Leadership

FIRE PROTECTION THAT’S IN THE BAG

Issue 10 and Volume 143.

FIRE PROTECTION THAT’S IN THE BAG FIRE PROTECTION A unique fire protection measure developed for the nuclear power industry has proven its worth some 20 years later and has implications for fire service personnel involved in prevention and protection activities. To protect against fire spread in high-voltage electrical cable grouped in solid-bottom and solid-sided trays, personnel at the Oak Ridge (TN) Gaseous Diffusion Plant proposed and tested the use of vermiculite-filled plastic bags laid along cable tray runs. Depending on the location and the presence of power cabling, the bags of granular vermiculite are laid either directly on top of the cables or on steel wire mesh located above the cables and supported by sides of the cable tray. In a fire exposure, the plastic bag melts, releasing the vermiculite, which smothers the fire by excluding oxygen. The method was chosen as an alternative to automatic sprinkler protection for horizontal…

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