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How to Protect Your Hydraulic System Investments With Fire Suppression

How to Protect Your Hydraulic System Investments With Fire Suppression

Posted 3/25/2024

Alt Title: X Effective Strategies for Protecting Your Hydraulic System Investments

Hydraulic systems are vital for many industries, but they tend to be extremely expensive. If you want to protect your investment, you'll need a proactive strategy to prevent fire, prevent damage, and generally keep the system healthy.

What are the best strategies to use to protect your hydraulic system investments?

Hydraulic Systems and Fire Risk

Your hydraulic systems are valuable, and there are many ways that you can preserve that value, such as through routine maintenance and periodic upgrades. But you also need to employ risk mitigation measures, specifically against fire.

Why is fire such a serious risk for a hydraulic system?

There are a few big reasons:

·       Ruptures. Hydraulic systems are designed to be highly reliable. They can withstand a tremendous deal of pressure, and they can hold up in even the most demanding environments. However, the possibility of a rupture is very real. If any component of your hydraulic system ruptures, it could release a massive spray of hydraulic fluid.

·       Flammability. Most hydraulic fluids are petroleum based, making them highly flammable. Just as you wouldn't want to light up a cigarette near a gas station pump, you don't want any major ignition sources to be remotely close to your hydraulic fluid.

·       Pressurization. Most hydraulic systems contain fluids at pressure of thousands of PSI. If and when there's a rupture in your hydraulic system, that crazy pressure will force the hydraulic fluid to spray out, potentially atomizing it in the process. In addition to posing an immediate risk to surrounding people and property, this atomized hydraulic fluid becomes exceptionally easier to ignite.

Fire Prevention for Hydraulic Systems

Your first line of defense is going to be fire prevention. In other words, you'll want to prevent fire as much as possible.

These are some of the best ways to do it.

·       Ignition source management. As much as possible, you should remove or mitigate ignition sources near the hydraulic system. If there's no major source of heat and little to no possibility of ignition, even a ruptured hydraulic system will be unlikely to burst into flames.

·       Maintenance and repairs. Your equipment, joints, and hoses require ongoing maintenance and immediate repairs whenever you detect damage. Hydraulic systems don't generally rupture by themselves; this usually occurs as a result of mismanagement or poor maintenance procedures.

·       Monitoring and alerts. You should also have an ongoing monitoring strategy, so you can immediately notice any problems with your hydraulic system and act on them before it's too late.

·       Fluid replacement. In some cases, replacing your flammable hydraulic fluid with another, less flammable variety can mitigate fire risk. However, this may not be an option for all industrial applications.

Why Fire Suppression Is Still Important

Fire prevention measures for hydraulic systems are useful, but they aren’t perfect. In addition to fire prevention, you need a strategy for fire suppression. That means deploying fire suppression systems that automatically detect and respond to fires in progress.

These are some of the most pressing reasons why fire suppression is so important, even if you have awesome fire prevention strategies in place for your hydraulic systems.

·       Prevention measures aren’t perfect. There's no such thing as a perfect fire prevention strategy, because there are still unknown variables to deal with and potentially chaotic sequences of human behavior. Just in case something goes wrong, you'll need fire suppression as a backup.

·       Human error plays a role. Even if you did have a perfect fire prevention strategy, there's no guaranteeing the human employees of your organization will be able to follow it perfectly. Even a small error can result in a disastrous fire.

·       Hydraulic systems are expensive. Hydraulic systems are incredibly expensive. Losing one to a fire can be extremely detrimental for your business, and that's not even counting the surrounding property damage you might sustain.

·       Fire suppression is inexpensive. In contrast, fire suppression is inexpensive. The cost of installing a modern common modular fire suppression system is negligible compared to what it could save you by mitigating a fire in progress.

·       Lives are invaluable. Fires don't just damage property; they also hurt and kill people. This can be expensive for a business, but on some level, lives are invaluable. You should do whatever it takes to keep your employees safe.

·       You’ll have peace of mind. If you consider yourself safety conscious, you may always feel a little worried that something is going to happen to your hydraulic system. An industrial disaster involving hydraulics can be catastrophic, both financially and with respect to the reputation of your business. With a fire suppression system in place, in addition to a fire prevention strategy, you'll be able to rest easily, knowing that your industrial application is safe.

Emergency Protocols

In addition to fire prevention and fire suppression, you should have emergency protocols in place so your employees know exactly what to do if something happens to your hydraulic system. Your fire suppression system should activate automatically, but it's still important to make sure that a firefighting team is deployed to your location and that employees know exactly how to evacuate the area.

While you’re at it, check your insurance policy to ensure you’re covered in the event of a destructive fire.

Your Hydraulic Fire Suppression System

At Cease Fire, we have a fully modular, self-contained fire suppression system that's ideal for hydraulic systems. It utilizes both FE 227 gas and a unique ABC powder to immediately combat flames, and it automatically responds to heat, so it starts protecting your hydraulic systems automatically and instantaneously. Even better, it can last for 12 years or longer with almost no maintenance requirements – and you don't even need a major plumbing rework to install it.

Are you ready to get started with a modular, clean agent fire suppression system for your hydraulic units? Do you have any questions about how our fire suppression systems work or how they can protect your hydraulic investment? We’re here to help you. Contact us today!