How Do I Reduce The Risks Of A Dust Collector Fire?

There are several methods available to reduce the risk of a dust collector fire. Fire prevention and mitigation for dust collectors should include: 

  • Spark arrestance (if near spark-producing processes) to minimize ignition risks in the ductwork and dust collector filter chamber. 
  • Installation of a fire/smoke detector that will sound an alarm and stop the collector if a fire is detected in the collector. This may be combined with a damper system to shut off airflow to the collector. 
  • A fire suppression/extinguishing system. This may be a water-based sprinkler system, a carbon dioxide gas (CO2) system, or a clean agent gas system such as RoboVent’s Supprex-200 system. 

Spark arrestance is one of the best ways to lessen the risk of a dust collector. These systems prevent sparks from reaching the filter chamber to ignite a thermal event. There are three basic approaches to spark control for dust collection systems:

  • Metal mesh or baffle systems that mechanically block sparks from entering the ductwork or dust collector intake. 
  • Centrifugal spark arrestance systems, which use centrifugal force to strip the thermal envelope from sparks. 
  • Detect-and-suppress systems, which use a sensor that activates a water- or chemical-based suppression system. 

Detect-and-suppress systems provide near 100% spark reduction, but are very expensive to install, operate and maintain. Water or chemicals used to extinguish sparks may also interfere with production processes. They are typically used for explosive environments and other high-risk applications. 

Mesh and baffle systems stop a majority of sparks, but not all. In addition, metal mesh spark traps require frequent cleaning to maintain efficient airflow and avoid the risk of a fire caused by buildup of flammable material on the screens.

A centrifugal spark arrestor, like the Delta3 Inline spark arrestor, is an excellent choice for most applications that produce a significant number of sparks. Sparks are extinguished by the centrifugal action, which forces burning embers against the walls of the device. When high airflow is maintained, most debris is cleaned out of the system, minimizing maintenance. In head-to-head tests against industry leaders, Delta3 Inline allowed zero sparks through at all tested airspeeds and had the lowest pressure drop. 

Read more about spark arrestance technologies.


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