Tony Riggs

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Reality is, you probably need to service the system after every race. Not because the system is bad, but because of the type of abuse desert racing applies to it. From silt and dust entering ports to the thin wall tubing they use that can easily be smashed to prevent proper movement of the extinguishing agent. They need an inspection. For tips on making a good system, keep the runs from the bottle to the nozzles as short as possible. If given a choice, use a larger size tube (diameter) to supply the heads. As far as auto vs. manual activation, I would prefer manual as there are plenty of ways for an auto system to activate without fire in a desert car. Place the manual activation button/pull within easy access of both driver and passenger and anyone who would come up from outside to help.

As to the system you have in your current ride, if it is a single nozzle system and it is in the engine compartment area, and auto activation, you probably had an activation caused by high temps during your race that you weren't aware of. And, not attacking you, but having it only in the engine compartment, you were doing it wrong. These things are not designed to put out fires, they are designed to by the occupants time to get out. If you only have one nozzle, it should be between you and the fuel cell. Other than name and type of extinguishing agent chosen by the purchaser, these systems are all very similar in design and operation. One thing you should know, Halon is an air dispersing agent as well as a chemical reaction inhibitor. While use in an open car like a SxS probably wouldn't harm you, the agent does displace oxygen and is not recommended for occupied spaces prior to use. I have always preferred a wetting agent when it comes to auto applications because it cools the surfaces while extinguishing the fire. Halon will stop the current flames, but after, if surfaces are still hot, any remaining fuel vapors will reignite.
Great info Bro_Gill you obviously have earned your stripes with this stuff. All this input is being compiled and I believe a post with all this info/data is in order. Thanks again
 

Tony Riggs

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I have a lifeline 2000 4L system in my truck. It has 4 heads, I have two at the engine and two in the cab. It has a two year tag on it before it needs to get recertified. Manual pull only for this one

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Do you know if they offer auto with a manual override? How is it recertified, mail in unit or take it to distributor/installer?
 

TRichards

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Maybe talk to the guys at DJ Safety. I had their system in my truck before I sold it. Never had to use it.
 

Bro_Gill

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I think you are trying to make this the answer to your fire scare= 'automatic system' and it isn't ever going to be that. Several reason. First, the cars are not enclosed atmospheres. Automatic system rely on the fact that the extinguishing agent is going to go exactly where it needs to go when discharged. In a room full of computers, a kitchen with a hood range, or the enclosed engine compartment of a Nascar ride, you have containment. Not so in most off road rides. So, if the system sets off automatically, say, when a fire happens while you travelling 40mph, guess what? You spray extinguishing agent out into the passing air. It may or may not put out the fire. One of the reasons I would prefer a manual system. You can get the vehicle stopped, hit the button and then get out. Once out, worry about your corider and then extinguishing the fire. You have said you don't want to worry about training your pit buddies on how to extinguish a fire, you are trying to rely on an automatic system that will do everything it is not designed to do. You need to reassess and reprioritize what is needed for safe pitting and driving in your race car.
 

WhiteYota

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Do you know if they offer auto with a manual override? How is it recertified, mail in unit or take it to distributor/installer?
im not sure if they have an auto/manual set up. I have the mechanical pull one but they also have and electric one with a push button to set it off. I can take the tank to kartek and they send it out. It only takes a few days. lifeline-fire.com is there website
 

Shoyrtt

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Ya we will work on that, thanks for the advice.

And what happens if the car rolls over and catches on fire with no one around? Should I wait for my highly trained pit crew to show up? Exactly what type of fire would be best for a suppression system? If you can elaborate I would love to hear it. If you can find some kind of literature or research that indicates the type of fires these are not recommended for let me know and I will be sure to not have that kind of fire.

A racer installs a fire suppression system for exactly this kind of fire. As Bro_Gill implied, they are for suppression not always extinguishing a fire, any fire. I understand they might just be able to buy you enough time to escape and not burn to death, however when they do not function at all your choices are limited.

The purpose of this thread was to try and find out if anyone else has had this problem or not and what type of suppression system you are using. All the armchair quarterbacks should go upstairs from the basement and check and see why your mom keeps yelling at you to get off the computer.

As Martin (aka Bro_Gill) so eloquently stated, you really need to take a look at your own pit procedures before relying on an "automatic" suppression system to extinguish fires. Martin and I were together a few years ago in San Felipe when a beautiful new chase rig pulled along side our pit with one occupant who was there to presumably fuel a race vehicle with his solo dump can. This person was handling the dump can in the back of the truck when static electricity ignited the fumes. The dump can was then spilled and a raging fire was started. The sole occupant runs away from the rig and Martin and another friend run toward the fire to extinguish it. Although the initial fire ball (like yours) was towering, the actual fire wasn't too bad.

The reason why I was so quick to come to the conclusion a "suppression" system would not have helped with this fire is that other than the initial fireball, the remaining fire appears to just be the small amount of fuel that was left in the open engine area and on the ground. There is a chance that either fire itself near the sensor was not hot enough to trigger the device or it simply was not near the sensor. Or as Martin implied, the system could have already discharged.

To answer your numerous rhetorical questions, first if your car rolls over and catches fire, you need to get out of the car and then ensure your passenger gets out. Never rely on an automatic system to suppress, let alone extinguish a fire. You have to hope that the system buys you a little time to get out of the car, that's it. I found this video that hopefully shows you how long a fire might burn before the [presumably automatic] suppression system is deployed.

Now as far as that armchair, when you sell your UTV and build another car, why not look at relocating your filler to an area that isn't directly over the engine and exhaust? From your build photo, your receiver dry break is in place but in the video, it appears your two man crew isn't using a red head on the dump can? From the armchair once again, moving the filler forward, using the full dry break system and having at least a third person there dedicated to manning a proper fuel rated fire extinguisher might alleviate some of the concerns your fellow racers are having and offering you some constructive criticism along the way. Martin and I were also in Lucerne when Mike Mccomas and Jared Durnberger were burned in their accident. We discussed in our team meetings what happened and what could be done to prevent this from happening again. As this was your second fire in two years, maybe its time to step back and stop doing what you and your team were doing that caused or contributed to these fires in the first place.
riggs.jpg
 
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Tony Riggs

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Thanks for the info. I never said I don’t want to worry about training my pit, I said their actions or lack of are not the subject of this thread. I have invested in two sets of complete fuelers gear ($1,500) go over the fueling procedures before every race and can’t stress enough that I want everyone to go home from the race the same way they came, uninjured (hang overs not included).

Also I am not relying on an automatic system as the end all solution but I am stressing the importance of one that functions reliably. Fires don’t always happen in the pits. Upside down and unconscious or injured and strapped in a burning car is my thoughts when I think about a fire suppression system.

Lastly, I can not judge the men in my pit. I know they did the best they could at that moment and I’m greatful that they were there. It’s a surreal moment when a fire happens and unless you’re a trained firefighter and Ivan s
im not sure if they have an auto/manual set up. I have the mechanical pull one but they also have and electric one with a push button to set it off. I can take the tank to kartek and they send it out. It only takes a few days. lifeline-fire.com is there website
Thank you WhiteYota. The guys at Kartek are solid. I will look into that setup.
 

Tony Riggs

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im not sure if they have an auto/manual set up. I have the mechanical pull one but they also have and electric one with a push button to set it off. I can take the tank to kartek and they send it out. It only takes a few days. lifeline-fire.com is there website
My thoughts on an auto set up are more for the time when there is no support around to help with external fire extinguishers. A lone crash or rollover where the occupants are unconscious or injured and slow to react.
 

dhjeepgeek

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Your right the fish rots from the head down.

You don’t even know what you don’t know, pull your head out of your arse before you get somebody dead.
What are you getting at. He has a system that will hopefully automatically deploy. In this case it didn't. Obviously the heat sensor wasn't getting hot enough. The sensor or the location may need to be changed. But it didn't seem there was cranial rectology going on. The system we use has a activator in the cab. But it doesn't self activate. Hope I never need it.
 

fathead

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What are you getting at. He has a system that will hopefully automatically deploy. In this case it didn't. Obviously the heat sensor wasn't getting hot enough. The sensor or the location may need to be changed. But it didn't seem there was cranial rectology going on. The system we use has a activator in the cab. But it doesn't self activate. Hope I never need it.

Some of the old timers here like to bully the guys that don't have high post counts. Almost as if he deserved to have his automatic fire suppression fail due to having a pit crew that needs more training
 

dhjeepgeek

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I was looking at Facebook this morning and seen this Fire ball thing on there again. Duct tape these around the engine and fuel cell.
Elide Fire Ball – Fire Fighting Ball I am only sort of joking. If they work like they say, its worth looking into. OK, maybe not duct tape. Use Gorilla tape. Keep one handy in the cap too.
 

Hurleygo3

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What are you getting at. He has a system that will hopefully automatically deploy. In this case it didn't. Obviously the heat sensor wasn't getting hot enough. The sensor or the location may need to be changed. But it didn't seem there was cranial rectology going on. The system we use has a activator in the cab. But it doesn't self activate. Hope I never need it.

I don't think you read the OG post. The system was empty. So at some point it deployed. I have a Safecraft system. I'd bet a bunch on cash that the system had already deployed before the last fire happened. Novec is a clear liquid that leaves no residue. Very common for systems to deploy without the racer ever knowing it was set off. I like the manual activation for this reason. But if you are knocked out and a fire happens, you're fawked.
 

biggjim

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Now as far as that armchair, when you sell your UTV and build another car, why not look at relocating your filler to an area that isn't directly over the engine and exhaust? From your build photo, your receiver dry break is in place but in the video, it appears your two man crew isn't using a red head on the dump can? From the armchair once again, moving the filler forward, using the full dry break system and having at least a third person there dedicated to manning a proper fuel rated fire extinguisher might alleviate some of the concerns your fellow racers are having and offering you some constructive criticism along the way. Martin and I were also in Lucerne when Mike Mccomas and Jared Durnberger were burned in their accident. We discussed in our team meetings what happened and what could be done to prevent this from happening again. As this was your second fire in two years, maybe its time to step back and stop doing what you and your team were doing that caused or contributed to these fires in the first place. View attachment 196528

At this point I am going to chime in on this comment. As you can see from the cockpit back there is alot going on. If the filler was 2' forward (next to the "C" pillar) and fuel was spilled you have electric fans possibly running, you have batteries mounted, and you have all of the vehicles fuse blocks, and electronics mounted. Our fear (were the builder of this car) was that if fuel was spilled it would certainly start a fire on top of the electronics as well as now it would be 2' closer to the drivers cockpit as well as possibly splashing onto the driver. The passenger side of the car is a no go as well as you have the turbo and exhaust on that side, straight onto the driver side rear is the exhaust and again the hot engine. SO at this point all thats left from a safety standpoint was in the driver panel. That was a possibility, however it made filling very cumbersome. Thus we landed on where his filler is located. We spent a lot of time laying out this platform and trying to make it the most functional and safe car out there. Of the 10 or 15 cars we have built in the last 5 years there have only been one catch fire from fueling that I can think of.

Now I am a firm believer in using the redheads for filling. I personally think dumpcans without them should go away. 90% of the fires I have witnessed have been filling with a dump can and no drybreak.

I am bummed to hear that the safecraft stuff is failing. I have been pushing for sometime for us to outfit our shop car with the manual as well as the automatic system. As far as the comments on where the nozzles are mounted, the safecraft system has 1 nozzle and Im pretty certain its mount on this car where safecraft recommends

One more thing..... I learned how important it was to properly clean, keep clean, and maintain your red heads. I had one hang open on me in baja 2 years ago and it could have been extremely bad...no fire thank goodness but there certainly could have been.
 

Fourstroker

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One more thing..... I learned how important it was to properly clean, keep clean, and maintain your red heads. I had one hang open on me in baja 2 years ago and it could have been extremely bad...no fire thank goodness but there certainly could have been.

We use a little Vaseline on the orings before we fill the Pressure Pro hose EVERY time. Easy to do on a dump can as well.
 

Bro_Gill

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Jim, 1 nozzles is not appropriate. Back in the 1980s, a very good racer was killed in a fire when he was trapped in his car. A promoter decided that every car that was going to race his series needed to have a fire extinguishing system to race his series. Even back then, every supplier was telling racers 2 nozzles, 1 in the passenger area for passenger time to get out and one at the fuel supply to reduce flames from the fuel system. I can't see how anyone today would say 1 nozzle will be enough. Where do they recommend to put it? The engine? The fuel cell? The passenger compartment? The rear brakes/driveline area? From a guy who wants to know.
 

Honda48X

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The most important thing is to prevent the fire from starting in the first place. Proper fillers, proper training, a dedicated person standing by with an extinguisher in hand ready to discharge in a fire proof suit. The on board system needs to be checked each and every race.
 

Robin Hood

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At this point I am going to chime in on this comment. As you can see from the cockpit back there is alot going on. If the filler was 2' forward (next to the "C" pillar) and fuel was spilled you have electric fans possibly running, you have batteries mounted, and you have all of the vehicles fuse blocks, and electronics mounted. Our fear (were the builder of this car) was that if fuel was spilled it would certainly start a fire on top of the electronics as well as now it would be 2' closer to the drivers cockpit as well as possibly splashing onto the driver. The passenger side of the car is a no go as well as you have the turbo and exhaust on that side, straight onto the driver side rear is the exhaust and again the hot engine. SO at this point all thats left from a safety standpoint was in the driver panel. That was a possibility, however it made filling very cumbersome. Thus we landed on where his filler is located. We spent a lot of time laying out this platform and trying to make it the most functional and safe car out there. Of the 10 or 15 cars we have built in the last 5 years there have only been one catch fire from fueling that I can think of.

Now I am a firm believer in using the redheads for filling. I personally think dumpcans without them should go away. 90% of the fires I have witnessed have been filling with a dump can and no drybreak.

I am bummed to hear that the safecraft stuff is failing. I have been pushing for sometime for us to outfit our shop car with the manual as well as the automatic system. As far as the comments on where the nozzles are mounted, the safecraft system has 1 nozzle and Im pretty certain its mount on this car where safecraft recommends

One more thing..... I learned how important it was to properly clean, keep clean, and maintain your red heads. I had one hang open on me in baja 2 years ago and it could have been extremely bad...no fire thank goodness but there certainly could have been.

Honest question... if you dump fuel on electronics or a battery will it start a fire? If so Why not put them in a protective box.
 

A_Roben

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Jim, 1 nozzles is not appropriate. Back in the 1980s, a very good racer was killed in a fire when he was trapped in his car. A promoter decided that every car that was going to race his series needed to have a fire extinguishing system to race his series. Even back then, every supplier was telling racers 2 nozzles, 1 in the passenger area for passenger time to get out and one at the fuel supply to reduce flames from the fuel system. I can't see how anyone today would say 1 nozzle will be enough. Where do they recommend to put it? The engine? The fuel cell? The passenger compartment? The rear brakes/driveline area? From a guy who wants to know.
Safe craft sells 2 utv kits. One for the non turbo that only has one nozzle. The nozzle is located above the engine at the rear of the vehicle. I believe that is what this car had installed. The other is a 2 nozzle system made for the turbo rzr’s. This kit puts a second nozzle at the front of the engine close to turbo where most fires start on the turbo cars. In my non professional opinion it looks like if this car had the turbo kit with the second nozzle up front it might have actually worked on the fire in the video.
 
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