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Food for thought - Machine Fire


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Just been doing a round of shoes on my machine when I smelt the tell tail signs of a fire. ALL the machine fires I've had to-date have always been around the ports and a swift pat down or fire extinguisher blast have put it out, but today was different.

 

Quickly looked around couldn't see any thing but there was smoke! went round the back and the bag was smoldering so I dropped the dust tray away from the machine and gave the bag a shake to let every thing fall out of it, and gave the hole that had appeared some attention.

 

After the smoke in the room and subsided I stitched up the hole and gave the situation some concideration. Every thing was correct for me but what about YOU?

    I'd only emptied my machine this morning (coincidence) meaning fuel for the fire was at a minimum.
    I'd fitted a fire retardant dust bag a few months ago, would my old bag have gone up far quicker? (now I have an annoying repair in my nice new expensive bag!)
    I have my machine away from the wall enough to get down the back of it quickly and easily meaning I could get to the fire source instantly

After this episode I'd give serious thought to where your machine is placed or maintained it could happen to you! I was lucky but it could so easily have been the other way for me today!

 

I'm going to have a sit down and a cup of tea after that, BUT think about it, it could happen to any of us (with a 700) at any time consider how you'd put out a bag fire.

 

Lee

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that's a great post lee, a machine fire is something that's never entered my head but now that you've mentioned it i'll take it into consideration when we do our refit.

we have a work unit which was gonna stand next to our 700 so i'll think i'll put some castors on it to enable us to move it away quickly in the event of a fire.

 

how much was your fire retardent bag?

 

regards, rick.

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Get this bloody fishtank that everybody is talking about and place it on top of you finisher then break glass in case of fire :lol:

 

Thats given me the biggest laughter outburst from the forum so far! Our trade is going to get a reputation for having a bunch of lunatics working in it because we all keep laughing to ourselves.

 

Lee

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any machine with bags should not catch fire. they are designed to smoulder. this however still produces a lot of heat which, as you have identified, could set fire to the wall or anything behind the machine. when you smell burning or see smoke the worst thing you can do is panic. Panic if you see flames only. do not as is often the case, dump water all over it. what you did lee was perfectly correct, find the affected area and try to put out with powder or similar. water causes far more damage than the bag would ever do. in theory the bag could just melt away contendedly without setting fire to anything else but please dont try this theory out!

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I remember setting off one of those powder contraptions and got a shop full of pink talcum powder, took many months to get rid of it.

By the way, there are a number of people that are alergic to that dust and can end up in hospital with breathing difficulties.

My advice is that if you are going to discharge one of these devices then have a dust mask handy then get out of the shop until it has subsided.

Hoover it up afterwards, do not brush it up. (well that's my personal view but then again I'm not an expert in these matters).

I do wish that the manufacturers would design quick release bags, but hey, perhaps they have.

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I agree with Tel there I have both a co2 and water extinguisher within arms reach of my machine

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I have used the co2 one around 3 times since I've had the shop & I have one in the garage at home which saved my car only last year!

Years ago I let of a powder extinguisher which made a hell of a mess. Fortunately on this occasion I didn't need it, but it did make me realise how important all those small practices on health and safety are important, especially when as a small business its easy to over look them as we are more or less self regulating.

 

Lee

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Don't know about that one Hugh, But I'd rather have a banned extinguisher than none at all!

I have mine serviced every year and have replaced one recently and the company I use didn't mention that and as they are an all right type of company I would have thought they'd have told me.

 

I ordered a new bag yesterday and was told my old bag (which I thought was 6 months or so old was in fact 14 months old. The new bag should arrive soon.

 

Lee

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any machine with bags should not catch fire. they are designed to smoulder.
However at some point the heat will become intense enough for the bag to ignite wouldn't it? what are the time spans & heat resistance specs for the various bags?
Well at least you had the fire retardent bag which has helped Lee!
I agree and with such a small hole in the bag most wouldn't have replaced it, it also made the difference between being able to repair the bag and having to bin it! I am at least able to continue working until the new bag is fitted and have a fire retardant serviceable spare bag if any one whats to make me an offer on it :wink:

 

Lee

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i am wondering do you get more bag fires from finishers that are used as the main scourer compared with no let me put this adifferent way are you more likely to get a fire/bag melt from a finisher or a stand alone band scourer

if the answer is from a finisher then maybe if any of you have room for a band scourer maybe it would be worth investing in one just a thought.

regards paul

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  • 5 months later...
the bags dont ignite they just melt. i have seen a lot of bag fires now, the only problems have been wall coverings igniting or motors and wires melting when the bag is left to burn

 

Are these fire retardent bags fitted on all 700's, regardless of age of the machine?

 

Used to get a lot of 'smoulders' when working in the Arndale years ago but havent, touch wood, had one for years now.

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