Do Not Get Burnt – Be Prepared

10/09/09… Pam Franz….copy of NASR E-News

The National Association of Speedway Racing recently announced a new mandatory pit area fire extinguisher rule affecting all speedway teams (with the exception of Karts)
Track operators, under their Track Licence Agreement with their insurance providers, must enforce this rule. This can be achieved many ways. A track could use their Scrutineers, Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Pit Safety Marshall or Division Representative to check every team.
This rule has not been generated lightly. It protects you, the racer and your investment in not only your lives but also racecar, transporters, parts and fellow competitors. It also protects the track at which you race.
The damage from a pit fire can be seen in the photos (below) taken during a drag racing meeting at the Perth Motorplex in 2006. Imagine this happening in a busy speedway pit area. Fast action must be taken and teams need the required equipment to extinguish any potential problems.
A fire extinguisher is simply another safety item in an overall race team tool kit that can be used to protect you in the pits, out on the road or even at home.
This fire occurred at the Perth Motorplex in 2006 when a crew member was refilling a petrol generator. The generator was not running and the fuel tank was located 3 metres away from the generator unit, both were in separate belly lockers of the transporter. The crew member was waring a nylon shirt and as he began to pour the petrol he heard an audible crack of static electricity before seeing a flash and explosion of twenty litres of fuel.

Fire Extinguisher Rule

All speedway teams are required to carry as a minimum in the pit area/transporters effective immediately:
A 2.0kg Dry Chemical Powder Extinguisher OR GREATER. It must strictly be used with the following compliance points:
1. The fire extinguisher is compliant with AS(Australian Standard)1841.5 and carries the Australian Standards Tick Certification sticker on the body of the extinguisher. AS1841.5 pertains to (powder extinguishers) design and commissioning standard.
2. The standard AS/NZS1841.1 also is stamped on the bottom or rim of the Extinguisher under the powder coat or paint. AS/NZS1841.1 pertains to (General Requirements) for Design, and Commissioning Standard.
Simply, most extinguishers imported into Australia usually carry these marks and or approvals. Please check for the above items before you buy.
3. The extinguisher must carry a yellow date tag. This tag is the last part of the requirement and it ensures that the extinguisher is serviced and maintained in accordance to AS1851 section 15. The tag should have the standard AS1851 printed on it. In simple terms AS1851 section 15 means a deemed competent person services the portable fire extinguisher routinely ever six months. Such checks include: accessibility, anti tamper device, operating labels, tag, damage, corrosion, hose condition, pressure indicator, head or cap assembly, signage, bracket, discharge nozzle. If serviced correctly all of these items should be a pass only. You may find the tags hard to find, a fire protection company will have them. Retailers like hardware stores etc won’t have them.
Other types of fire extinguishers that will comply to this ruling are:
9 Litre AFFF Foam extinguishers, AR or ATC type concentrate are the best types but AFFF will pass. These extinguishers must comply with compliance points 2 & 3 above.
9 Litre Cold Fire extinguishers. These extinguishers must comply with compliance points 2 & 3 above.
All of the above information was taken from AS1851-2005 (maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment) Australian Standard Professional Pack.