T&D World Magazine

PSE&G Outfits Its Service Truck Fleet with Stat-X First Responders to Suppress Manhole Blazes

PSE&G will outfit its fleet of service trucks with Fireaway LLC’s Stat-X First Responders advanced aerosol-based fire suppression devices that can be tossed into a burning manhole to suppress a blaze within seconds.

“Stat-X First Responders are hand-held fire suppression devices for enclosed spaces that are clean, compact, cost effective and safe for the environment,” said James F. Lavin, chief executive officer of Fireaway, which manufactures the First Responders. “If fire breaks out, the device is activated, creating an aerosol that suppresses fire within seconds. It is ideal for confined spaces,” he said.

Marc V. Gross, president and chief operating officer of Fireaway, added, “Stat-X First Responders use the same highly effective, proprietary aerosol fire extinguishing agent as our Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) Listed fixed Stat-X extinguishing systems.”

Fires in manholes are rare but can be deadly without firefighting tools that enable a trapped worker to escape. The underground rooms, located primarily in more urbanized areas, contain the wiring that carries power through a utility’s service area. Should a fire break out, utility workers can toss the soda can-sized First Responder canister into the manhole and suppress the fire almost instantaneously.

PSE&G ordered kits containing dual canisters of Stat-X First Responders for its entire fleet of underground service trucks after a recent demonstration of the fire suppression system’s capabilities. Delivery begins immediately.

“The safety of our underground employees is of paramount importance to us,” said John Latka, PSE&G’s vice president of electric operations. “We want to ensure that our crews have the best tools available in every situation. After testing Stat-X at our Edison training center, we decided to outfit our 250 underground service trucks with this new device.”
That demonstration was what prompted PSE&G to order the new system. Assisted by the Edison Fire Department, Fireaway representatives ignited five gallons of diesel fuel into a simulated manhole, driving the interior temperature higher than 500 degrees. A thermal imaging camera inside documented the action when the Stat-X First Responder canister was tossed into the manhole. Within seconds, the fire was completely out, and temperatures began to drop immediately.

“The Stat-X First Responder is environmentally friendly, it operates under water and has a ten-year shelf life,” said Wayne Dora, Vice President of Guardline Fire and Safety of Elmwood Park, NJ, the distributor of the fire suppression product. “Stat-X saves lives and protects equipment and also keeps service disruptions to a minimum.”

Fireaway LLC www.statx.com

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