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Another Race - Another Fire While Pitting!!

ndvalium

Rescue Director
Most of yesterdays race went really well with not one actual race related injury. We did however have yet another fire while a vehicle was being refueled during a pit stop. This was a UTV crew using dump cans. The nozzle came off the dump can while it was being dumped and emptied fuel all over the vehicle, the co-driver and the ground. A flash fire ignited.

The Good:

The team and other teams pitted in the immediate area had the fire out in mere seconds including putting the co-driver out that was on fire from getting fuel on him. He was checked and uninjured. This is why we require you to have large fire extinguishers out and ready. Not sitting in a truck or mounted in the trailer - On the ground or preferably in someones hand while you fuel the vehicle. The team had their tarp down to capture any fuel that dumped onto the ground as required.

The Bad:

The team was not wearing the safety gear required by Best in the Desert for the 2016 season. Best in the Desert takes some of the ownership on this including my team and I as when we implement a significant change we try and be lenient on the mandatory implementation. We really wanted to give teams time to get the equipment together for their safety in a reasonable amount of time. This team was in street clothes and have zero protection from the fire including the person dumping the fuel.

The Ugly:

This occurred directly in front of the BLM planners that are tasked with the permit approval process and have already notified BITD that they will get dinged on their after action review of this event as Best in the Desert sets forth rules that the BLM expected them to enforce as conditions of their permit regardless of what any other racing series requires.



Those that know me know I truly care about every single persons safety first and foremost at all of the events that we attend. My team and I don't like when we have to treat patients and among those injuries, burn patients are the absolute worst. Very little you can do 100 miles from anywhere, not to mention the treatment and rehabilitation last months if not years.

We gave dump can teams a grace period of a year to get their pit protection together. Well the year is over! For 2017, this will be enforced. Between pit captains, official staff and my teams, we will be documenting teams that are not in compliance, We will be reporting it to Casey directly and I promise he will be issuing penalties. Half a dozen class championships were determined by just a couple finishing spots after a year of racing. Don't throw away your championship for something so easy to resolve. More importantly, DO NOT RISK YOUR LIFE OR THAT OF ONE OF YOUR FELLOW TEAM MEMBERS FOR FAILURE TO FOLLOW A THIS RULE.







SGPT12:

Best in the Desert mandates refueling personnel (aka “The Fueler”; the crew member responsible for inserting the fuel nozzle or dry brake during a pit stop) wear a one piece or two piece fire suit minimally rated to the SFI Foundation’s 3.2A/5 manufacturer’s certification. The suit shall cover the crew member from the neck to the ankles and to the wrists. The suit must be free from holes, rips, tears, and not worn thin. Additionally the “fueler” is strongly recommended to wear a SNELL rated full face helmet, and must wear a SFI 3.3 rated balaclava, SFI 3.3 rated fire retardant gloves, and a SFI 52.1 rated fueler apron. This applies to all fuel delivery systems including dump cans. SFI 3.3 rated fire retardant shoes are also strongly recommended. Additionally for all pit crew members working in the immediate area of a vehicle being fueled, Best in the Desert’s requires for pit crew members are a one piece or two piece fire suit minimally rated to the SFI Foundation’s 3.2A/5 manufacturer’s certification. Best in the Desert will accept NFPA 1971, 1977, or 2112 as acceptable alternatives to SFI rated garments. The use of a pit crew style helmets and an SFI 3.3 rated balaclava, SFI 3.3 rated fire retardant gloves, and SFI 3.3 rated fire retardant shoes are also strongly recommended. ***NOTE SFI BURN TEST TIME APPENDIX 2 – Page 86

SGPT13:

Vehicle Refueling All vehicles including car, truck, motorcycle, UTV and ATV may only be refueled with vented fuel cans or gravity fed fuel towers. Pressurized fuel systems may be used for Cars and Trucks only and must be approved and inspected by Best in the Desert. Mandatory that all pits must have some form of fuel containment under the vehicle when fueling such as a tarp, carpet, cardboard or bucket to keep over flowing fuel from reaching the ground. Overhead fuel towers and pressure systems: Must be placed a minimum of 50 feet from the race course. All towers must have a manned spring loaded dead man valve (ball gate or butterfly) to automatically close the line when the handle is released. The hose must have a break-a-way feature in the event the vehicle departs with the hose attached.

 Fuel pressure systems and overhead towers must have a double redhead dry break with return back to the fuel system tank. Any other system must be approved by Best in the Desert.

 No larger than a -10 vent line.

 All vehicles must have an external discriminator valve on the fuel vent.

 It is highly recommended that your fuel system and your vehicle are grounded during refueling

 Some form of fuel catch can, container must be in place to prevent overflowing fuel from touching the ground.

 Fuel pressure systems must have a 10lb max pressure relief valve on the tank and must be purchased from American tank. Shop Number – 619-462-4076

 All teams utilizing a pressure system or overhead tower must register with Best in the Desert so the system may be inspected. Best in the Desert reserves the right to disallow any fueling system deemed unsafe. Any team not compliant with any of these rules can be subject to penalty up to and including disqualification.
 

JON-E

Well-Known Member
David,

I imagine there are plenty who race that don't necessarily care about points because they're a casual racer or they at some point through the year don't have a shot at the championship.

Given the serious nature of being burned and the institution of a mandatory rule, wouldn't it make more sense to either fine the teams monetarily or prohibit them from racing?

I know Casey has typically been a racer friendly promoter but it seems this rule moving into 2017 would be a non-negotiable.


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ndvalium

Rescue Director
David,

I imagine there are plenty who race that don't necessarily care about points because they're a casual racer or they at some point through the year don't have a shot at the championship.

Given the serious nature of being burned and the institution of a mandatory rule, wouldn't it make more sense to either fine the teams monetarily or prohibit them from racing?

I know Casey has typically been a racer friendly promoter but it seems this rule moving into 2017 would be a non-negotiable.


Sent from the RDC Mobile App. Get it for your IOS device today
I don't know that you can fine with any substance a race team in a hobby sport like this. Quite frankly while I will never speak for Casey, I know BITD never wants to get into a pay per violation type atmosphere. Casey would much rather just operate the safest races in the country and minimize as many of the hazards as we can during an dangerous event.

As someone that has been a$$ chewed from Casey one time, that is all it takes to know you don't want to do that again. Most teams in my experience would rather pay thousands of dollars in penalties or fines instead of get one call from Casey when Casey isnt happy with them...

Regardless of the repercussions, it will fall on Casey to make the determination.
 

mp_tx

Well-Known Member
Anyone know if military Nomex flight suits and Nomex balaclavas meet the SFI safety requirements? Might help soften the cost buying these items surplus versus all new commercial stuff.


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Dezertpilot

Well-Known Member
Teams that race need to be in accordanceof racing rules no matter what plain and simple. I believe their is no excuse to wearing the proper safety gear for racers and pit crew. Either you wear what is required or don't race, their is no "I can't afford it on our budget" if you can't afford it, wait a few races till you can. If people want to race in a professionally sanctioned series they need to act like professional racers end of story.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Might be time for non-timed fueling zones that will be the only place teams can fuel, but do no other work to the car. Fueling will only be allowed in these zones and anyone caught violating this rule will be DQ'd automatically. In case you guys haven't figured it out, every violation like this is just another nail in the coffin of open desert racing as we know it. The BLM will keep a tab running and if it doesn't change, will simply say BITD has too many points against to get another permit. Beyond that, who built a car that allows fuel to spill in the drivers compartment that made it through tech?
 

5racer

Well-Known Member
yup more rules ,more regulations ,more money . To save all of us off road racers from someone else, s mishap . If you really want to see stupid fueling just hang out at am/pm some night there's plenty of people to save .flame away .every race there's always a post about something that is negative and needs to be more rules implied ,racing is dangerous what part of this do some not understand .I'm all for safety but good god give it a rest . " Beyond that, who built a car that allows fuel to spill in the drivers compartment that made it through tech?" " what idea do you have to keep fuel out of drivers compartment when a fill neck comes off "
 

Redsand187

Active Member
Might be time for non-timed fueling zones that will be the only place teams can fuel, but do no other work to the car. Fueling will only be allowed in these zones and anyone caught violating this rule will be DQ'd automatically. In case you guys haven't figured it out, every violation like this is just another nail in the coffin of open desert racing as we know it. The BLM will keep a tab running and if it doesn't change, will simply say BITD has too many points against to get another permit. Beyond that, who built a car that allows fuel to spill in the drivers compartment that made it through tech?
Sounds like the dump can came apart from the nozzle and spilled out of the can and into the compartment, not a design fault.
 

y2kbaja

Well-Known Member
Back in the 80's and 90's fuel splash containment away from the drivers was a big priority at tech inspection. For this reason. I have seen many cars lately have NO splash protection for the drivers.
 

BANNEDFROMBAJA

2317 Cherimoya Drive Suite A Vista, CA 92084
Anyone know if military Nomex flight suits and Nomex balaclavas meet the SFI safety requirements? Might help soften the cost buying these items surplus versus all new commercial stuff.
Yes you can. I think it was Kent Kroeker who had a good post on here somewhere with a few good links on where to buy them if I remember correctly.



Teams that race need to be in accordanceof racing rules no matter what plain and simple. I believe their is no excuse to wearing the proper safety gear for racers and pit crew. Either you wear what is required or don't race, their is no "I can't afford it on our budget" if you can't afford it, wait a few races till you can. If people want to race in a professionally sanctioned series they need to act like professional racers end of story.
Right! We even wear them in Baja where it's not a rule. ATGATT


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ndvalium

Rescue Director
Anyone know if military Nomex flight suits and Nomex balaclavas meet the SFI safety requirements? Might help soften the cost buying these items surplus versus all new commercial stuff.


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The short answer is most likely:

we have allowed a wide range of options if it meets the above certifications. We did not limit it to SFI rating only. OSHA and NFPA certification garments are approved as well.

I did my best to spell out the requirements when we wrote the rules and make them safe but manageable.


David Nehrbass

Motorsports Safety Solutions
 

Mike321

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting this. We use a dry break for fueling dump cans and it requires two people to fuel. We both wore race helmets and a full race suit. I'm excited to read that a two-piece suit can be used to fuel.

Question -- is there a plug for the helmet air port that is fire resistant?

This was a fun race for all participants. Great job BITD and crew.
 

drofmij

Well-Known Member
yup more rules ,more regulations ,more money . To save all of us off road racers from someone else, s mishap . If you really want to see stupid fueling just hang out at am/pm some night there's plenty of people to save .flame away .every race there's always a post about something that is negative and needs to be more rules implied ,racing is dangerous what part of this do some not understand .I'm all for safety but good god give it a rest . " Beyond that, who built a car that allows fuel to spill in the drivers compartment that made it through tech?" " what idea do you have to keep fuel out of drivers compartment when a fill neck comes off "

Exactly , most of them feel good rules. A cloth garment that will soak up fuel and then will only protect you from 2nd degree burns for 10 seconds. But you will have a helmet on so when you fall to the ground in pain from the fire resistant sponge you are wearing being on fire. You won't suffer a head injury!!!!
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
The rules are very specific about shields and containment of spilled fuel. Areas around filler necks are suppose to be designed to catch spilled fuel and direct it away from passenger compartments. If the concept is too difficult for you to comprehend or understand, maybe designing and building race cars isn't for you? And a redhead filler set up would prevent fuel from spilling onto the passenger and would be simple to implement. But please, don't let me stop you from becoming a Car-B-Que.
 

PDANK Racing

Well-Known Member
yup more rules ,more regulations ,more money . To save all of us off road racers from someone else, s mishap . If you really want to see stupid fueling just hang out at am/pm some night there's plenty of people to save .flame away .every race there's always a post about something that is negative and needs to be more rules implied ,racing is dangerous what part of this do some not understand .I'm all for safety but good god give it a rest . " Beyond that, who built a car that allows fuel to spill in the drivers compartment that made it through tech?" " what idea do you have to keep fuel out of drivers compartment when a fill neck comes off "
So you're saying that because racing is dangerous, that we shouldn't take any steps to reduce the amount of danger in controlled situations? OMG, $700 is sooo much money to spend on protecting my friend from having his skin lit on fire............... Figure it out, a lot of people are dumb and need to be kept safe, which also keeps the people around them safe. These regulations are made by the race serie's and/or their insurance companies. I'm assuming using facts and data to make their decisions. For the insurance company, their objective is to reduce the risk of them paying out money, which is directly correlated to keeping people safe. For the series, keep their racers and crews safe, while minimizing insurance claims. Win-win for everyone.
 

biggjim

Well-Known Member
The rules are very specific about shields and containment of spilled fuel. Areas around filler necks are suppose to be designed to catch spilled fuel and direct it away from passenger compartments. If the concept is too difficult for you to comprehend or understand, maybe designing and building race cars isn't for you? And a redhead filler set up would prevent fuel from spilling onto the passenger and would be simple to implement. But please, don't let me stop you from becoming a Car-B-Que.
A red head doesn't guarantee no fuel spillage. We had one stick open in baja. Could have been bad.
 

green787

Well-Known Member
Is it practical to have our volunteer friends suited up like Airport rescue workers??? Most people have grown comfortable handling gasoline with no protection.... And I'm only talking about UTV's and dump cans.... Is the BLM actively looking for situations to ding us, or are they there as "observers" and "planners".... There seems to be some over reaction here....
 

deano

McDeano
I don't know that you can fine with any substance a race team in a hobby sport like this. Quite frankly while I will never speak for Casey, I know BITD never wants to get into a pay per violation type atmosphere. Casey would much rather just operate the safest races in the country and minimize as many of the hazards as we can during an dangerous event.

As someone that has been a$$ chewed from Casey one time, that is all it takes to know you don't want to do that again. Most teams in my experience would rather pay thousands of dollars in penalties or fines instead of get one call from Casey when Casey isnt happy with them...

Regardless of the repercussions, it will fall on Casey to make the determination.
How about suspending the whole team from racing BITD for a few races and see what happens .... Thanks for all you and your team does Dave, it gets frustrating to you guys I'm sure of the lack of common sense every single race.
 
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