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A Fire Suppression System could Save your Harvest

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The fire suppression industry has experienced a number of recent changes, including an increased need for suppression in varying situations– from wildfires, to installation of commercial suppression systems, there is great demand for fire suppression services. 

With this growth comes increased risks— it’s important to make sure you are protecting your business and your employees from potential threats. Central Insurance Agency is prepared to provide you with a custom insurance solution to fit your needs.

Although the case below details risks faced by European farmers, similar factors pose a threat to both farmers and fire suppression companies here in the United States.

A fire suppression system could save your harvest

By Gordon Davidson for TheScottishFarmer

Fire suppression systems could save lives, combines and this year’s harvest, according to rural insurer NFU Mutual, which is now offering financial incentives to persuade farmers to fit them.

“Combine fires put lives at risk, cause huge disruption to harvesting and destroy expensive machines so we’re very pleased to introduce insurance discounts on combines fitted with accredited suppression systems,” said Tom Murray from the Agricultural Vehicle Underwriting Team at the Mutual.

“Sometimes engine bay fires can break out despite regular maintenance and removal of debris, but suppression systems mitigate risks and significantly reduce the severity and frequency of farm fires.”

To forcefully make this point with live demonstration, the insurer partnered with suppression manufacturers Fireward and agricultural salvage firm Adam Hewitt Ltd to set fire to a combine and put an accredited P-mark system to the test.

Mr. Murray explained: “Tests have shown that fires can be reduced or prevented altogether by suppression systems. When an engine bay catches fire, it needs to be rapidly detected, effectively contained, and quickly extinguished. Suppression systems are also effective on fires involving solid combustibles, flammable liquids and electricity.”

The P-mark approved suppression kits involve dual agent systems which have two cylinders, one with powder and the other with a foam. The powder acts by interrupting the chemical reaction taking place and cutting off the oxygen supply. The foam suppressing agent in the second cylinder rapidly cools superhot surfaces of over 200°C in larger engine bays which also hold turbo chargers and filters.

NFU Mutual is all too aware of the devastation and stress caused by combine fires during the busy harvest period – in 2020, it dealt with more than 80 combine harvester fires.

Bob Henderson, who heads NFU Mutual’s engineering team, said: “Wider adoption of fire suppression systems could be a serious game changer for arable farming – helping protect lives, property and the year’s harvest. While insurance can cover the cost of a replacement, farmers still risk losing critical harvesting time during a tight weather window and huge difficulty hiring a combine when machines are in high demand.”

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