TT Talk - Safety alert on fire suppression
The attached bulletin is a very important safety announcement from QuickFire, the supplier of the FireFoe High Temperature Automatic Fire Extinguisher.
The bulletin is dated 15 June and a number of readers may have received it directly from QuickFire. However, due to its importance and the fact that we know many operators of mobile handling equipment have this product installed, it is necessary to publicise this more widely to ensure full awareness.
The Club has monitored this product for a number of years, seeing it evaluated both by safety organisations and port/terminal operators. On the basis of positive feedback, the Club has recommended installation of the FireFoe product in order to combat persistent incidence of fires in mobile handling equipment (forklifts, reachstackers and straddle carriers). Not only has it proved effective for confined space fires but is also low cost compared to alternative fire suppression systems.
Recent incidents have resulted in the FireFoe tubes rupturing causing a potential safety hazard. QuickFire are advising that all FireFoe tubes must be immediately removed from service. Please read the bulletin, or pass it on to the appropriate staff, and ensure the safe procedures to remove the tubes are followed.
Early indications are that the safety hazard may be limited to the particularly high operating temperatures, well outside design parameters, encountered in certain straddle carriers. However, out of utmost caution, QuickFire have advised that all FireFoe tubes are removed from machinery whilst the analyses are made. It is certainly hoped that modifications can swiftly be made to the product itself or the installation of it, such that cost-effective fire suppression can again be implemented in this type of equipment.
You may also be interested in:
The foremost port and cargo handler insurer, TT Club has spoken of the risk factors most commonly facing port authorities and terminal operators, offering focused advice on how these entities can most easily minimise risk of damage to both cargo and equipment, bodily injuries and reputational impairment.
Call for United Front on Cargo Safety
Safety aspects of the way in which cargo is packed and transported in unit loads across the global supply chain continue to be the focus of opportunities for improvement. During a session of the Intermodal Europe Conference in Amsterdam today, four industry organisations representing different sectors of the supply chain have been drawing attention, in particular, to the responsibilities of container owners and operators in providing equipment that is fit for purpose and properly packed with cargo as set out in the CTU Code.