According to the National Fire Protection Association U.S. municipal fire departments responded to an estimated average of 51,600 fires per year involving ignition of flammable gas as the type of material first ignited, including 20,260 fires per year in or at homes and 31,340 fires per year in or at other properties. These fires caused estimated losses of 168 civilian deaths per year, 1,029 civilian injuries per year, and $644 million per year in direct property damage.
A leak or break was a factor contributing to ignition for 22% of home structure fires starting with flammable gas and for 28% of non-home structure fires starting with flammable gas. In addition, local fire departments respond to an average of 340 natural gas or LP-Gas leaks per day with no ignition.
Although gas leaks are much more common than gas ignitions, they can be precursors to devastating events. To combat this growing trend of events TECO SRL together with TECO® Americas has created the FireBag®, a thermally activated gas safety shutoff. The FireBag, when exposed to fire, will automatically trigger releasing a plug to stop the flow of gas from feeding the fire. This limits the severity and fuel load of the fire event.
Significant safety improvements are achieved without the need for expensive actuators, electrical power heat detectors, or fire detectors. In this video we will see how the FireBag activates to stop the flow of gas. In this demonstration held in Pennsylvania we see the FireBag in action as it closes stopping the flow of gas and resulting fire.
The FireBag thermal activated shutoff consists of a zinc-plated steel fitting containing a fusible metal alloy and spring, which when exposed to fire releases a plug producing a metal-to-metal seat creating a tight seal. The fusible alloys are a reliable technology also used in many fire sprinklers.
Manufactured to DIN 3586 Standards, the FireBag can withstand 1,697˚F for 60 minutes, allowing time for first responders to reach the dwelling and turn the gas supply off from the curb. Since the FireBag is a passive device and only triggers in a fire situation, it is maintenance free, and requires no regular inspections. No fire or heat detectors are required to automatically intercept the gas flow. After activation the FireBag is replaced and the gas flow can then be turned back on.
The FireBag can be installed at various locations upstream of the gas meter and is designed for use on indoor or outdoor, single meter and multi-meter installations, with pressure ratings ranging from inches water column to100 psig. FireBags come in various sizes, ranging from ¾ inch to 2 inches.
If you listen closely, you can hear the activation of the FireBag and see the fire extinguished as the fuel source has been shut off. With the FireBag installed a reliable method to protect property and the public from flammable gas fires is achieved. A safer environment to extinguish the fire is obtained for emergency personnel. And natural gas utilities and propane companies now can provide evidence of a positive gas shutoff when fire occurs, fulfilling an obligation to the public to demonstrate best efforts in creating a safe method for the delivery of flammable gas. That is why in Europe thermal gas shutoff devices have been required in homes since the 90’s. The FireBag currently protects millions of homes worldwide and over 100,000 in North America alone.
For more information or to purchase the FireBag please contact TECO Americas at (908) 488-0909, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://tecoamericas.com .