For the 2018 season the MSA blue book features a significant regulation change which effects fire extinguishers fitted into competition vehicles. To directly quote the blue book ‘All extinguishers must be serviced in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines, or every 24 months, whichever is sooner.’ The purpose of this article is to clarify this regulation change, outline the implications for the systems already in service and offer alternatives to competitors who have system which are out of date.
The standout driver safety product at the recently-held Autosport International Show at the NEC, was undoubtedly Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems’ new Zero 3620 fire suppression system which will have an extremely wide appeal across all forms of off-road motorsport, from WRC to extreme rally raid events.
FIA regulations for the current type of product have been in force since 1998 and the new framework, with which Zero 3620 complies, will be introduced with effect from 2016.
As background to development of Zero 3620, Jim Morris, managing director of Lifeline, explains the FIA’s new testing protocol: “The FIA have deemed there should be the ability for any system to deal with a bigger and more severe engine bay and cockpit fire, more quickly and more effectively, over a greater area.
“In considering the technical parameters involved, it was obvious to us that we would need to develop a system that would act quicker than anything we have produced before. What our engineers have come up with is a system so advanced that we already have two patent applications pending on it.”
The net result of months of research and development testing is a unique two-stage deployment, which knocks the fire out in milliseconds and, moreover, immediately prevents re-ignition. Because of its short reaction time, Zero 3620 uses less 3M™ Novec™ 1230 extinguishant, resulting in a lighter system, which reduces the vehicle’s overall weight.
“We are well ahead with production scheduling in our new factory with this product,” continues Morris, “and we expect to be able to supply orders as soon as the homologation is in place, well in advance of the mandatory deadline.”
Interested teams and constructors wishing to know more, should contact Lifeline’s technical sales team on +44 (0)24 7671 2999
Lifeline Fire and Safety Systems are based in new premises in Falkland Close, Coventry, UK and have a worldwide network of distributors whose contact details can be found on the Lifeline website www.lifeline-fire.co.uk