Fire is one of the most important forces on Earth. The use of fire by humans has long been considered as a defining property of intelligence. Fire has been part of our lives for centuries powering through generations bring forth advancement and keeping our industries working. With this force comes its dangers, amongst them the danger of starting where it’s not supposed to, hence may grind operations to a halt.
In mining like any other industry, when a fire breaks out on a mining vehicle the results can be dramatic, which leads to expensive repairs or replacement of valuable equipment are the obvious consequences. Extensive downtime and business interruption can result in even greater expenses as this equipment often takes many months to repair or replace, further on and most importantly a fire on a mining vehicle can mean serious injuries to the machine operator, miners and in some cases also lead to geological instability of the workplace.
With all these possible disasters there is a need for the development of fire prevention, suppression and detection systems that will help reduce the dangers of fires. A market leader and probably a pacesetter in the industry has emerged in the form of DAFO vehicle fire protection. Dafo Vehicle offers the most reliable and effective fire suppression systems for HDME (Heavy-duty Mobile Equipment) designed to survive challenging working environments and secure safety of operations.
The systems are designed to mitigate losses due to fire and reduce the impact on investment, reducing downtime and securing business continuity and increasing the productivity of the end-users. Dafo Vehicle’s robust system not only protect individual hazards within the vehicle such as leaking fuel, hydraulic fluid, and/or lubrication, built up flammable deposits, but it is also a system with low life cycle costs.
How the system works
The Dafo Vehicle fire suppression system is a well-integrated and effective solution which is based on thorough Risk Assessment, design, installation, documentation with subsequent, training and related services.
The Dafo Vehicle fire suppression system consists of four integrated elements;
Detection: The detection system consists of an ultra-reliable Linear Heat Detection Cable routed throughout all high-risk areas inside the engine compartment to ensure early detection of a fire.
Alarm: The alarm panel placed inside of the operator cabin, will alarm the machine operator upon detection. The machine operator can also release the system manually from the panel. An external alarm, protected but in plain sight, will alert the machine operator and the staff around the machine by sound and flashlight. The fire alarm can also be seen from the control room for each machine and the control room operator can release the fire suppression system from this location.
Suppression: The distribution network is composed of flexible fire resistance hydraulic hoses, stainless steel pipes with full cone nozzles that will protect all areas or specific locations with many potential fire hazards such as turbocharger, catalytic converter, pumps, fuel lines, generators, transmission belts, filters and hydraulic package.
The basis of Dafo Vehicle’s system is the suppression agent Forrex™ which is specially developed to suppress fires in combustible engines. Forrex™ is highly effective on flammable liquid fires like petrol, diesel and hydraulic oils. The system combines the features of liquid and dry chemical, includes unique and propriety tailormade solutions and offers outstanding flame knockdown and unique protection against re-ignition as it will cool down the overheated engine parts in case of a thermal event.
Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection has fulfilled the requirements of the Australian Standard AS 5062:2016 – Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment for their SV-K fire suppression system. This has been granted with a Certificate of Approval by the Certification Body Global-Mark. The AS 5062-standard is equivalent to the Zambia Bureau of Standards new standard ZS1209/2019.
Control: freshly released family of Dafo Vehicle’s new generation control units has the following key features:
· Back-up power and no need to replace batteries
· Allows access to full historical data to analyze historical events
One of Dafo Vehicle’s innovations is the DafoCLOUD which is a cloud-based risk management system to provide a full overview of the lifecycle of Fire Detection and Suppression System (FDSS). The DafoCLOUD is the basis for reducing and controlling the total cost of ownership with keeping maximized safety in focus.
Dafo with its 100-year history and its distribution covering Africa, it is sure set to bring safer mines, safer machines and better working conditions for the miner.