Truck fires are increasing year on year. With greater environmental demands for lower emissions, the engine temperatures and engine pressures are increasing. This provides an increased risk of fires in the engine compartment. Statistics released by NTI for 2017 indicate that over 60 per cent of truck fire occur in the engine compartment / cabin.
The Australian Standard AS5062-2016 prescribes that owners and operators of trucks should undertake a risk assessment to determine if Fire Suppression Systems should be fitted prior to use. The AS5062-2016 Risk Assessment should be undertaken for all new and existing fleets. The fire risk management process should be an integral part of the organization’s occupational health and safety management system and should include an ongoing improvement process.
Transport for NSW and VIC Roads state in their Safety technologies for Heavy Vehicles June 2017: “When purchasing your next heavy vehicle or making aftermarket improvements consider your safety and that of other road users – the technology may save a life!” Fire extinguishers are often inadequate for suppression and engine compartment fire.
Kieran McHatton General Manager of Fogmaker Australia says that he is surprised by how many truck operators are unaware of the Australian Standards regarding fire suppression on trucks.
“In my experience the outcomes of most Truck Risk Assessments result in the installation of a Fully Automatic Fire Suppression System in the engine compartment. Considerations include the safe egress of the driver in the event of fire. If the fuel source or engine is located near the egress location then there is sufficient risk to the driver,” says McHatton.
In addition to the safety of the public, the driver, environmental damage or loss of an asset the negative media coverage can cause irreversible damage to your bottom line.
New style Fire Suppression Systems such as the Fogmaker product are compact, environmentally friendly and actively cool the engine compartment.
The Loss of Pressure detection system provides peace of mind as the system is always active – even when the truck is off. With a discharge duration in excess of 50 seconds this provides ample time for the driver to safely egress and start their fire incident process.
The Fogmaker water mist system provides a total flood application which cools and smothers the fire with water mist. Every litre of water released by the Fogmaker system produces approximately 1,
700 litres of steam. The evaporation process reduces the engine compartment temperature by over 700 degrees within 15 seconds.
The Australian designed and manufactured S.M.A.R.T compact dash alarm panel alerts the driver if a fire is detected in the engine compartment.