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Fire suppression portfolio boosted with low pressure foam spray technology

Home Engineering Engineering & Allied Supplies Fire suppression portfolio boosted with low pressure foam spray technology

INTEGRATED Fire Technology (IFT), the new trading name of Fogmaker South Africa, has boosted its fire suppression line-up with the addition of QTEC fire suppression solutions, having secured the distribution rights for the supply of this premium brand’s low pressure foam spray system in Southern Africa with sole distributorship in South Africa.

“While our company has established itself as a prominent and reputable provider of fire detection and suppression for mobile equipment with our renowned and highly effective Fogmaker high pressure water-mist fire suppression system, QTEC extends our product offering into the market,” says managing director of IFT, John Russell.

“Our decision to diversify our product portfolio has been driven largely by an increasing demand from our customer base for a foam-based fire suppression system required beyond our traditional applications for mobile equipment and enclosed spaces.”

QTEC’s scalable and versatile system provides a fire suppression solution for fixed plant applications such as conveyor belts and diesel and oil storage tanks, as well as large, semi-enclosed or open mobile equipment such as draglines and large excavators. “This makes QTEC suitable for a vast spectrum of applications in industrial and commercial sectors including mining, ports & harbours, processing plants and general industry.”

Russell adds that in IFT’s experience both the mining and general industry are facing a tightening of compliance requirements driven mostly by insurance companies and governmental legislation compliance enforcement around personnel safety and asset protection.

Each type of fire suppression system, whether foam, mist or aerosol-based, is by its very nature restricted to certain applications. “As specialists, we ensure that the system selection matches the application,” says Russell. “Certification and regulations also have to be taken extremely seriously. To this end, we only supply systems that meet local and international legislative requirements. One of our biggest challenges is educating industry on the dangers of installing non-certified, inferior fire suppression products. The consequences of a sub-quality uncertified product failing in the event of a fire, can lead to damage or destruction of valuable assets, not to mention the danger posed to human safety. End-users need to be aware that insurance companies may not pay out claims if they are of the opinion that the installed fire suppression system is either non-certified for the application or not properly designed and installed to the required standards and regulations.

QTEC’s business development manager, Geoff Smith, explains that QTEC is designed and manufactured in Australia to meet the stringent requirements of fire suppression within the Australian mining industry. Further, in line with a global trend regarding fire suppression foams, QTEC makes use of a 3% foam which is free of Fluorine, PFOS and PFOA (F3).

Countries like Australia are taking the lead in moving away from Fluorine-based foam.”
Smith explains further that most foams are pseudo-plastic based which are typically used by firefighters as they are cheaper to mass produce and suitable for most types of fires.

“The foam used in the QTEC system is Newtonian-based which, compared to pseudo-plastics, does not change viscosity under pressure and as a result is much more stable.” He also weighs in on the benefits of a low pressure system. “No special tooling or pumps are required to recharge the cylinder which can be charged to a maximum of 15 bar using commonly available tools.”

Smith visited South Africa to train IFT technicians and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to install and service the QTEC system for customers locally as well as in neighbouring countries. A large number of Australian drilling and mining contractors and operators across Africa are highly familiar with the QTEC system. “Our aftermarket expertise extends to the servicing of QTEC systems installed by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) on mining equipment exported to the African continent,” adds Smith.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we make sure our technicians are properly trained and certified to install and service our range of fire suppression systems,” says Russell. “We also offer customer training on how the system operates and in the event of a fire, the steps to follow to ensure safe operation and evacuation.”

IFT’s head office is supported by service technicians based at the company’s South African branches in Steelpoort, Rustenburg and Durban, and other operations in Africa. “We are also rolling out a partner distribution network in key areas, including the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Botswana and Zimbabwe and the DRC,” says Russell.

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