In a bid to replace conventional fire suppression systems that use Halon, new firefighting systems must strike a balance between safety, performance, and meeting the ever-changing regulations, especially on environmental sustainability. In suppressing vehicle fires, the extinguishment speed coupled with the weight of the extinguisher and space available is crucial for one to save lives and property. Hybrid fire extinguishers (HFEs) are an alternative to the traditional Halon-based fire suppression system. Here are some useful facts about HFEs for beginners to know.
A receptacle containing a solid propellant and a liquid fire suppressant form part of the hybrid fire extinguisher system. The solid propellant helps to push the liquid from the container and put out a potential fire. The fluid fire suppressant contains a surfactant, which enhances the film-forming ability of the liquid when it comes into contact with vehicle fuels such as diesel and petrol. In a car, the HFE can be integrated with sensing system to deploy when certain conditions are met, for example, when smoke or fuel vapours are detected in a vehicle cabin. A Halon-based fire extinguisher has limited integration capabilities.
Eco-Friendly Solution to Vehicle Fires
Hybrid fire extinguishers have several environmental benefits over Halon alternatives. The system does not deplete the ozone layer when compared to substances in conventional fire extinguishers. Also, the chemicals in the HFEs only last for a maximum of five days in the atmosphere, and thus, harmful effects are minimal within the period. Halon-based substances last for years or even decades in the atmosphere causing all sorts of destruction including global warming. In a nutshell, HFEs have a low toxicity profile, which means they are safe for the environment, both long-term and short-term.
Reduced Weight and Size
The HFE is only pressurised when the system is activated; hence, the size and weight of the fire extinguisher is significantly reduced to suit the vehicle type. Conventional fire extinguishers are weighty and bulky because of the amount of liquid or solid agent required. The solid propellant in the HFEs enables the fluid fire suppressant to vaporise during discharge. Therefore, the amount of fluid needed is less compared to equivalent Halon-based systems implying that the HFE unit can be packed in smaller volumes. The hybrid fire extinguishers, therefore, can fit into any vehicle size and can be deployed with ease.
Rapid Fire Suppression
When a fire erupts in a vehicle, you need a system that can put out the fire in no time. Also, utilisation of the liquid agent should be controlled so that the extinguisher does not exhaust before a fire is suppressed. In this regard, the HFE-type rapidly extinguishes the fire due to the solid propellant mentioned earlier thereby reducing damages. Because of its rapid action, such a system can also help save lives in case occupants are trapped in a car. The Helon-type fire extinguisher is slow due to lack of a propelling mechanism for the fire suppressing agent.
For more informaiton on fire extinguishers, contact a local business.