Topic: new fire suppression requirement question

Having re read the new rule updates it  leave me wondering .....
The new rule is a minimum 5lb  suppression  system. With a recommendation of a 10lb system.
How long will it take for the rules to change mandating a 10lb system causing us to once again update (at a pretty high cost) another piece of safety equipment.
Please don'T  take this wrong. I'M  defiantly  all for safety but if they want a 10lb system just tell us now.

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

You're probably not going to get an official answer on something that speculative, so that just leaves unsupported guesswork by the ill-informed, such as myself:

If it's anything like other safety changes, I'd say somewhere between two years and never. That could suddenly change if there's an incident in which it becomes manifestly clear that five pounds was not enough but ten pounds might have been, but aside from that there has usually been a significant lead time for declaring something obsolete (such as bolt-in cages, foam neck collars, classic Minis...) with multiple unsubtle hints being dropped way in advance. It might make a difference if there's a general trend elsewhere in motorsports towards larger-capacity systems, but I have no idea what's going on there. I barely have any idea what's going on here.

Seriously, though, I have no inside information for any of this, just what I've noticed about previous changes along the way.

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: new fire suppression requirement question

The rules for a long time said you have to have a 2.5lb min extinguisher in the car, hinting that larger was better. I assume this will remain the same, min is 5lb, but 10 is better. Get 10 if you can, but they'll let you through on 5. It will likely take a large fire event to change that rule.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

Can you even get a 5lb that is SFI or FIA?  Minimum I saw was 10lb I think.

5 (edited by GoFastEnthusiast 2018-12-11 09:40 AM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

rb92673 wrote:

Can you even get a 5lb that is SFI or FIA?  Minimum I saw was 10lb I think.


There isn't a minimum weight defined in the SFI standards for fire suppression: https://www.sfifoundation.com/wp-conten … 022614.pdf

They define testing criteria and certification standards that all manufacturers must adhere to in order to label their products as SFI certified.  Plenty of companies offer 5 lb systems that are SFI certified (I'm not going to list any, because I don't want to come across as endorsing one over another, I have no experience with them. I'm in the process of researching these myself for the 2019 season).

Captain, For Parts Only (Team FPO)
#111 VW Golf - Currently Orange with tiger stripes (Calvin and Hobbes theme)

6 (edited by gunn 2018-12-11 01:15 PM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

I did a bunch of research for our UTV (the plan was to buy a setup for the UTV and carry it over to the Lemons car if it was cost effective to do so).
Here's what I learned. No reason to duplicate the work but please LMK what you guys decide.

  • For SFI based systems, you cannot fill it at home. It has to be done by the mfg or someone trained/authorized by the mfg.

  • For the ESS Fire systems, there are only 2 places: IOPORT (the west coast distributor) and the mfg (based in TN but the website hasn't been updated since the owner sold his interest or something like that)

  • Also, once the system has the CO2 attached, it has to be shipped as HAZMAT. This means that it's illegal to ship back for recertification unless you dump the CO2 and empty the bottle OR just take the setup to a mfg/distributor face to face for recharging.

  • On sharing systems with multiple cars: in order to be cost effective, you'll need to carry over the bottle, the CO2, and the pull handle setup. The tubing and nozzles are cheap but if you start duplicating the other stuff listed you might as well buy another whole setup.

  • On refill costs: ESS $64 for the refill kit + $15 for the SFI cert (takes 30min so Ken/IOPORT was reconsidering this at the time we spoke) + $10 HazMat ship = $89

  • FireCharger didn't sell an SFI system when I last checked

  • SPA Technique's system would cost $133 to recertify with Pegasus

  • OPINION: Why ESS over FireCharger or SPA?
      SPA = not as good because gas+foam is premixed so over time things congeal
      ESS and FireCharger both use external CO2 that forces the foam out as needed

  • My Conclusion: In the bay area, as long as Ken hasn't retired, ESS FIRE is probably the easiest choice

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Ceci n'est pas une Citron Thunderbird ("This is not a lemon" but a 1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing + engine mounted frito maker)
2017 Sears Pointless Organizer’s Choice
Frito Making Tbird from 2018 Sears Pointless Engine Heat BBQ - http://goo.gl/csaet4

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

Fun fact, FE-36 and Novec 1230 are about $40/pound to refill, so get reall good at putting that safety pin in before you do anything in the car.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

8 (edited by zanzabar88 2018-12-19 06:49 PM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

I'm still very confused about what the "best for us" system is. Can someone please boil it all down for me?

I have gathered that different kits may include metal lines (aluminum or steel) or plastic lines. Metal would be far more durable (?) .... or not really that big of a difference?

I have gathered that foam (e.g. AFFF in SPA systems), is cheaper than gas (e.g. FE-36 and Novec 1230) but if expelled it makes a mess of things? But which one is better at putting out fires?

I have also gathered that you want one set of nozzles pointing at the driver's compartment, and another set of nozzles pointing at the engine compartment. Do you NEED two nozzles in both locations?

What if your fuel cell is in a separate compartment from both the driver and the engine and you run a nozzle or set of nozzles at it...does that reduce the amount of foam/gas that gets to the driver? Seems obvious that it would, but which setup would be safest???

Sorry if this has all been covered, I searched and didn't find the answers I was looking for.

Captain of McDads/A Fart Racing - 1977 Lancia Scorpion - (aka the Sisyphean struggle)
Captain of 42 Hours of MeLons (2013-14) - Vattenmelon Vagn 1984 Volvo 240, B-Class Winner: Arse-Freeze 2014

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

AFFF leaves a smothering and wetting agent behind which both cools the fire area and prevents re-lights. The down side is it's a big mess, can cause difficulty getting out of the car, and doesn't "spread" so if the fire isn't where the foam goes, it don't go out. AFFF's big strength is killing liquid fires, it forms a "crust" on the liquid that locks it our from air and to some extent ignition source. However it is NOT non-conductive so it's basically AB only with a strong leaning on B. DJ safety makes an SFI rated Cold Fire system which cleans up easier and is supposed to be non corrosive and may be a better choice than other AFFF systems. If you go AFFF be sure to put in some solid anti-slip in the footwell and such because the stuff is basically soap.

Novec is actually a volatile liquid which sprays as a mist. It's completely non-corrosive, non-toxic as is or after it breaks down putting out a fire, and is supposed to be basically an immediate quench. It also cools from adiabatic expansion as its sprayed out of the nozzle, but may not cool things off below ignition temp. As it forms a gas that gas is heavier than air and pools which may or may not go where the fire potential is. Also in a moving car it can be diluted by the slipstream and air currents inside the cabin so coming to a stop first is a better bet. NOVEC and FE are non-conductive and so are suitable for Class C electrical fires, but they are least effective on Class A since the Class A can stay hot and smoldering when the Novec dilutes and dissipates. Also they Novec and FE work best in contained environments.

You wan't metal tubes. Is plastic even SFI or FiA rated?

The more nozzles you have the less agent comes out of each nozzle. a 5 lb is at its limit with 2 zones. a 10 Lb would be better for 3 zone.

The guideline is for under the hood you want 2 nozzles so that you cover both aspects of the engine since you won't know if the say left front or right rear of the engine is what's on fire. For the driver it depends on the system whether 1 or 2 nozzles is best.

In Car, especially with the power still on, A Novec style unit makes more sense given you have electricity going on in there. Also an accidental discharge only hurts the wallet. Foam has the benefit of dousing you with a fresh coating of flame retardant, but you'll want to get that electricity off quick. Foam also makes a hell of a mess, and if it gets in the engine, it's done. Also Foam freezes so add that removal inconvenience/chance for an accidental discharge into the equation.

Basically, if you think your car is going to hose the hell out of you and the ground around the car with gas and oil, Foam is better. If your idea is to add time to get out of an on fire car, with full extinguishing being a secondary consideration but one that leaves most of the car and the electronics usable afterwards, the Novec FE system is better.

If you know your team will set the damn thing off by accident, definitely the Novec and FE. No matter what an accidental discharge at the event is a weekend ender (unless you have a spare bottle) but with Novec only your ego and wallet will be ruined, not your engine, chassis, and electronics too.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

Guildenstern wrote:

If you know your team will set the damn thing off by accident, definitely the Novec and FE. No matter what an accidental discharge at the event is a weekend ender (unless you have a spare bottle) but with Novec only your ego and wallet will be ruined, not your engine, chassis, and electronics too.

Chesero set his AFFF system off by accident after a race and it did not ruin the car.  He just had to clean up the mess and replace the bottle.

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

rb92673 wrote:
Guildenstern wrote:

If you know your team will set the damn thing off by accident, definitely the Novec and FE. No matter what an accidental discharge at the event is a weekend ender (unless you have a spare bottle) but with Novec only your ego and wallet will be ruined, not your engine, chassis, and electronics too.

Chesero set his AFFF system off by accident after a race and it did not ruin the car.  He just had to clean up the mess and replace the bottle.

Some people are quick cleaners up. Some people only get to it the friday of tech from the last race.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

I spent a bunch of time agonizing about it and went with an AFFF system.  Mostly I like that it covers you in flame retardant and sticks around even in a windy cockpit.  If I'm going 100mph and the car bursts into flames I don't want to worry about coming to a complete stop before setting off the system.

The arguments about clean up never concerned me.  Based on what I've read you basically hose everything off really well and you're done.  I don't know about you but our electronics are stripped down so much it would take very little effort to protect them during clean up.

The fact that AFFF systems are less expensive to buy and recharge is just a bonus.

Electric Mayhem Racing

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

FWIW, I accidentally set off my AFFF system while packing the car in the dark after a race.  I didn't really have an opportunity to clean it at the time and suffered no adverse effects from it.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

mgavro wrote:

The arguments about clean up never concerned me.

Me either.  I read somewhere on another forum where some fool said "If you have to deploy the system it may put slippery stuff on the track and cause the race to be delayed".  W-T-F?  If myself or one of my teammates feels the need to deploy our AFFF system, I could give a f*ck what happens to the track, or the car for that matter.  Fire is no joke, and as long as we can get out of the car, to hell with anything else.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

So, let's say you have a 4 nozzle system and a car with three compartments ... would you want two nozzles at the driver's compartment, one at the engine, and one at the fuel cell compartment?

Captain of McDads/A Fart Racing - 1977 Lancia Scorpion - (aka the Sisyphean struggle)
Captain of 42 Hours of MeLons (2013-14) - Vattenmelon Vagn 1984 Volvo 240, B-Class Winner: Arse-Freeze 2014

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

Is the foam in AFFF systems corrosive, or are y'all just talking about electrical system damage? We set ours off by accident after a race and didn't seem to suffer any ill effects from it. I don't remember if we hosed it off or not, but if we did it would've been after we got home.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

17 (edited by DirtyDuc 2018-12-22 04:54 PM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

zanzabar88 wrote:

So, let's say you have a 4 nozzle system and a car with three compartments ... would you want two nozzles at the driver's compartment, one at the engine, and one at the fuel cell compartment?

I just got my system and I surprisingly read the directions.

Spa techniques says to install it per their instructions or it's not homologated. 2 nozzles to the engine, 2 for the driver (and/or passenger).

That guy

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

SpaceFrank wrote:

Is the foam in AFFF systems corrosive, or are y'all just talking about electrical system damage? We set ours off by accident after a race and didn't seem to suffer any ill effects from it. I don't remember if we hosed it off or not, but if we did it would've been after we got home.

I had heard they were corrosive, but possibly they just are as bad as letting water sit on the inside of your car.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
88 Thunderbird "THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!"
A&D: 2014 Sebrings at Sebring (NSF), 2014 NJMP2 Jurassic Park (SpeedyCop), 2012 Summit Point J30 (PiNuts)
2018 Route Sucky-Suck Rally Miata.

19 (edited by zanzabar88 2018-12-23 09:57 AM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

DirtyDuc wrote:

2 nozzles to the engine, 2 for the driver (and/or passenger).

So, none at the fuel cell? Or do I need to modify the kit with two more nozzles?

Maybe I just need to read the rule a few more times. Rules say: "Minimum acceptable is a 5-lb system covering the driver compartment and engine compartment. Highly preferred is a 10-lb system covering the driver compartment, engine compartment, and fuel storage area. All fire-suppression systems and components must meet all manufacturer-recommended design, installation, inspection, certification, reinspection, replacement, and recharging guidelines and schedules."

I'm inclined to cheap out and get a 5lb system and not cover the fuel cell compartment, but leave the hand-held extinguisher in the car within the driver's reach just in case.

Captain of McDads/A Fart Racing - 1977 Lancia Scorpion - (aka the Sisyphean struggle)
Captain of 42 Hours of MeLons (2013-14) - Vattenmelon Vagn 1984 Volvo 240, B-Class Winner: Arse-Freeze 2014

20 (edited by DirtyDuc 2018-12-23 10:07 AM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

zanzabar88 wrote:
DirtyDuc wrote:

2 nozzles to the engine, 2 for the driver (and/or passenger).

So, none at the fuel cell? Or do I need to modify the kit with two more nozzles?

The instructions say modifications void the homologation.

I think the fuel cell is of less concern because liquid fuel doesn't explode like in the movies. Most likely fire is where the hot bits are, and most dangerous fire is where the squishy bits are. Cover those two and your fire system is certified.*

* Not a certified safety guy. Bonjour!

That guy

21 (edited by zanzabar88 2018-12-23 10:43 AM)

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/docum … =TECH00141

"I got my system, but I don't want to hook up so many nozzles (or I want more). Can I add and subtract nozzles?

No. Fire suppression systems are designed and certified to use a specific number of discharge nozzles. Changing the number of nozzles will void the certification. In most cases, it can also drastically change the performance of the system."


"What about the fuel cell? There's a lot of gasoline back there!

There sure is. In fact, there's so much gasoline that your fire system won't be able to put out a fire back there. But the good news is that fires rarely start in the fuel cell area.

Remember that the purpose of a fire suppression system is to buy you enough time to get the car stopped so you can get out safely. If you aim the nozzles where a fire is likely to start, you may have a chance to knock the fire down before it ever gets to the fuel cell.

If you want to carry a system that is capable of extinguishing a burning fuel cell, you should consider driving one of the safety trucks."

Captain of McDads/A Fart Racing - 1977 Lancia Scorpion - (aka the Sisyphean struggle)
Captain of 42 Hours of MeLons (2013-14) - Vattenmelon Vagn 1984 Volvo 240, B-Class Winner: Arse-Freeze 2014

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

I installed the 10#  4 nozzle system.  1-engine. 2-Driver/passenger area. 1-Fuel cell compartment (reluctantly) Seems like the FC area is a waste of extinguishing ability.   (see post above)

Winner "We Got Screwed" award NHMS 2017
#847 Batmobile  aka-"Beulah"
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Re: new fire suppression requirement question

zanzabar88 wrote:

If you want to carry a system that is capable of extinguishing a burning fuel cell, you should consider driving one of the safety trucks."

Unfortunately I've seen and heard about unprepared fire trucks at various tracks. They show up to a burning car, pull the nozzle and water only drips out because they didn't fill the truck! Most track fire trucks are only pick ups with a small water tanks. They want to get the driver out and the car can burn itself out.

Even filled they probably can't put out a burning fuel tank (COTA a couple years back). OE fuel tanks are under the car so the car is an umbrella over it and most fuel cells are also covered making it hard to get water over it if fire is coming from the top. If you end up with a fire at your fuel storage area you are pretty freakin' screwed.

It's also a good idea to keep your fire extinguisher. As mentioned in some previous posts, these are fire suppression systems. Another guy I know had an electrical cockpit fire on a long fast straight away. Pulled his suppression system which knocked down the fire but it reignited before he came to a stop and could get out. In this case it was an electrical fire from a battery in the passenger floor, he had already used his suppression system and needed a fire extinguisher but did not have one anymore. The corner worker wasn't very excited to run up to a burning car the driver was already out of. That car and driver survived the fire but the driver still got burned through his suit.

When we first got into Lemons in 2008 I heard a similar story about a car catching fire on a straight away. This was talking about the differences between single and multi-layer fire suits. If you catch fire at a standstill, you're gonna jump out and be long gone in 5 seconds. If your going 100 MPH, it's gonna be a while before you can slow down and get out. You've still got to maintain control of the burning car before you can bail out to save yourself. It's like driving inside a big oven mitt.

Fire suppression systems and our personal safety gear are there to buy us more time to get out before we get burned.

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

An IMPORTANT part of your fire suppression efforts should be to turn off the kill switch.
Kill the electricity and your ignition source is likely gone.
Kill the electricity and your engine stops spinning shutting off a mechanical fuel supply, and your oil stops pumping killiing another fuel source.
Kill the electricity and your electric fuel pump stops feeding fuel from the tank, and your electric fans stop providing fresh air to the fire.

Capt. Delinquent Racing
TRUMPACO XR4Ti
The One & Only Taurus V8 SHO #31(now moved on to another OG Delinquent)
'17 Vodden the Hell - (No) Hope for the Future Award, '08 AMP Survivor, '08 ARSE-FREEZE-APALOOZA Mega-Cheater

Re: new fire suppression requirement question

Here's your fuel cell bottle: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NASCAR-10-SAFE … :rk:3:pf:0