Fighting Fires

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Written by Tim Suddard

From the March 2017 issue

Posted in Shop Work ,Safety

Fire in a race car is a dangerous and undoubtedly terrifying experience. Just ask our friend, pro racer Charles Espenlaub: He once had a race car explode into flames around him. Thanks to proper gear and quick thinking, Charles survived to race–and win–another day. This experience was shared on grassrootsmotorsports.com

We don’t plan on catching fire, but if our Triumph does, we’d like to end up healthy like Charles, so our interior redo included a new fire system. Vintage race sanctioning bodies generally require only a hand-held fire extinguisher, but we had already been running a small plumbed Halon system that we installed some 12 years ago. We now wanted something a bit bigger.

Halon is a very effective, very clean fire-fighting agent. Unfortunately, it’s also not friendly to our atmosphere, so it hasn’t been produced since 1994. Any Halon currently offered for sale is recycled or reclaimed.

Alternatives to Halon now exist, though. Lifeline Fire and Safety uses AFFF, an extinguishing agent that is inexpensive and easy to refill, and does not harm the environment. Lifeline offers a complete FIA-approved system with everything needed, including explicit directions and all-metal fittings, for just $399. That’s way cheaper than paying hospital bills or replacing a race car. We were sold.

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Reader comments:

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
Oct. 12, 2017 3:51 p.m.

That's a surprisingly reasonable price.

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster Reader
Oct. 12, 2017 4:05 p.m.

Yeah, that price had me thinking pretty solidly about even for a street only car

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
Oct. 14, 2017 2:14 p.m.

That is a great price!!!  

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
Oct. 15, 2017 7:42 a.m.

Better safe than story. And it took about an hour or two to install.

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