Fire? It only happens to other people
In 2006 when the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order was published, the responsibility for the safety of staff members at work was firmly focused on the owners and managers of buildings. The actual wording in the Order reads:-
“Take such general fire precautions as will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of any of his employees”
One environment where the RRFSO is particularly applicable is that of Production ‘Engineering’. The combination of an abundance of flammable liquids used as coolants and manufacturing plant such as CNC machining centres, lathes, EDM and Grinders producing continuous heat and sparks inevitably leads to the risk of an intense localised fire with a resultant spread to other vulnerable areas.
Whether the RRFSO specifically demands the use of Fire Suppression in individual machines is open to debate, however all of the major CNC machine manufacturers (Citizen, STAR, Mitsubishi, Mori Seiki, Dugard , Agie Charmilles etc ) now specify a Fire Suppression system to be fitted to new machines with two of the market leaders insisting on it being fitted to every single new machine. As the RRFSO says, given the relative ease of fitting and the affordable cost of such systems, then it is difficult to argue that it wouldn’t be “reasonably practicable”.
This thought has also been extended to Insurers who are insisting more and more on suitable systems to be installed, especially for 24 hour unmanned running which is becoming more and more common in engineering business today. As a result we have seen a marked upturn in companies with existing older machinery that have elected to retrofit their whole fleet of machinery with our fully automatic condensed aerosol fire fighting systems.
In the past, pressurised Co2 systems, foam or other chemical gases would have been used which present the owner of that system with additional considerations such as increased maintenance and issues with reliability. For instance, while Co2 is clean, it has no cooling effect and has a short hold time to keep the fire out. As such, these systems can come with a big cost implication as they tend to have short service intervals, usually of just 6 months. This combined with sensitivity issues around the detection and activation system can make them more trouble to look after than the machinery they were supposed to be protecting!
However, in an industry where fires are more common than people realise, it’s not all doom and gloom for the business owner / manager. Condensed Aerosol Fire Suppression can be a massive bonus when it comes to complying with the RRFSO.
In the event of fire breaking out, it barely gets a chance to start before the electronic detection system will sense the heat and automatically actuate a Condensed Aerosol system such as our own Stat-X system.
Stat-X is a well proven, innovative, cost-effective and ecologically safe solution for rapid fire extinguishing and the protection of high value enclosures such as CNC machinery.
The system provides:-
• Automatic and immediate extinguishing of any Fire present
• Significant reduction in fire damage to the machine
• Clean suppression medium prevents damage to the materials/machine internals
• No stored pressure, so no risk of pressure loss leading to system failure
• Plug and Play connection enables quick and easy re-charges after activation
• 10 year shelf life
• Potential to get straight back to work after resetting the machine
• Potential to connect to automating paging systems etc for unmanned running
• Yearly service intervals, reducing the lifetime costs
The objective of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is to help save lives and property. Stat-X innovative fire protection does even more. It cleverly combines science and economics and provides a superior, environmentally friendly fire suppressant. It then goes on to give easier and more cost-effective installations and advanced methods for protecting the most challenging applications within the Engineering industry.