Massachusetts Utilities Improve Gas Safety with FireBag® Thermal Activated Shutoffs (TAS)

Meeting MA fire safety requirements1, the TECO® FireBag® thermally activated shutoff (TAS) automatically stops gas supply when the ambient temperature reaches 203˚-212˚F.

This passive gas safety device prevents gas from feeding a fire and averting large scale incidents. Significant safety is achieved without the need for expensive actuators, electrical power, heat detectors, or fire detectors.

Teco® SRL (Italy) developed the TECO FireBag, an automatic and reliable thermal shutoff, based on extensive experience in Germany, where thermal gas shutoff devices have been required in homes since the ’90’s. The TECO FireBag currently protects millions of homes throughout the world.

FireBag Video

How the TECO FireBag Works

The TECO FireBag thermal shutoff off consists of a zinc-plated steel pipe that contains a small device that responds to high temperatures. This device contains a plug, a spring, and a fusible metal alloy. Fusible alloys are a reliable technology also commonly used in emergency fire sprinkler systems. When the ambient temperature near the TECO FireBag reaches a trigger temperature of 203˚-212˚F, the fusible metal alloy melts, releasing the plug, and thereby shutting the flow of gas through the steel line.

The National Fire Protection Association standards call for the fire department to reach the scene of a fire within four to six minutes, 90% of the time. Yet, firefighters say a fire doubles in size every minute. The TECO FireBag closes the gas fuel source within 60 seconds – preventing the fire escalating at least eight times its size – even if the firemen are able to reach the fire under the best of circumstances. Given the time to manually reach and shut off the gas supply at the curb valve, the elapsed time that the gas continues to feed a fire without a thermally activated shutoff is much more than four to six minutes.

In addition to automatically shutting off the gas supply within 60 seconds, the TECO FireBag’s sturdy small mechanism can withstand 1,697˚F for 60 minutes, giving plenty of time for first responders to reach the home or industrial building and turn the gas supply off from the curb.

The TECO FireBag saves lives, prevents extensive property damage, and provides the utility with evidence that the gas supply was automatically shut down.

Since the TECO FireBag is a passive device and only triggers in a fire situation, it is virtually maintenance free. No regular inspections are required. No fire or heat detectors are required to automatically intercept the gas flow.

Where the TECO FireBag is Used

The TECO FireBag is used at the gas meter, with multi-meter gas manifolds, and an also be installed at each gas appliance. At the gas meter, it can also be supplied with a blank fitting to keep the distance the same on the inlet and outlet of the meter to insure a level installation.

TECO FireBag Thermal Activated Shutoff (TAS) Features

  • Fast activating trip temperatures of 203°-212°F, providing a gas-tight positive gas seal
  • Once triggered, TECO FireBag TAS remains active (closed) in temperatures up to 1697°F for one hour
  • Can undergo mechanical or thermal stress without misshaping, as thermal cooling occurs after a fire is extinguished.
  • Tested & Approved to for gas systems operating from inches water column to 100 psig MAOP
  • Approved for Indoor & Outdoor piping applications
  • NO external power or detectors required to activate
  • Does not require regular inspections like active safety devices
  • Manufactured and Tested to DIN 3586 Standards
  • Approved for use by Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) – Installation and Design of Automatic Gas Shut Off Devices G.L c. 164, § 75A (2012)
  • Approved for use under CMR 248, Mass Fuel Gas & Plumbing Code (2011)
  • Over 12.5M TECO FireBag devices installed worldwide, with greater than 50,000 in the United States

Certifications

The TECO FireBag is certified for domestic and international thermal gas shutoff standards, including:

  • Massachusetts D.P.U. MGL Section 75A of Chapter 164, Ruling #14899 (March 1974)
  • Tested and certified by Gas Technology Institute (GTI) according to DIN 3586 testing procedures (2013) (2019)
  • Meets and exceeds DIN 3586 thermo activated safety device for gas applications
  • European UNI EN 1775 Standard for indoor gas installations
  • European Directive 90/396/CEE certification for durability in mechanical or thermal stress
  • German DVGW TRGI 86/96 Standard for thermo-activated locking systems on gas heaters, water heaters & domestic gas fittings
  • German Standard Muster-Feuerverordnung (FeuVo v. 02/95 – edition 9/97) for thermal-activated devices
  • Italian UNI 7129 Ed 2001 Standard for fire protection & gas supply line components
  • Independently tested by GTI for OTD Member Companies

1 Chapter 164 section 75A of the Mass General Laws