the chance of fire to your valuable mobile equipment.
Fire Suppression Systems
There are two types of automatic fire suppression systems — dry and liquid suppression agents. Both can be effective when installed properly and in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. However, for outdoor windy areas, wet-chemical systems are recommended because they are more resistive to dispersion before it is in contact with the fire.
The goal of these systems is to extinguish the fire and cool the components to prevent reignition. The basic system normally consists of one agent storage cylinder. Agent discharge nozzles are strategically located to deliver fire suppression agent to known hazard areas such as turbo chargers, starters, alternators, batteries, hydraulic pumps, and in some cases, vehicle brakes. The system is automatically discharged when the heat detector senses a fire condition in a protected zone. The system can also be manually discharged the instant the operator notices a fire condition.
Due to the increase of recent mobile equipment fire losses we have been seeing, PLM sent out communications a few month ago to customers and brokers about our position on requiring fire suppression on mobile equipment over $200,000.
To help our customers find solutions for fire suppression for their large mobile equipment, we have been working with Fogmaker, a market leader for automated fire suppression systems.
Some of the benefits of Fogmaker:
- High pressure water mist technology attacks all three corners of the fire triangle.
- Rugged, robust design survives and performs in the toughest applications.
- Small footprint allows easier installation.
- Easily disarmed for equipment service, maintenance, and repairs.
- True accumulator design works in any orientation, even in roll overs.
- Programable engine shutdown for safe operator egress.
- Water mist cools turbos, exhausts and regens below reflash temperature.
- Fail safe system works without electrical input.
- Suppressant discharge time matched to application requirements.
- Easy cleanup, no engine component damage from suppressant discharge.
- Reduces temperature by 1321° Fahrenheit in less than 10 seconds
- System design and installation for all heavy-duty equipment.
For more information on Fogmaker and their fire suppression systems visit fogmaker.com and reach out to your PLM Loss Control Representative.
Lumber Memo: Issue 5 – 2022
IN THIS ISSUE:
- President’s Commentary
- Cyber Corner: Disaster Relief Scams
- Your Duties in the Event of a Loss
- Plumb Safety: Fire Suppression Systems to Protect Your Mobile Equipment
- The Dovetail: Meet Our New Telematics Partner – GPS Insight
- Spotlight On: PLM Named NU PropertyCasualty360 Innovation Honoree
- Spotlight On: Coming Soon from ABM