Established in 1975, Melvin Weaver & Sons has provided crop protection products for the agriculture industry for over 40 years. The company’s steady growth throughout these years generated the need for additional space at their Lancaster, Pennsylvania based facility. In summer 2014, Melvin Weaver began planning the construction of a 16,800-square-foot addition to its warehouse.

Having a long-time relationship with Kint Fire Protection, Melvin Weaver turned to Kint to explore fire suppression system options for its new warehouse. Kint initially recommended a dry chemical system solution similar to the one being utilized in Melvin Weaver’s existing warehouse.

However, after learning the existing system had previously malfunctioned, causing a discharge with tremendous clean-up costs and significant down-time, Kint began brainstorming.

Reliable, Customizable Fire Suppression Agent

We wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation"

Kint in-house engineer, Frank Hetherington, suggested the Fike PROINERT2 system. Once design and engineering was completed, Todd Van Wagner, Senior Solutions Analyst at Kint Fire Protection presented the solution to Linford Weaver, partner & son of Melvin Weaver.

We immediately began pre-fabricating the suppression nozzle pods so we could send them, along with all exposed pipe and fittings for painting,” stated Todd Van Wagner of Kint Fire Protection. “From the beginning, we wanted to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art system and installation that would serve as a showcase of Kint’s design and installation capabilities, as well as demonstrate the customers’ commitment to fire safety at their facility.”

PROINERT2 Project Protects Multiple Spaces

This substantial PROINERT2 project included 185 cylinders. And with Melvin Weaver’s business continuing to grow, the system can easily be modified for future expansion. In fact, another impressive feature of the PROINERT2 system is while it is designed to protect the overall space, it’s quite simple to individually protect any number of smaller spaces within it by using selector valves allow the system to direct suppression to only the spaces where it’s needed.

We take pride in providing our customers with the latest in technology and design,” continued Todd Van Wagner. “Melvin Weaver stores their product up to 20 feet high, so we had to come up with a design that would not interfere with the storing or moving of their product, but still cover the entire space.

Kint Fire Protection did this by designing and pre-fabricating custom nozzle pods to accommodate the different nozzle designs required for the space below 16 feet and the space above 16 feet. Once all nozzle pods were built, painted and placed, Kint filled in with the remaining pipe, detection, audio visuals and manual pull stations. Completed in April 2015, this project took approximately 160 hours of engineering time and 5 weeks of installation.

Meeting Local AHJ Requirements

An advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace)We received a state-of-the-art system that meets local AHJ requirements,” explained Linford Weaver, “And in the unlikely event of a discharge, our business will not be impeded with significant down-time or clean-up costs.” He continued, “Despite PROINERT2 being more expensive to install, FPGCS-002 over a 12-year period it’s actually quite a savings.

Another advantage of the PROINERT2 system is it utilizes argon and nitrogen (free to replace), so the only costs are labor and shipping of any replacement cylinders.

Steve Tierney, Fike Corporation regional manager stated, “PROINERT2 was a logical solution to Melvin Weaver’s problem as it prevents any down-time or costs to clean up any future potential discharges, saving Kint’s client money in the long run.”

Success Factors Of The System

  • Half the maintenance cost of dry chemical systems.
  • No cleanup costs, no down time, no loss of product in event of discharge.
  • Flexible system design and installation with ease of modification.
  • Suppression gas storage cylinders are all stored together at one location on ground-level, avoiding the storage space and weight capacity issues common with systems that require the cylinders be located very close to the area being protected.
  • Simple semi-annual inspections.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Recharge free for gas, only cost is labor.
  • Safety delay to protect workers.
Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

In A Busy Wildfire Season, Researchers Seek New Approaches
In A Busy Wildfire Season, Researchers Seek New Approaches

It makes perfect sense that a horrific wildfire season would come in the year 2020 on the heels of a pandemic. Dozens of major fires burned across North America in September, including 85 large uncontained fires and six contained fires across 12 states. Active fires have burned more than 3 million acres already, and 41,417 fires have burned almost 5 million acres year-to-date. The severity of the wildfire season is on track to surpass the 10-year average. Better understanding wildfires Global warming is often mentioned as a contributor to the wildfires, but there are other factors, too. Increasingly, researchers are looking to apply new approaches in address the risk of wildfires. They include tools such as deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand wildfires and to control their intensity. The model could be used to reveal areas of greatest risk for wildfires A new deep learning model uses remote sensing and satellite data to trace fuel moisture levels across 12 Western states, in effect tracking the amount of easily burnable plant material and how dry it is. After additional testing is complete, the model could be used to reveal areas of greatest risk for wildfires and to plan the best areas for prescribed burns. Led by a Stanford University ecohydrologist, the research was published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment. Recurrent neural network The model uses data from the U.S. Forest Service’s National Fuel Moisture Database, which amasses plant water content information from thousands of samples. Using a ‘recurrent neural network,’ the system leverages the fuel moisture data to corroborate measurements of visible light and microwave radar signals from spaceborne sensors that are tasked with estimating fuel moisture measurements. Newer satellites with longer wavelengths allow sensitive observations about moisture content deeper into the forest canopy. Estimates from the model are used to generate interactive maps that fire agencies may one day use to identify patterns and prioritize wildfire control estimates. Researchers are also working to analyze the impact of better and more efficient firefighting on the size and frequency of wildfires. The theory goes: When firefighters extinguish smaller vegetation fires, a consequence is the creation of an environment where wildfires are larger and/or more frequent. Natural cycle of regeneration Older woods will naturally catch fire from the sun’s heat to make way for fresh growth The theory is based on the premise that wildfires play an essential role in the periodic regeneration of forests. Older woods will naturally catch fire from the sun’s heat to make way for fresh growth. However, more efficient firefighting can disrupt the natural cycle and, along with global warming, aggravate the broader likelihood of larger and more frequent fires. Researchers at the WiFire Lab in California and the University of Alberta in Canada are using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the environment and provide recommendations for prescribed burns that can save some parts of the forest without interfering with the natural cycle of regeneration. Providing early warning of wildfires Equipment operated by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) caused 2018’s Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history. Because of the threat of sparking a wildfire, PG&E this year shut off power to 172,000 customers in Northern California on Labor Day weekend, for example. A concern is the threat of winds tearing down power line or hurling debris into them. Southern California Edison (SCE), another utility, warned that about 55,000 customer accounts could lose power. California utilities SCE, PG&E and San Diego Gas and Electric are helping to fund a network of ALERTWildfire video cameras in California that will help to provide early warning of wildfires. Video cameras keep watch throughout five Western United States to provide early warning, and the number of cameras is growing fast.

Should Firefighters And First Responders Use Face Masks?
Should Firefighters And First Responders Use Face Masks?

Should firefighters and other first responders be exempt from requirements that they wear face masks to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? The City Council of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, seems to think so. They are proposing an amendment to exempt first responders from complying with the city’s face mask ordinance. Amendment to Exempt first responders from face mask rule Specifically, the proposed amendment states, “Exempted from the requirements of the ordinance requiring wearing of face coverings include law enforcement personnel, first responders or other workers, who are actively engaged in their tasks, if wearing a face covering may hinder their performance.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone wear masks in public settings The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone wear masks in public settings, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained. The CDC does not specify a need to exempt first responders. However, there is a possibility that a mask could interfere with the work of firefighters or first responders, especially when they are performing tasks that require physical exertion. Face masks can inhibit communication among first responders Face masks, covering the mouth and nose, could also inhibit communication by muffling sound and obstructing facial expressions. Obviously, communication is of paramount importance for firemen working as a team in an emergency, or when a first responder is seeking to give clear directions to the public. The issue of face masks has been inexorably entwined with the well-being of first responders, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on during the infection spread, health officials dismissed face masks as a tool to avoid spread of the disease. They said that the masks were ineffective at preventing community spread and that, supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to be conserved for health professionals and first responders. Importance of face masks in controlling spread of COVID-19 However, the early advice was completely reversed in late March 2020 and masks have been advocated ever since. A mask, worn by an infected individual, reduces the dispersion of virus-laden droplets that spread the disease. Now, experts contend that any type of mask, including cloth or paper, can help to reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus. Expanding the use of masks to include those that are not conformant with the N-95 classification effectively eliminated any concerns about supply and helped to make the widespread use of masks the norm. To some extent, however, mask usage in the United States has been politicized and some see the requirements as an affront to liberty. Need for wearing face masks in public Masks are a useful preventative measure for firefighters working together in a communal area Fire and emergency departments face the same challenges as other businesses and institutions, as they seek to remain safe in a communal workspace. Masks are a useful preventative measure for firefighters working together in a communal area or when training or resting. Wearing masks in public also allows departments to model best practices and promote a positive perception of the department to the public. Disciplined use of face masks demonstrates unselfishness and respect for others. It communicates professionalism and concern for the greater good. Masks go a long way in saving lives of first responders Perception may also be an issue when it comes to the choice of masks, which become a de facto part of a uniform. Masks with political statements should be avoided, for example. Considering that dozens of American fire and EMS members have died of COVID-19 infection, since March 2020, the use of masks is another way that firefighters can work to save lives. However, sufficient flexibility is needed so that the use of masks does not interfere with other lifesaving duties.

What Are the New Trends in Firefighting Equipment?
What Are the New Trends in Firefighting Equipment?

Equipment is an important element in fighting fires, and in keeping firefighters safe. But what new needs are driving the development of equipment? How can equipment expand its role in fighting fires, or in managing building occupancy and traffic flow for that matter? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities in firefighting equipment?

vfd