When it comes to construction, cranes and lifting equipment are the rock stars. They lift the loads that allow us to construct buildings to ever-increasing heights as well as performing myriad other tasks on the job. Cranes also represent a significant financial investment and are commonly the most expensive piece of equipment at the site. If the crane goes out of service, at worst, the job shuts down; at best, the job is severely impeded.
When most people consider crane accidents, they picture an overturned crane or a crane that has come into contact with power lines, and yes, these incidents do happen. But the equally (or worse) destructive risk associated with fire is rarely considered, and it absolutely should be. Further, cranes are expensive. A tower crane can easily sell for over $1 million USD while smaller, mobile cranes range from $150,000 AUD up to $500,000 USD.
With so much riding on a single piece of equipment, it is foolish not to protect it.
Thankfully, crane fires are not that common, but when they do happen, they often make international news. A quick internet search for “fires involving cranes” brings up a multitude of incidents with some of them having tragic outcomes—such as the death of the operator. In Australia, everyone old enough to remember probably recalls the crane fire in Sydney that collapsed onto the construction site where miraculously, no one was injured.
While cranes and lifting equipment are usually well built, they are nevertheless good candidates for a fire. As many cranes are diesel-powered, the heat and fuel of the diesel engine can be a competent source of ignition. In addition, there are hydraulic systems and complex electrical systems with all having the capability to ignite a fire. Even electrically operated cranes face a substantial fire risk from electrical faults, overheated motors, and/or battery storage systems.
A fire of any magnitude on a crane will remove it from service. Even if the damage is not catastrophic, the crane will be out of service while it is being repaired and recertified. If the crane in question is the primary tower crane for a construction site, the site will be shut down for crane operations for a significant period of time.
Next, consider a crane fire that results in the total loss of the machine—a huge financial hit. However, that may not be the biggest expense. The cost and penalties from downtime, lost productivity, and failing to meet construction deadlines may actually add up to even more than the price of a new crane.
There can be no question that the efficiency and profitability at a job site is dependent upon having functional lifting equipment. When you consider that in combination with the actual financial investment involved, cranes and lifting equipment should be among the most-protected assets on the job site. Sadly, this often is not the case.
With Stat-X® condensed aerosol fire suppression systems, there is no reason not to fully protect your cranes and lifting equipment. The Stat-X units can be easily installed in engine compartments, electrical cabinets, and hydraulic enclosures. Depending on the application, they can be tied to a fire detection system, or the agent dispensing unit itself can be designed to discharge at a set temperature.
The Stat-X condensed aerosol agent quickly and effectively suppresses fire in its early stages, thereby minimizing damage to the equipment and shortening downtime. The agent itself is non-damaging to sensitive equipment and requires minimal clean up after being discharged.
Stat-X units are built to withstand the rigors of the construction environment and, unlike other types of fire suppression systems, can easily and quickly be retrofitted to your existing equipment. Yet another Stat-X benefit over traditional fire suppression systems is the minimal testing and maintenance requirements. Compared to other systems, your Stat-X system is essentially maintenance-free.
You have every reason to protect your most valuable assets on the construction site. With Stat-X, your cranes and lifting equipment can be protected from the devastating consequences of a fire that disables or destroys your primary lifting device. And extending that protection to your personnel working on or around the equipment — priceless.