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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  20 May 2012

PETROCHEMICALS: Ideal Fire Fighting Recipe


Recent Western Cape Business News

THROUGHOUT the ages mankind has stood in awe of fire. Mostly it was put to good use if under control, but when it ran amok it usually had catastrophic results. The fear of uncontrolled fire runs deep.

There are four prerequisites that lead to a combustion process.

Flammable material.

Atmospheric oxygen.

The correct quantitative composition of flammable material/oxygen.

Ignition temperature.

If one of these is missing, a fire cannot break out. And to extinguish a fire, the burning material must be separated from the oxygen or cooled down to below the combustion temperature. This is exactly what fire extinguishing foam does.

One of the leading special risk fire protection companies, the Cape Town-based DoseTech, holds most all of the cards to be a specialist in fire protection foam dosing technology and special risk fire fighting hardware.

Managing director Mike Feldon explains that the breakthrough for DoseTech occurred 12 years ago when it introduced the FireDos technique to the local market. Initially there was some skepticism about the product, a proportional, positive displacement dosing pump system.

Nowadays though, thanks to the technology being better understood by the marketplace, demand is ‘on fire’ so to speak, according to Feldon.

In September 2009 the complete FireDos pump range received FM approval, a testament to the systems durability and performance.

Feldon says the product, which is marketed nationally, has aroused great interest, with the result that today several thousand admixing systems are in service throughout the world.

DoseTech holds the sole agency for FireDos in South Africa and has installed a number of deluge systems, seawater extinguishing systems, sprinkler and foam extinguishing systems.

A recent major breakthrough for DoseTech was it being appointed to upgrade part of a foam extinguishing system in a firewater ring at a refinery, including its tank farm. This was an initial order which could form part of a complete longer term replacement plan, according to Feldon.

A further boost in DoseTech’s fortunes was the 2010 appointment of the company as a sole agent for the well-known Akron range of products in South Africa. Akron, also FM approved, provides firefighting monitors, hand held nozzles and specialist firefighting tools.

Akron fire protection products cover a wide range of applications and risks with 96 nozzles variations, 65 monitor variations both mobile and fixed installation and a wide range of specialist hand tools. Feldon says there is already a huge base of Akron installations in South Africa.

We have brought Akron back to South Africa and find a keen demand, not only in new sales, but also for service and support and refurbishment”, he says.

We find the biggest need for Akron replacements in water monitors thanks to the fact that they have petro-chemical approvals and FM certification”.

A more recent addition to the company’s range of fire protection brands is James Jones fire hydrants, which are all UL and FM approved. Jones is said to be the innovator in the bronze wet barrel hydrant industry. A feature of the range is the number of options and combinations which provide for just about any configuration of braze wet barrel fire hydrant needed.

Importantly, DoseTech also holds the agency for the leading foam technology – that being of Dr Sthamer, best known for its foam fire extinguishing compounds which have been used successfully in fire systems for more than 80 years.

Feldon is keen to point out that the products in the DoseTech range either carry FM, or VDS approval and comply to NFPA and UAL standards.

Other products in the range include Johstadt portable fire water pumps and Scotty, products that gave been manufactured as high quality plastic applications in the marine and firefighting industries.

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