Author Topic: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!  (Read 816 times)

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Offline Rex Schimmer

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Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« on: August 15, 2019, 05:19:24 PM »
Duke and I had a small engine fire at Speed Week, the SCTA guys saved our bacon and had it out almost before Duke stopped but now we have to clean the mess up. Any good ideas of how to get the dry extinguisher dust off of the engine, car and body work with the least amount of destruction? The extinguisher tag says the dry dust is "Mono Ammonium Phosphate". How do we clean this up with out making a bigger mess?

Rex
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Offline Interested Observer

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 06:39:02 PM »
Ammonium phosphate is often used as an inorganic fertilizer and is readily soluble in water.

Offline racergeo

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 07:06:36 PM »
   Rex, did you get a timed run? Are you going to repair and run tomorrow?

Online Beltguy

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 10:48:00 AM »
Why in the world would they equip the track support folks with archaic dry powder fire extinguishers????? They are quite limited in their extinguishing capability and really make a mess when they are discharged.  If not quickly cleaned, they can really mess up electrical systems.

As a former Cold Fire distributor, I can attest to the amazing fire extinguishing capability and they leave no mess.  The cost is fairly low and the extinguishers can be easily and quickly recharged at the track

Obviously there are other similar products such as FireAde. 

Plus these products are approved for the onboard fire suppression systems.

Indy Car ruled a few years back that each pit must have a 2.5 gallon fire extinguisher charged with Cold Fire.

Jim
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Offline trimmers

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2019, 11:21:33 AM »
I would guess that they use those "Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical", aka "A-B-C" (mono ammonium phosphate) extinguishers because they're cheap!  Otherwise, I agree that they are very corrosive!  "Regular dry chemical" aka "B-C" (sodium bicarbonate) costs more, but is non-toxic, non-conductive, and non-corrosive.  I don't think we have too many cars running that have much wood in them, so we shouldn't need the "A" component!

I submitted the rule change requiring push trucks to have a (minimum 10) "B-C" rated (rather than the obsolete rating in pounds) extinguisher a few years ago.   

I work as an aircraft inspector for USDOI and that's what we're requiring on helicopter fuel trucks.  I believe that the FAA prohibits mono ammonium phosphate extinguishers on airport ramps, too.

Please note that this applies just to "portable" fire extinguishers, and not the fire extinguishing systems which are required in the race cars.   That's a whole different ball game, wherein system ratings in pounds still applies, as different extinguishing agents are utilized. 

For more info, see the National Fire Protection Association's NFPA-10 Manual on Portable Fire Extinguishers.  The bad news is they charge for a copy, but there may be some out there someplace on the internet. 

Jeff in Boise

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 08:50:39 PM »
Jeff, I have been warned that this is a touchy subject and I want to try to discuss this subject without stepping on any toes.

I did some digging on this subject and latched onto: NFPA 610:  "Guide for Emergency and Safety Operations at Motorsports Venues".  Paragraph 7.2.1.4 specifies 10 pound approved dry powder extinguishers for safety trucks.  There was no mention of the type of dry powder nor was there any alternative type of fire extinguishers mentioned.

Obviously that puts Bonneville organizations in compliance with the extinguisher clauses in NFPA 610

That said, there is significant conflict within the fire suppression industry.  Many of the suppliers of "alternative" fire suppression materials (Cold Fire, FireAde, FE-36, etc.) have voiced strong concerns that NFPA has not advanced standards reflecting these "newer" technologies.

I was involved in a project with NHRA when Cold Fire first approached NHRA with their technology (late 80's?).  I followed NHRA's testing and ultimately their total conversion to Cold Fire in hand held and  truck  mounted suppression systems.  That then led to their approval of Cold Fire for on-board suppression systems.  I  believe that NHRA has now converted to FireAde.

When I first developed my fire suppression systems for Motorhomes (I am no longer in that business), I made the  decision to use Cold Fire for the suppression material.  That was in 2004 and I had been away from my work with NHRA for several years.  To verify that Cold Fire was still a powerful fire suppression material, I did my own testing at a local fire training facility.  The testing included extinguishing of a significant magnesium fire.

I was also involved with the development of the fire detection side of a fire suppression system for an industrial application.  It was a joint project with Safecraft (a leading racing fire suppression system supplier).  For that project we used FireAde and tested the system extensively. 

So, I have a large amount of experience with surfactant type suppression systems and have been involved with significant testing of those materials.  I have observed, many times, the incredible capabilities of these types of materials.

I think the fact that IRL, NHRA and many circle track and  sports car organizations use these materials speaks volumes.

Jim

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Offline Rex Schimmer

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2019, 12:08:44 PM »
We have two cold fire extinguishers in our lakester, the one that is for the engine compartment was energized by Duke with the result that the valve on the tank failed in several areas and Duke got a wet lap and the engine got nothing! hence the requirement for the SCTA to suppress the fire and the resulting mess that we have finally pretty well ecleaned up. I can only emphasis the need to ensure that we all make a special effort to make sure that our fire systems are 100% operative. Regretfully it is pretty hard to test the system without actually using the fire bottle but we can make sure that the lines are clear and we also make sure that we are dealing with reputable companies for our fire systems. We have sent our bottle to who we feel is a very knowledgeable person and a salt racer and have full confidence that he will provide us with a system that will work when needed. If the original system would have worked it possibly have saved us hours of cleaning and parts replacement. Thanks again to the SCTA for their prompt reaction to our fire.

Rex and Duke   
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Offline sodbuster

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2019, 01:22:34 PM »
Shop vac?
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Offline Rex Schimmer

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Re: Cleaning up fire extinguisher mess!
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 03:17:38 PM »
Good shop vac, brushes to get into the tight areas and then water with baking soda for a good soak and finally low pressure water to rinse. Any of the extinguisher dust that was melted onto something was given a isopropol alcohol bath then brushed and rinsed.

Rex 
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