Month: June 2017

CNC & Machine Tool Fire Protection

The number of CNC machines throughout the world has grown dramatically as they have become established as state-of-the-art equipment for milling, drilling, grinding, tapping, honing, turning and other operations critical to manufacturing. These machines can cost up to $200,000 each, and are designed to run 24/7 in a demanding, often grueling work environment.

Fires in CNC machines are commonplace. Using oil-based coolants, typically combustible petroleum or mineral oil, flash fires are reported as a “fireball” when oil mist is ignited.

Machine fires can be catastrophic for the operator, cause expensive down time, costly repairs, possible human injury, and damage to the plant and equipment. Fire protection of CNC and other machine tools is critically important. While sprinklers are often required by insurance, they will only control the spread of a fire throughout a plant.

Stat-X generators are a compact, economical and reliable fire extinguishing solution for protecting the CNC machine and operator. A Stat-X unit consists of an extremely rugged, sealed, stainless steel canister containing a stable, solid compound. The canister is durable and non-pressurized, and is designed to withstand the harshest environments.

Stat-X units are available either as electrically activated units, integrated with a variety of fire detection systems, or as manually activated units with a cable-pull action. They are available in several sizes, adaptable to a great variation of applications.

Typical CNC and machine tool installations include a single Stat-X aerosol generator installed with a linear heat fire detection system, an interface with the machine’s emergency shutdown system, and a release control panel. The simplicity of the system results in an extremely robust and versatile fire suppression system for the machine shop owner. Retrofitting into CNC machines is fast and easy, and requires minimum installation time.

In the event of a fire, Stat-X units automatically release ultra-fine particles and propellant inert gases, which quickly and effectively extinguish fires without depleting the oxygen levels and with no negative impact on the environment.

The Stat-X unit is designed to extinguish the fire in seconds, often even before an operator has time to react, and to put out the fire, enabling production to resume within an hour. Stat-X fire suppression systems are being used by hundreds of tools used by machine, and tool and die shops throughout the world. This is a proven solution that can save you downtime, costly repairs, and greatly reduce the risk of human injury.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Jack Menke
Jack Menke

Stat-X for First Responders

What is Stat-X?

The Stat-X compound is the most effective fire-extinguishing agent currently available – many times more effective than conventional agents by mass. The Stat-X First Responder contains the same compound used in the fixed Stat-X generators. The Stat-X First Responder works by interrupting the chain reaction of the fire. Potassium radicals are the main active component of the Stat-X aerosol. These potassium radicals react with the free radicals of the flame, which results in suppression. Stat-X does not deplete the oxygen level nor does it deplete the ozone layer or contribute to global warming.

Stat-X First Responders

The Stat-X First Responders are an innovative new tool that can be used in a variety of circumstances. The handheld generators are designed to deploy quickly – by simply twisting the ring pin to release the safety clip, pulling the ring pin and then tossing the First Responder into the fire. The fire suppression agent releases in 5 seconds.

 

Stat-X First Responder use by Police and Firefighters

There are many circumstances when police and firefighters would benefit from Stat-X First Responders. For any emergency worker who is the first on scene of a fire, Stat-X First Responders are an effective way to address a fire while waiting on additional resources to arrive. Especially for vehicle fires where the First Responder can knockdown the fire entirely.

Stat-X First Responders are also an effective way to address potential flashover when water isn’t available yet. The Stat-X First Responder can be tossed ahead of the firefighter to eliminate many of the contributing factors of flashover.

The Stat-X First Responder can be used in situations where firefighters or civilians are trapped due to an intense area of fire. Tossing the First Responder into the flames will provide immediate fire suppression.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Jack Menke
Jack Menke

12-year Hydrostatic Test for Kitchen Suppression Systems

Kitchen suppression systems are designed, tested, and approved to provide fire protection for commercial kitchen cooking appliances, hoods, and ducts. The suppression systems consist of an agent storage tank, manual release station, an automatic releasing mechanism, and supply piping that directs the agent to nozzles strategically positioned at heat sources in the kitchen.

NFPA 17 requires that every 12 years the agent-holding tank, whether it is a pressurized or non-pressurized system tank, must be pulled out of service to be tested.

For all systems, the agent storage tank must be pressure tested to ensure the integrity of the cylinder. There are many types and manufactures of kitchen commercial wet chemical systems, each one has different test pressures for the cylinder, which are set by the manufacturer. Once filled with water, and sometimes oil, the cylinder is capped off, then pressurized to the manufacture test pressure and held at that pressure for no less than 1 minute. These systems are often tested to almost two times the service pressure.

On a non-pressurized system, there is a cartridge that pushes the agent out of the cylinder. This cartridge is replaced every 12 years.  In some instances, these systems can have a burst disc that would need to be replaced before the 12-year hydrostatic test is scheduled.

Pressurized systems have valve stems, O-rings, and pins that need to be replaced. This is called a rebuild kit.

Once all of the cylinders are tested, dried, and documented they get filled back up with the proper wet chemical agent and put back into service if there is not any issues with the test pressures. All systems, both pressurized and non-pressurized, get new agent during a 12-year hydrostatic test. For certain suppression systems, hoses will need to be replaced at the 12-year hydrostatic test.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Joseph Reynolds
Joseph Reynolds

Customize Your First Aid Program

First Aid Programs are a necessary part of any workplace to address injuries and illnesses. Basic First Aid Programs include CPR training and quick response first aid basics. Other program elements include basic first aid intervention, basic adult CPR, and universal precautions for self-protection.

Your workplace First Aid Program should go further than the basics. Your program should cover specifics to the type of injuries that can occur on your work sites – shock, bleeding, poisoning, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies, and confined spaces.

The first step to customizing your First Aid Program is to obtain and evaluate information about injuries, illnesses and fatalities at your work sites. Some helpful records to utilize for this include the OSHA 300 log, OSHA 301 forms, Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier reports, or other safety records you may have available to you through your workplace Safety & Health Management program.

It can also be helpful to review data on injuries, illnesses, and fatalities for your industry. This will help you in preparing for potential hazards that are common in your industry, but which you may not have encountered on your work sites yet.

Once you have compiled data on the injuries, illnesses and fatalities you should address with your First Aid Program, planning and training are imperative. Supplies for First Aid response should be made available in easily accessible locations.  Employers are responsible for the type, amount, and maintenance of first aid supplies needed. The most thorough plans and supplies will not save lives without training your workers to respond in the appropriate manner.

Designating individuals with the skills necessary to undertake CPR and first aid responses will clearly outline responsibilities during an emergency. These individuals should receive thorough training, in all the areas determined essential to your plan, from certified staff for both CPR and first aid basics.

To help best prepare your workers in First Aid, obtain estimates on response times from local EMS and other rescue services. This will inform your trainers on how much first aid knowledge will be necessary to address emergency situations until professional help can arrive.

All First Aid Program policies and procedures should be written down, provided to your workers, and enforced by management. Be sure that all of your workers know the policies, including those that may not speak or read English. Your Program should be reviewed periodically to make sure it is in compliance with current first aid techniques and knowledge, as well as potential injuries and illnesses. Basic adult CPR retesting should occur every year and first aid skills and knowledge should be reviewed at least every three years. OSHA recommends training include hands-on aspects such as mannequins and partner practice.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. Learn more about Safety Training courses here. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Greg Lane

Precautions Needed for Confined Space Inspections

Life Safety inspections must be completed on all required devices, including backflow devices, regardless of where they are placed. A confined space is an enclosed area with limited space and accessibility that has the potential for a significant hazard to be present. A confined space is not necessarily designed for people to occupy it and has limited means of entry or exit, but is large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. Life Safety Inspections on devices located in confined spaces, if not performed properly, can lead to OSHA fines, technician injuries, or even death.

Possible dangers of confined spaces include toxic atmosphere, lack of oxygen, entrapment, explosive atmosphere, and physical hazards within the space. If hazards are present in a confined space then it is a permit-required confined space according to OSHA regulations. A non-permit required confined space is one in which all hazards have been removed.

To safely perform an inspection in a confined space, whether it is permit-required or not, precautions must be taken in order to avoid loss of life. To ensure safety, at least two technicians must be present when a worker is to enter a confined space. These two workers are the entrant and the attendant. An entrant goes into the space and performs the inspection; an attendant supervises the inspection and makes sure the space and the entrant remain safe.

Employers must ensure certain precautions are taken by workers whenever they enter a confined space. An employer is required to specify the exact precautions to be taken; train the workers in order to give them the knowledge to protect themselves and others; and plan how to rescue injured workers promptly and safely.

As a precaution for potential emergencies in confined spaces, OSHA also requires employers to develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue or emergency services in permit-required confined spaces. An employer who relies on local emergency services for assistance must ensure that the rescue workers are notified in advance and are available and prepared to respond; this includes having all necessary information to respond appropriately, safely, and effectively to the specific confined-space emergency.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Nick Duke
Nick Duke

When is a Backflow Pit a Permit-Required Confined Space?

A confined space is a space that is large enough and arranged so that an employee can physically enter, but has limited or restricted means for entry and exit, and is not designed for continuous occupancy. If a confined space contains serious hazards, then OSHA defines it has a permit-required confined space. Permit-required confined spaces must be identified and accessed with additional caution to protect workers lives.

A permit-required confined space has a configuration, or contents, that may present special dangers not found in normal work areas. These spaces may be poorly ventilated and, as a result, contain insufficient oxygen or hazardous levels of toxic gases. They may also present hazards to workers by not allowing them to keep a safe distance from mechanical and electrical hazards present in the space. Fumes from a flammable liquid that is used in a poorly ventilated area, can reach explosive levels in a permit-required confined space. Such hazards endanger both the workers in the space and any others who become exposed to the hazards when they attempt to rescue injured or trapped workers. Rescue workers have been injured or killed in a confined space because they did not have the proper training or equipment necessary to conduct a rescue safely.

In addition to the two workers (entrant and attendant), who are required for any confined space entry, to enter a permit-required confined space the workers also need additional equipment for safety. This includes any equipment that may be required for a worker rescue in the event a worker is stranded within the confined space. Required equipment includes atmospheric monitors, fall protection and extraction equipment, tripod, harness, and self-contained breathing apparatus.

To determine if your Backflow Pit is a permit-required confined space, you must evaluate the Backflow Pit to determine whether hazards exist or whether the work to be done in the space can create hazards. If the Backflow Pit contains an actual or potential hazard that can cause death, injury or acute illness, incapacitation, entrapment, or otherwise interfere with a worker’s ability to leave the space in an emergency, then it is a permit-required confined space.

Confined space entry and precautions for working in them is overseen by OSHA. OSHA defines a permit-required confined space as a space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Once you have determined if your Backflow Pit is a permit-required confined space, adequate precautions must be taken to prevent loss of life or injury for the workers who enter the space.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Nick Duke
Nick Duke