February 20, 2015
US DOT Revises Definition of "Fire Extinguisher"

Kidde Recalls 4.6 M Disposable Extinguishers

Navy Unveils Firefighting Robot Prototype

US DOT Revises Definition of "Fire Extinguisher"

The US DOT, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), issued a revised section 173.309 effective January 8, 2015. The PHMSA amended several sections of the hazmat regulations �to maintain an alignment with international standards.�

An introductory paragraph was added to �193.309 that reads as follows:
173.309 Fire Extinguishers. This section applies to portable fire extinguishers for manual handling and operation, fire extinguishers for installation in aircraft, and large fire extinguishers. Large fire extinguishers include fire extinguishers mounted on wheels for manual handling; fire extinguishing equipment or machinery mounted on wheels or wheeled platforms or units transported similar to (small) trailers; and fire extinguishers composed of a non-rollable pressure drum and equipment, and handled, for example, by fork lift or crane when loaded or unloaded.�

Additionally, a section (e) was also added that reads:
�(e) Large fire extinguishers may be transported while unpackaged under the following conditions:
(1) The requirements of � 173.24(b) are met;
(2) The valves are protected in accordance with � 173.301(c) (2) (i), (ii), (iii) or (v); and
(3) Other equipment mounted on the fire extinguisher is protected to prevent accidental activation.�
Note: The reference in (e)(2) has an error that the DOT is aware of, and they are in the process of issuing a correction.

Additionally, the US DOT PHMSA issued an interpretation in 2014 that allows cartridge-operated extinguisher to be transported as Fire Extinguisher UN 1044 with the cartridge installed. However, if a cartridge is being transported separately (not attached to the fire extinguisher), it must be described in the shipping papers with the name and number of the appropriate gas.

Kidde Recalls 4.6 M Disposable Extinguishers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an alert regarding a faulty valve component in certain disposable Kidde fire extinguishers that can cause them not to fully discharge when the lever is repeatedly pressed and released during a fire emergency, posing a risk of injury.

A total of 4.6 million units in the U.S. and 175,000 in Canada are being recalled. For more information, view the CPSC alert. Or contact Kidde toll-free at (855) 283-7991 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.kidde.com and click on Safety Notice for more information.

Navy Unveils Firefighting Robot Prototype

Scientists unveiled a firefighting robot prototype on February 4, 2015, at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO, revealing details about its successful demonstrations last fall aboard the USS Shadwell, a decommissioned Navy vessel.

The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), walked across uneven floors, used thermal imaging to identify overheated equipment, and used a hose to extinguish a small fire in a series of experiments in November 2014. Read the news release to learn more about the robot


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Have you checked out NAFED's online training offerings yet? For the low, member rate of $29, you can watch training videos on wheeled, CO2- and water-type, or cartridge-operated fire extinguishers.