Topic: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

We have an AFFF 4 liter mechanically-actuated system from Spa Technique installed in our car. We bought it about 3 years ago, so its past the "2 year service date".

Is the 2 year service required to maintain FIA certification, even if the bottle shows a full charge?

Is this treated like a nomex suit that is certified "forever" (unless obviously compromised), or is it treated like belts that have an expiration date.

The rules say:

Lemons EXCEEDINGLY STRONGLY recommends a properly plumbed, fully charged, securely mounted SFI- or FIA-certified onboard fire suppression system with agent-appropriate nozzles

We Audi Be Faster
'86 Audi Coupe G(in &) T(onic)

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

The re-certification process is actually more than just slapping a new tag on the bottle.  They flush the bottle, check for hardware issues and then recharge the bottle.  I took mine to Bimmerworld in Virginia.  I think it was less than $120.

The biggest concern with AFFF systems is separation of the contents in the bottle, whether caused by age or freezing.  So, if you left your bottle outside in the frozen tundra of CT you could have an issue going forward.

whatever it was i didn't do it
dorifto dogs E30 - gone but not forgotten

Lee Ho Fook's Racing E36

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

Your local Fire department might be able to re-cert it. I believe we sent ours back to the manufacture and they re-cirted it.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

There is a lot of conflicting information out there on AFFF systems ability to tolerate freezing temps.. We play it on the safe side.  The bottle comes out of the car and lives in the house all winter. 

RSB has done the research and has found  a semi-local supplier who will discharge/flush/recharge and re-certify the bottle.  The question here is that according the rulesthe bottle has to be fully charged, but there is no requirement that it has to be within the certification dates: . 

3.F.3 Onboard Fire Suppression System or Extinguisher. Lemons EXCEEDINGLY STRONGLY recommends a properly plumbed, fully charged, securely mounted SFI- or FIA-certified onboard fire suppression system with agent-appropriate nozzles

A similar question can be asked of HANS devices. The rules require a HANS with an SFI certification.  The is an expiration date on the device, but there is no rule that says it has to be "current".  I sent mine in for re-cert a couple of years ago anyway:

3.B.2 Neck Brace/Helmet Support. All drivers must wear SFI 38.1-rated or FIA 8858-rated head-and-neck protection.

Unlike harnesses, which have an expiration date that is enforced:

3.F.2.a Five- or Six-Point Harnesses Mandatory.  Five- or six-point harnesses mandatory, including fifth or fifth/sixth "anti-submarine" belt. All harnesses must be in excellent, near-new condition, properly mounted, and carry SFI or FIA approval tags. Harnesses with expiration dates are not valid after the expiration date.


Or is this just the question that should remain unasked.

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

I can't swear to it, but I don't believe my Hans has a date on it.

Literal interpretation of the rules is fine I'm sure, but with safety items.... can one ever be too OCD / anal -retentive?

It costs a bit more, but I'd like to think I'm worth it.

whatever it was i didn't do it
dorifto dogs E30 - gone but not forgotten

Lee Ho Fook's Racing E36

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

I'm not trying to lawyer my way out of spending $120 for the recharge.  We'll get it done at some point, just maybe not before the next race.  I just don't want to be caught out at tech by, "Sorry, your fire bottle is expired and you can't race." 

We're leaving the handheld 1A-10BC bottle in place to preclude that for now.  This apparently won't fly next year. 

The AFFF bottle is full and charged now.  It's a half day off of work to drop it at the supplier's (UPS won't ship = HAZMAT) and another half day to retrieve it.  Might not be able to swing it before the next green flag.

On a side note, all three of my HANS are date stamped, just like the harnesses.  Never had anyone at Lemons question the expiry, but got them rectified just in case. I think they were about $50 each + shipping.

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

I wonder if the AFFF bottle can be recharged and re-certified by any local fire protection company?  Most decent sized towns have these places that keep up the maintenance on all the extinguishers required by the local building codes.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
#411
'93 Acura Integra

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

snuffy wrote:

The rules require a HANS with an SFI certification.  The is an expiration date on the device, but there is no rule that says it has to be "current".

I wouldn't count on that. The SFI 38.1 standard itself explicitly states that the device "shall be inspected for recertification every five years after the date of original certification" which means that any device last inspected more than five years ago is, by definition, not SFI certified.

The FIA 8858 standard also listed in the rules is, of course, more complicated than that. It states that the approved devices shall be listed. The list is available for download here:

http://www.fia.com/technical-list-ndeg2 … -8858-2010

Each homologated device has an end date which "represents the final date on which the system may be manufactured" but there doesn't seem to be a clear statement of how long the device itself may be used. The one exception is for Hutchens Hybrid devices, which, under FIA 8858, are required also to meet SFI 38.1, which means the five-year limit applies.

That's about as deep as I'm willing to go into FIA regulations for this. I suspect that if someone shows up with an FIA-certified device that's more than five years beyond its certification/recertification date, Lemons HQ would be perfectly justified in saying no to it. That's certainly true for SFI-certified devices.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

VKZ24 wrote:

I wonder if the AFFF bottle can be recharged and re-certified by any local fire protection company?  Most decent sized towns have these places that keep up the maintenance on all the extinguishers required by the local building codes.


I tried that route. I contacted a company in the local area that does fire extinguisher maintenance and they said they are not able to do the recertification. Sounds like we are stuck using the service centers authorized by the equipment manufacturer. As snuffy said, the nearest one to us is almost an hour away.

The issue with shipping is that when the bottles are pressurized, they are considered hazardous material and must be sent (ground only) from a shipper that is a UPS-authorized for hazmat materials (which means that you can't legally send it to them when pressurized). Some of the smaller dealers don't want to spend the money and time required to get that authorization, so they offer local pickup only. Its possible to ship them from a residence, but they must be emptied first.

We found that places like Pegasus, Racer Parts Wholesale, and Hoerr Racing do offer the re-cert service and will ship the pressurized bottles.

We Audi Be Faster
'86 Audi Coupe G(in &) T(onic)

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

Continuing the thread hijack, there was a thread concerning HANS expiry sometime in the last couple of years.  In summary, FIA certs for head and neck restraints do not expire and SFI certs do.  Generally speaking (meaning for most sanctioning bodies) the FIA cert will trump the SFI one, because Americans have automotive Euro-envy. 

I suppose removal of the SFI sticker would leave just the FIA one in play if an inspector were to squawk about the conflicting certs.

11

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

Update regarding the shipping of the fire bottles - I called several more SPA Technique service centers and they all told me that the pressurized bottle of AFFF is NOT considered hazardous and is OK to ship via GROUND ONLY. I called the UPS hazmat office and they told me the same thing: as long as the contents of the bottle are not restricted for transport (per section 14 of the MSDS, available on the manufacturer's website) and the pressurized canister is less than 181psi, then its not considered hazardous to ship via ground. I guess the guy at the first service center I called didn't have all the information quite correct.

I just got back from dropping our bottle off at the UPS service center. I brought a copy of the MSDS, and the counter person included it with the packing list in case there was any issue as it went through the system. I'm sending it to Stable Energies in NJ.

We Audi Be Faster
'86 Audi Coupe G(in &) T(onic)

Re: Fire Supression System Certificaiton

snuffy wrote:

I just don't want to be caught out at tech by, "Sorry, your fire bottle is expired and you can't race."

During tech, I found at least this year they don't seem to be trained yet to know what to look for or ask. Specifically, they didn't know they were supposed to be refreshed every 2 years, so don't expect what you are fearing. However, having the hand bottle too is a good idea nonetheless.

I hope that Lemons will not require SFI or FIA certified systems absolutely in their 2018 rules, because I bought the FireCharger system off Pegasus (because it could be re-charged by myself). None of the others 3 series require that so if they go that route it will be frustrating...

-Robert, Party Sheep Racing
The Jerry Lundegaard GMAC Financing Award, Joliet 2013 [Cutlass Ciera w/ Iron Duke]
Now an Eta E30: Joliet Fall 2015 - got beat by a minivan, Gingerman Spring 2016 - still made of slow,
Joliet Summer 2016 - way too humid for a head swap, Gingerman Spring 2017 - less slow but still breaking cooling system