Protecting MultiServ's Hot Work Vehicles Against Fire 

Global steel industry contractor MultiServ is saving lives using Kidde Fire Protection Services' FireServ fire detection and suppression systems.

MultiServ is the world's largest specialist steel industry contractor, processing 40m tonnes of slag and debris to recover 9m tonnes of steel annually at steel works around the world. The company's hot work mobile vehicles - slag pot carriers, hot metal ladle carriers, front-end loaders and excavators - handle molten steel and slag and the company has the best safety record in the business. Even for a company with the best safety record in the business, in such hazardous environments, accidents can still happen. Spilt molten slag, for example, can easily start a major fire, so the safety of its vehicle operators is MultiServ's number one priority.

MultiServ boasts an extensive safety programme and its vehicles use the best fire detection and suppression systems available. These come from Kidde Fire Protection Services which provides a total capability in this sector. At this year's SED exhibition Kidde is showing its FireServ fire detection and suppression equipment as fitted to a MultiServ's hot work vehicles.

The FireServ system operates in two ways. Firstly, all the fire detection circuits are monitored continuously and, if a fire occurs, automatic activation of the system sprays the main vehicle danger areas (engine, hydraulic lines and fuel lines) with a harmless liquid fire suppressant Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for three minutes. This knocks the fire down sufficiently for the vehicle to be driven away to safety, as its engine is not shut down during this operation.

Secondly, if a fire occurs in the cab of the vehicle, there is also an in-cab fire suppression system for the safety of the operator, which can be manually activated. This continuously sprays a people-friendly liquid fire suppressant, called FireStopper, inside and outside the cab and also along the escape route. This operation also automatically activates the main fire suppression system if activation has not already taken place.

Tony Horsfall, Director, Safety, Quality & Environmental Compliance of MultiServ, said that the main reason for using Kidde equipment in the first place was that the company had dealerships around the world, ideal for MultiServ which operates in 32 countries. The fact that Kidde was able to supply exactly the right equipment as standard was also an important factor.

Tony Horsfall, Director for Safety, Quality & Environment at MultiServ, said: "In terms of global coverage, Kidde is the best. Our prime concern, however, is for operator safety and Kidde's FireServ System provides us with an effective solution that will ensure operators are able to evacuate the vehicle safely without sustaining a burn injury. The liquid-based equipment not only puts out the fires, but also helps cool the vehicles when under fire".

Further information is available from George Easton at Kidde Fire Protection Services, Unit 2, Rawfolds Way, Spen Valley Industrial Park, Cleckheaton, Yorks. BD19 5LJ. Tel: 01274 875210.

More about MultiServ:

Harsco Corporation's MultiServ division, the world's single largest provider of on-site, outsourced mill services to the steel and metals industries, has recently realigned its worldwide operations as a unified, global organisation. The division is centrally headquartered in Leatherhead, UK, with principal responsibilities for overall strategic direction and technology development. A network of regional offices in Europe, the US, Latin America, South Africa and Australia continue to focus on these key operating sectors. As a single global team, MultiServ has ambitious plans to grow its scope of services and geographic spread through continued expansion. Employing nearly 10,000 people, the company operates at more than 160 mills in more than 30 countries, providing the world's leading steel makers with a comprehensive range of services that support and enhance virtually every phase of the steel making operation.