Firetrace was first invented by Dave Melton in the mid 1980’s when he realised that linear detection tubing offered more reliability, flexibility and simplicity compared to traditional detection methods. The product was further developed over the next few years, and underwent a rigorous test programme when the system was used to protect a petrol vehicle racing across the Sahara desert in the Paris Dakar rally.
Following this successful test the product was then showcased on the BBC Tomorrow’s World programme in 1990 and then was subsequently featured on BBC Top Gear soon afterwards.
This exposure generated a large amount of interest in the product and by the mid 1990’s it was being used to protect numerous risks including vehicles, electrical enclosures and laboratory fume cabinets.
The Firetrace concept soon spread around the world and a license was granted to Firetrace International USA to sell the products on a global scale. By 2005 the International sales became so large that the product rights were purchased and Firetrace Limited and Firetrace International became separate companies. Both companies still exist today with Firetrace Limited now concentrating solely on the UK & Ireland market.
There are now over 60 000 Firetrace systems supplied in the UK alone, and in excess of 250 000 around the world. Firetrace systems continue to be the preferred choice for a multitude of applications and further enhancements of the valves and principals now mean that the potential applications are almost endless.
The Principle of Firetrace
The principle is a simple self-activating fire suppression system that offers the widest versatility and is absolutely safe against malfunction, which results in the best cost-performance ratio. It does not rely on any complex electronics or any moving parts.
How Does It Work?
The system employs a flexible detection and delivery system called Firetrace Tubing. The tubing is manufactured from specially processed polymer materials to achieve the desired heat detection and delivery characteristics.
The Firetrace Tubing, which is pressurized, is placed within an enclosed area above potential fire hazards and secured in place with fixings provided. Extinguishing mediums can be matched to the particular application. Various system sizes are available.
The Direct Firetrace system discharges the extinguishant directly from the burst hole in the tube, this will be the closest point to the fire, and will allow the fastest extinguishing time and minimum spread of the fire.
The Indirect Firetrace system discharges the extinguishant into the protected area via plumbed diffusers that are initiated by the Firetrace tube bursting.
The Advantages of the System
Firetrace automatic fire suppression systems do not need any external energy / power supply. This makes it cost effective as no electrical installation / wiring is required. The system is always operative even during energy break down. The various methods of installation of the automatic detection tube allow adaptation to almost any object or fire risk that requires protection.
The Firetrace automatic detection tube should be considered as a lineal heat / flame detector. When the temperature is increased to above 120°C or the Firetrace automatic detection tube is touched by a flame the tube bursts and initiates the diffusion of the extinguishing medium.
The simple design of the automatic fire suppression system allows for a minimum of maintenance work. There is a greatly reduced risk of malfunction because there are virtually no moving parts, which reduces the risk of false alarms. The Firetrace automatic detection tube is capable of working even when contaminated with oil, dust and debris as long as the contamination will allow heat to pass through to the tube.
The maintenance of automatic fire suppression systems is necessary to ensure system reliability, and the periodic discharge requirements are comparable with standard portable fire extinguisher. In comparison to traditional automatic fire suppression systems Firetrace is inexpensive to install and because of the simple design it does not require specialist equipment or highly trained installers.
Vibrations or similar disturbances minimally affect the automatic fire suppression system since there are no mechanical function mechanisms or electric contacts, unlike traditional higher cost systems.
Continuous development and testing of the product’s components enables us to offer BAM approved High Pressure Firetrace systems, suitable for C02 and all other high pressure applications. It should be noted that any automatic, remote or high-risk installation should have automatic fire protection. The system has the ability to provide this automatic protection. The examples of areas that could benefit from installation are vast and the additional market opportunities are virtually unlimited. The price performance relationship is cost effective and opens up many new markets.
- Cost effective.
- Minimal extinguishant.
- Totally pneumatic.
- Easy to install.
- Certificated training course.
- Full after sales back up.
- UK based factory.
- CE marked products.
- Can be fully integrated with existing alarm systems.
- Over 20 years “in field” experience.