Environmentally safe fire

September 2011 Fire & Safety

Fireaway a company based in Minneapolis, founded in 2005 has developed a family of products under the brand name of Stat-X, that is compliant with NFPA 2010 and the first manufacturer listed by UL under category FWSA. The Stat-X products are UL listed for Class A and B fires, and Class C (with Class A and B involvement). Stat-X fire detection and extinguishing systems are approved on the EPA SNAP List for normally unoccupied and unoccupied spaces.

The Stat-X product lines include three families of fixed and portable fire suppression units of similar design but with different methods of application, including electric release with a fire detection system, automatic/mechanical release as a standalone fire-extinguishing unit with integral fixed-temperature heat detector, portable hand tossed unit for local area flame suppression and control. All units supplied for fixed fire extinguishing applications are hermetically sealed generators of stainless steel construction.

The patented Stat-X electric operated aerosol generators are available in units with integral aerosol forming compounds supplying 30, 60, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 1500, and 2500 grams of aerosol fire suppressant agent. The electrically activated generators, when coupled with a fire detection and releasing panel and appropriate detection devices, provide a fire suppression system that is significantly more cost effective than any other available technology. The family of generator sizes allows precise tailoring of systems to specific hazards. The generators are ruggedly constructed of exterior and interior stainless steel shells and hermetically sealed with a non-permeable membrane to ensure reliability and long service life in, even, the most aggressive environments. The units are non-pressurised prior to system activation. Upon activation, the generators produce an exceptionally efficient, ultra-fine, potassium based aerosol fire suppression agent which is environmentally friendly having no ozone depletion or global warming potential.

Stat-X thermal and manual operated units are option alternatives to electrically operated units, and are used as standalone fire suppression for smaller enclosed spaces. Units are available in sizes 30, 60, 100, 250, and 500 grams of aerosol agents. Unit design is identical to electrically operated units except for actuation method. The automatic unit is fitted with a thermal actuator that will function as a fixed temperature heat detector. The thermal actuator will active the generator at 70°C, 95°C or 123°C. The thermal actuator is available in either anodised aluminium or 316 stainless steel. The thermal/manual and manual-only operated unit can be operated by cable pull action.

Fireaway also offers Stat-X aerosol in a hand deployable unit called the Stat-X First Responder. The First Responder produces the same fire suppression agent as that of the fixed systems and is designed to be used by trained professionals as a first response tool in emergency fire events. The First Responder has been successfully used by fire fighters, military organisations, public utilities, and large enterprise customers to knock-down and suppress the growth of random fires.

It has a similar design to and the same agent capacity as the 500E and 500T generators but has a much lighter construction. Fitted with a five-second time delay release device, the First Responder is tossed into fires in any enclosed space, effectively knocking-down the flames, reducing the size of the fire, containing further spread of the fire, and under certain conditions extinguishing the fire.

Stat-X has been deployed by fire departments to control the spread of fires in basements, enabling fire fighters to extinguish fires with reduced resources and water damage.

The First Responder has been proven to provide utilities an effective fire-fighting tool to combat manhole fires. Fitted to vehicles, trained main-tenance personnel can drop these units down manholes to assist in the evacuation of technicians underground in a fire event.

Stat-X is an environmentally friendly total flooding system listed to provide Class C fire protection for rooms with electronic and electrical equipment.

CNC machines are well designed, however, this equipment may be using oil-based coolants (typically petroleum or mineral oil) such as in drilling, broaching, tapping, grinding, and honing operations. These types of oils are also combustible and susceptible to flash fires. A fire event in these machines can be catastrophic to the operator and can result in significant property damage and production down time if fire protection is inadequate. Stat-X systems have been installed in machine tools and successfully extinguished numerous fires in protected machines.

Fireaway has introduced the Stat-X automatic fire suppression system for the protection of rolling stock, passenger, and heavy vehicles. Aerosol technology offers to vehicle manufacturers and operator’s one of the most compact, environmentally friendly, maintenance free engine compartment protection systems available on the market today.

Stat-X generators are so tough they are currently installed in the engine compartments of thousands of military armoured mine-resistant all terrain vehicles. The commercial off-the-shelf Stat-X generators have shown themselves to meet extreme test conditions of US military standards and are also being installed for the protection of automobile engines.

In the USA, NFPA reports that fire departments respond to over 2000 passenger and school bus fires annually. Stat-X compact lightweight products can be fitted in the bus engine compartment. Stat-X is successfully tested in accordance with the Swedish Fire Protection Association Standard SBF 128:1 Guidelines for fixed automatic fire suppression systems for buses and coaches. The suppression system is designed to interface with a fire detection system or with the bus management system. Stat-X is also offered with thermal or mechanical manual release actuators for those applications where electric power sources are unavailable.

Stat-X has been installed in commercial vessels. Stat-X systems carry many international marine certification and acceptance for the protection of yachts, fishing vessels, tugboats, and small commercial vessels including ABS, BV, RINA, DNV, ECB, and Flag authorities including the UK MCA, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland.

US Navy researchers recently completed highly successful tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of propelled extinguishing agent technology (PEAT) to protect the air cushion landing craft turbine engine enclosures, auxiliary power units, and fuel bay compartments. The class of PEAT generators chosen was solid particle (condensed) aerosol-type generators because of their technology maturity, commercial availability and its environmental acceptability related ODP and GWP. During navy fire testing, the PEAT aerosol units were able to extinguish all of the Class B pool and Class B spray fire threats and meet the Naval Sea Systems Command established requirements for re-ignition mitigation. The successes of this fire test series offer a more than a 50% reduction in weight and maintenance-free fire protection option for future navy vessels. Stat-X generators were tested as part of the Navy test programme.

When NASA Kennedy Space Centre’s fire safety experts decided to replace the fire suppression system in its giant twin crawler transporters, it turned to Stat-X as the next generation fire fighting system for the crawler enclosed spaces. The crawlers which were built in 1966 and two of the world’s largest moving machines, still carry space shuttles to the Kennedy launch pads for liftoff. They are complex environments with a great deal of equipment packed into tight spaces, which makes the piping for gaseous fire suppression systems very cumbersome and expensive. NASA has installed approximately 100 Stat-X generators for the control areas, machine rooms, and communication rooms in both its crawlers.

NFPA 2010 systems such as Stat-X are suitable for special hazards applications as replacements for halon 1301 systems and high pressure carbon dioxide systems. NFPA 2010 systems can also be used as alternatives for SNAP List technologies such as NFPA 2001 clean agent systems and NFPA 750 water mist systems.



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