Fire suppression systems required?

OFFRD-JNKIE

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Is it time to require on board fire suppression systems in race cars?
We all know the dangers of getting a race car and most are willing to take that risk but I don't understand why more teams do not install them in their cars.
I know that it will most likely not put out a fire should one happen but those precious seconds that it knocks it down are vital when trying to get out of a burning vehicle.

I am not commenting on this because of the qualifying accident because I do not know the circumstances that led to the fire or if the truck was equipped with one.
 

OFFRD-JNKIE

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Then why did you bring it up now? o_O
Ok let me clarify that is the reason I brought it up.

I am not criticizing them for not having one because I don't know if they did or not or even if they were conscious to pull the lever to activate it.

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ndvalium

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No one will know if it will make a difference in this or any situation but the challenge I see it is most on board fire suppression systems are based on a vehicle upright with a enclosed area of agent deployment.

A vehicle upside down will not deploy the agent properly from the system. A ventilated engine compartment like buggies won’t effectively utilize a gas type agent. Foam also requires the system to be mounted specifically for effective deployment.

I’m not ever going to say don’t have one. If I had a vehicle I would have every form available.

In most crashes, the injuries are determined instantly. Fire is one of the few that every second your life changes.

And regardless of any mandatory rules, if you don’t follow them it’s all for nothing anyway.


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OFFRD-JNKIE

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No one will know if it will make a difference in this or any situation but the challenge I see it is most on board fire suppression systems are based on a vehicle upright with a enclosed area of agent deployment.

A vehicle upside down will not deploy the agent properly from the system. A ventilated engine compartment like buggies won’t effectively utilize a gas type agent. Foam also requires the system to be mounted specifically for effective deployment.

I’m not ever going to say don’t have one. If I had a vehicle I would have every form available.

In most crashes, the injuries are determined instantly. Fire is one of the few that every second your life changes.

And regardless of any mandatory rules, if you don’t follow them it’s all for nothing anyway.


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Thank you for that insight I think one with nozzles concentrated into the cabin of the vehicle would make the most sense buying yourself time to get out?

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ndvalium

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Thank you for that insight I think one with nozzles concentrated into the cabin of the vehicle would make the most sense buying yourself time to get out?

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It absolutely is another tool in the tool box. If you are in the position that the agent tank is mounted to draw the agent from and disperse it -

If you think about a cup with a straw. When it is upright it draws the agent from the bottom of the cup. If you turn the cup upside down, the straw only gets the air at the top.
 

vegasloki

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There was a tech article in Racecar Engineering a while back that went into the specifics of current fire suppression systems. I don't know if it's online unless you subscribe. We used mechanical remote bottles and heads in the sports cars. Fortunately I never had to use it. If you use an FIA homologated system rather than an SFI system the requirements are more strenuous and is more vehicle/application based. (though I wouldn't discount an SFI rated system) The FIA homologation requires the system to be tested in various rotations to make sure it performs as expected.

Above all you need to get the right one for your car/application and install it properly. It may not put out the entire fire but it could give you the added seconds to get out.
 

Jeff Furrier

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Most quality fire suppression systems take into account the bottle position will likely change in the event of a crash. In most systems the pick-up tune is soft and weighted so it will find the bottom where the chemical is(like a fuel cell). Some systems have a pressurized badder that can operate in any position.

The systems are pretty economical all things considered, UPR has them starting at about 500 bucks.


No one will know if it will make a difference in this or any situation but the challenge I see it is most on board fire suppression systems are based on a vehicle upright with a enclosed area of agent deployment.

A vehicle upside down will not deploy the agent properly from the system. A ventilated engine compartment like buggies won’t effectively utilize a gas type agent. Foam also requires the system to be mounted specifically for effective deployment.

I’m not ever going to say don’t have one. If I had a vehicle I would have every form available.

In most crashes, the injuries are determined instantly. Fire is one of the few that every second your life changes.

And regardless of any mandatory rules, if you don’t follow them it’s all for nothing anyway.


Sent from my iPhone using race-deZert
 

tapeworm

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Thank you for that insight I think one with nozzles concentrated into the cabin of the vehicle would make the most sense buying yourself time to get out?

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

Any time you introduce water into the situation you increase the chance for steam burns. Try grabbing something out of the oven with an oven-mit soaked in water. You will get burned every time. Same would apply if you were in a wet driving suit. I'm not trying to say its a stupid idea but a lot of thought has to be put into exactly where they point so the occupants stay dry.
 

OFFRD-JNKIE

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Any time you introduce water into the situation you increase the chance for steam burns. Try grabbing something out of the oven with an oven-mit soaked in water. You will get burned every time. Same would apply if you were in a wet driving suit. I'm not trying to say its a stupid idea but a lot of thought has to be put into exactly where they point so the occupants stay dry.
The fire suppression systems are not water. They're a chemical type like a fire extinguisher.


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Bro_Gill

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I think his point is, most chemical systems are designed to work in a somewhat closed environment, not an open cockpit type vehicle. They rely on displacing the oxygen from the fire in some way. Doesn't work as well or at all in an open situation. CO2 systems will create condensation and water. I think EVERYONE needs to understand that if they are racing, they are placing themselves at risk for injury, regardless of all the safety things you can do. Please don't legislate the sport into oblivion. Make choices that make you comfortable. Don't expect miracles. Know your equipment. Understand the processes and be good at what you need to do in emergencies.
 
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If suppression system is used, should it be installed in a manor to disable any helmet air filtering systems before activation?

If not, why not?
 

biggjim

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The new safecraft fire suppression system is pretty nice. We have installed several of them on UTV's. Fortunately we have never had to use one yet.
 

Jeff Furrier

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Its not really like heating water in an over for an extended time. If your sitting in the fire long enough for the chemical to get heated, you're screwed anyway.

The fire suppression agent should give you extra time to get out of the car. The fires usually don't start in the cabin, so hopefully you can activate the system before it gets to the occupants. Its basically a fire extinguisher you don't have to hand hold.

Any time you introduce water into the situation you increase the chance for steam burns. Try grabbing something out of the oven with an oven-mit soaked in water. You will get burned every time. Same would apply if you were in a wet driving suit. I'm not trying to say its a stupid idea but a lot of thought has to be put into exactly where they point so the occupants stay dry.
 

vegasloki

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I think his point is, most chemical systems are designed to work in a somewhat closed environment, not an open cockpit type vehicle.

There are options specific to open cockpit vehicles. Examples being single seater formula cars and open top sports cars, spec racer, etc. Those configs are similar to buggies and trucks. Depending on the system and homologation the nozzle placement and pattern type have to be where the manufacturer specs it and specific agent is required or you wouldn't pass tech. That's assuming whatever sanction you race is requiring it and inspecting it. It's not just a single type system. There are options that will cover many different vehicle configurations.
 

Big Whitey

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While volunteering at the mint a rzr or can am flipped end over end pretty hard just before pit B. As I ran out there I saw a fire starting, first thing I did was call out on my portable radio there was a fire starting, got to the car made sure the guys were ok and able to get out, grabbed the fire ext off the cage and put out the small fire. Wow what a response from the MOTORSPORTS SAFTEY GUYS that got there.By the time I was back at the front helping the guys the Mss guys were on scene w sirens blaring, I was impressed. Sometimes it is being in the lucky place with help close and lucky that it was a small fire. The guys were lightly dazed for a moment and if needed they probably would not have known or thought immediately to pull the pin because they could not have seen the fire from inside.
I get the idea of the system but like stated earlier does it work in a open cockpit vs a closed engine compartment, I think it comes down to the same argument of, do you wear a $100 helmet or a $600 plus helmet
I think saftey first in my cars for me and my co dogs
 

Bro_Gill

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Most of the vehicle systems I have seen usually won't support more than 2 nozzles without going to the next size up extinguisher, which is double the size. The way most off road cars are set up, you really should have 3 nozzles- One at the engine, one on the drivers compartment, and one at the fuel cell. Long lines from one end to the other also creates pressure issues. If the worry is how long it takes to get out, put 2 in the drivers compartment to buy a few more seconds. Too many folks think these are for putting out fires. They are for buying escape time.
 

Robin Hood

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Most of the vehicle systems I have seen usually won't support more than 2 nozzles without going to the next size up extinguisher, which is double the size. The way most off road cars are set up, you really should have 3 nozzles- One at the engine, one on the drivers compartment, and one at the fuel cell. Long lines from one end to the other also creates pressure issues. If the worry is how long it takes to get out, put 2 in the drivers compartment to buy a few more seconds. Too many folks think these are for putting out fires. They are for buying escape time.

IMO you need at least two systems on a car. One of the drivers compartment and one for the engine compartment.
 

Broncodawg

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Since on the subject of fire, How are the driver and codriver of the 101 car that wadded up at Mint qualifying?
One or both were flown out and never heard another word all weekend. Hoping that they are going to be okay and bet Im not alone in wanting to know how they are doing. Naturally, the radio silence in a serious incident such as this was appropriate and just curious that there's been no thread with updates on their recovery.
 

green787

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It's an odd tradition that we don't discuss accidents until the people involved post first.... To much wild speculation...
 
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