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August 02, 2010  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Fire Suppression Systems Protect Assets, Save Lives

Manufacturers of fire suppression systems for school buses provide product details and discuss the benefits of installation.

by Claire Atkinson - Also by this author

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Jomarr Products Inc.
Jomarr Products Inc. is primarily an OEM supplier of vehicle fire suppression systems, Perrella says, with systems custom designed for the specific vehicle application. Jomarr fire systems are not “off the shelf” or “one size fits all,” Perrella points out. “Typically, we require a description of the vehicle along with a dimensional drawing of the vehicle hazard areas to be protected before we design a fire suppression system,” he explains. “We do not manufacture portable extinguishers or kitchen systems, etc. We specialize in and manufacture only vehicle fire suppression systems.”

The company’s systems feature clean agent fire suppressants that dissipate after discharge, eliminating clean-up. Clean agents do not harm the engine, wiring or sensitive electronic equipment, and required regular maintenance is minimal, Perrella says.

In addition to Jomarr’s OEM systems, the company also offers an inexpensive, disposable aftermarket product called the FireStick. Developed initially for military equipment and vehicle applications, the FireStick uses a combination clean agent and sodium bicarbonate fire suppressant and is easily installed, Perrella says.

The FireStick, which is compact and self-contained, discharges automatically from a self-activating, temperature-sensitive delivery tube and requires no mechanical or electrical power. The FireStick is ideal for areas such as vehicle battery boxes, electrical cabinets, cargo areas and generator areas. It is available in various sizes, from 8 inches in length, which provides 15 cubic feet of coverage, to 32 inches in length, providing 130 cubic feet of coverage.

Kidde Technologies Inc.

The control panel for Kidde’s automatic fire suppression system alerts the driver to detection of a fire with visual and audible alarms.

Kidde Technologies Inc. prides itself on providing support to customers. “Kidde’s been in business for about 100 years, so our background in fire protection is very in-depth,” Kidde’s Peoples says. “We work closely with the customers to determine what their needs are and what’s the best way to attack the type of fires that they’ve had, whether electrical or fuel related.”


Peoples says causes of fires on school buses tend to be related to the cables going from the battery to the alternator and starter. “If you don’t have your detection systems either attached to those cables or in close proximity, then your detection time can be delayed considerably.”

Installing the system correctly from day one is important, Peoples says, to reduce the amount of maintenance required over the life of the system. “We try to eliminate as much maintenance as we can, but some of it is driven by regulations, like from the DOT [U.S. Department of Transportation],” he says. “We don’t have a lot of components. The simpler it is, the better it works and the easier it is to maintain. After you have a fire and determine what the cause was, depending on the amount of damage the fire may have caused to any of the components, you would just put in a new extinguisher.”

The company offers free onsite training for the life of the vehicle equipped with its products. In addition, Kidde sends an engineer to certify the installation of its fire suppression systems on a group of vehicles. “That gives the customer something to fall back on, that a factory representative has gone in and said, ‘Yes, it was installed correctly to do the job as it was intended.’”

The Kidde automatic fire system is compatible with diesel, CNG, LNG, LPG, hybrid-electric, hydrogen, methanol and gasoline-powered vehicles. The system can be used on vehicles with 12- or 24-volt electrical systems and is highly resistant to shock, vibration and environmental extremes.

The system features supervised circuitry, adjustable engine shutdown and extinguisher discharge time delays, manual discharge and driver-enabled override. Major components include control panels, high-speed infrared, linear thermal and spot thermal fire detection, and dry chemical extinguishers. In addition, Kidde manufactures a combustible gas sensor that can be added to the system to continuously monitor for gas leaks.

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Thanks for the great article and its valuable information. Fire suppression systems should be made compulsory in all commercial vehicles.

Anchor Electric(http://an    |    Oct 08, 2010 12:09 AM

The story quotes the base price of a bus but never mentions the price of the suppression system.

Rick Davis    |    Aug 09, 2010 08:17 AM

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