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Old 07-31-2004, 09:03 AM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
Putnam , Connecticut
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,064
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Fire Response System

Of course we all have smoke, fire, gas, and CO alarms. These helps if you are in the trailer. I've been noticing "fire" ads.
AS that have burn. So, since I am starting from gutted and building up I am thinking a fire system would be a good idea. Something that would protect my work should something go wrong.
Ideal system would shut off the gas and electric and then fill the coach with a suitable gas, activate an external alarm and call me on my cell. My house system calls the alarm guys so the last thing should not be that hard. The guy who lost his in his drive way started my thinking.

So when you party types get back from the VAC Rally please share your thoughts. Must have worried about this yourself?

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Old 07-31-2004, 10:14 AM   #2
Rivet Master
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
Lots of concerns.

1) detection without false alarms - are you going to detect smoke? heat? flame? combustion gases? How will information be gathered and processed?

2) impact of alarm on any residents in the trailer. (if you are sleeping and it goes off, do you get 'put out' too?)

3) power consumption, weight, and other related 'off grid and on road' factors.

4) impact of installation on safety by adding additional weak points and complexity to existing systems (turn off relays, more wiring, additional parts and pieces, ...)

5) maintenance and inspection issues

6) dowsing materials handling, storage, and dispersal mechanisms.

7) control and override management and utilization, even logging, adjustments, installation, testing,

8) training and documentation for use, maintenance, and repair.

9) alarm notification and communication - noise? automated telephone call? action verification and authorization?

10) impact on neighbours?

From what I can tell, you can run risks of fire to near zero by doing four simple things. (a) turn off propane at tank, (b) unplug electrical, (c) isolate (disconnect at source) battery, (d) make sure any flamables are properly stored - preferrably nowhere near trailer. The other side of disconnecting is, of course, proper preventive maintenance coupled with periodic inspection and testing.

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Old 07-31-2004, 11:12 AM   #3
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Posts: 152
If you want to stay correct with your insurance carrier you probably have to look at using what is termed an "FM 200" fire extinguishment system. The FM 200 refers to Factory Mutual underwriters that have national jurisdiciton in setting such standards. FM200 replaces the old Halon and Cardox (CO2) systems. These can be purchase in stand-alone single bottle systems - similar to underhood race car units. Good idea, somewhat expensive.

Water may be an option. Installing an actual fire sprinkler system uising fiberglass pipe and strategically placed heads may be the least expensive way to go. Underfloor and wall-mount heads. If a fire occurs the fusible link melts and water comes out of the respective head. Best if connected to a main supply of water, but could work on a pump. Of course there are considerations on a separate battery to assure operation if the fire were 12vdc in nature and shorts the main battery.
Best of luck with the project.
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Old 07-31-2004, 04:20 PM   #4
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Posts: 541
You could also look into a marine engine compartment fire control system although I know what you want is something in a larger size. However, a few of them spaced accordingly may do just as well.
Just adding my 2 worth

John G
1975 31ft Sovereign International
........Rear Bath Double Bed Model
Tow Vehicle:1999 GMC Serria SLE Classic 1500 5.7Ltr
System: Jordon 2020 Ultima Brake Controller
Hook-Up: Equalizing Hitch and Sway Bar
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Old 07-31-2004, 10:23 PM   #5
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1959 26' Overlander
Putnam , Connecticut
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I think it's the rare person who turns off propane and electric and disconnects batteries at the campground when they go for a walk or "into town". Most like a supply of hot water and a warm or cool coach when they get back. When you see the pictures of burnt trailers you got to think about it. A system you armed when you leave would help guard the trailer.
Frankly if there is a fire the last thing I'm concerned about is not bothering the neighbors. Never had a false alarm with the system in my house or in my office building.
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