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A heated issue: Vehicle fire suppression systems

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Flammable liquids, combustible materials, and extremely hot machinery combine to make the mine site a veritable powder keg.

It's a simple fact that combustible dust and super-heated metal and motors don't mix.

Unfortunately these two things meet face to face on a constant basis, creating the potential for a dangerous incident.

This is especially the case for mining vehicles and non-road mobile equipment on sites, and adding to this is the remote nature of many mine sites.

Protecting your workers and equipment is not just a financial and regulatory necessity, but also an ethical one.

The best way to fight fires on equipment is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

With this in mind Tyco Fire Protection Products has developed the ANSUL CHECKFIRE 210 electronic detection and actuation system.

According to Tyco Fire Protection it has been "designed for mining vehicles and non-road mobile equipment, and alerts operators about potential fire hazards and actuates the fire suppression system if a fire occurs, helping to protect vital assets such as personnel and property operating in extreme environments" such as mining.

CHECKFIRE 210 uses mining specific ANSUL fire suppression systems, including the ANSUL LVS vehicle fire suppression system which uses a wet chemical agent that provides not only fire suppression, but also a cooling effect on superheated vehicle surfaces while at the same time blanketing the fuel and cutting off oxygen to the fire, snuffing out the chance of reflash.

Its A-101 fire suppression system uses FORAY dry chemical agents for Class A,B, and C fires; while its A-101/LVS twin-agent fire suppression system combines both dry and wet agents.

"The CHECKFIRE 210 system will integrate seamlessly with current mining equipment, enabling operators to further strengthen their fire suppression systems with this detection and actuation technology," Tyco Fire Protection's director of pre-engineered systems, Mark Neumann, said.

He went on to say "the CHECKFIRE 210 system offers colour-coded, plug and play connectors for easier installation and an isolate feature that enables continuous detection and protection from actuation during maintenance".

The fire protection system is also equipped with two independent detection circuits for different applications that allow the system to fit specific site hazards and machinery needs such as "single-, two-, and cross-zoned detection and discharge pressure feedback monitoring or alarm only".

Dual-zone protection allows operators to set the system to monitor two independent zones, ensuring the system only activates when one zone detects a fire.

Cross-zone protection is designed for operators that need to monitor more than one zone at the same time, and causes actuation only when fire affects both the outlined zones.

"The features and enhanced interface are intuitive, which provides ease of use, which is important when a fire situation arises and time is of the essence," Neumann said.

The system also features supervised plug and play circuits; automatic or manual actuation; an internal reserve power source; a compact display unit with two mounting options to fit machinery design; either linear detection for wider ranging hazard areas or spot thermal detection for targeting specific hazards in smaller areas; continuous system updates; and is FM approved and CE marked. 

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