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Current affairs


Although second nature to the North American suppliers, European suppliers have been reluctant to submit their systems to this North American certification standard.


New thinking In 2017, the Swedish Fire Protection Association released SPCR 199 (Heavy Equipment) to enable products to be certified for P-marking by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden). This has given fire suppression suppliers another route to conformance. The test regime adopted for SPCR 199 is similar to that found within FM 5970. The primary focus is on performance for fire suppression in fixed fire test scenarios with varying airflow and enclosure conditions, plus additional re ignition tests. Further evaluation of component reliability


and Europe. To overcome this, the powder in modern systems is coated with a non stick material, and suppliers say that six monthly maintenance visits are now sufficient


• the design standards applied to fire suppression for transportation in the UK and Europe have been based largely on component design standards (SBF 127 and SBF 128, issued by the Swedish Fire Protection Association). This meant fire suppression systems could be certified for use because of their component design, not because of their system performance and reliability in real world fire situations


• based on empirical observations, the volume of agent ‘required’ in SBF 127 and SBF 128 has proven to be more than is needed to suppress a fire. Also, it became clear that the design for heavy use mobile plant requires more rigour and robustness than for buses and coaches, due to the harsh operating environment of waste handling and construction sites


• new technology in fire suppression agents, fire detection equipment and control panel software has allowed new thinking in the vehicle and mobile plant fire suppression sector


FM 5970 Certification has been the only performance based approval option for mobile plant fire suppression systems for some years. It requires an exacting evaluation of performance, reliability and quality control that can take a year or two to achieve and at considerable cost.


and product quality is undertaken to ensure repeatability of the test results in any future system design and installation. In parallel, a number of suppliers have enhanced their systems to improve fire suppression effectiveness. For example, modern powder based systems have a second discharge of wet chemical agent or foam, so operate as dual agent systems. The wet chemical or foam wets all of the


exposed surfaces to prevent re ignition after the dry powder has extinguished the flames. Other companies have adopted foam or other clean suppressant agents instead of dry powder. Coupled with alternative fire detection methods and smarter agent delivery, they can achieve equivalent fire suppression effectiveness. New products to the market include


the Reacton system, launched in partnership with Fireward Ltd. In its dual agent format (dry powder and foam) with pressured tube actuation, this was the first mobile plant fire suppression system to pass SPCR 199, and with ten out of ten. In September 2018, Fireward and Reacton won the ‘product of the year’ award at the Recycling Waste Management (RWM) exhibition. This is a notable achievement, which puts them at the forefront of the developing mobile plant fire suppression market. Another product being projected into the


UK and European market is the DAFO mobile plant fire suppression system. The company has been a significant player in Europe for many years, but with product and design enhancement support from Fireshield Ltd they have also passed SPCR 199. The system is entirely foam based, using linear wire heat detection for actuation and a double hit of foam via different types of nozzles to achieve extinguishment and re ignition suppression. Traditional suppliers Amerex, Ardent/Ansul and Kidde/Chubb still have a presence and


50 DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019 www.frmjournal.com


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