Looking for pre-plans on responding to cell tower fires. We now have 3 towers in town and no responds plan. My main concern is the little buildings with all the electronics in them. What do you use dry chem or foam? what type of voltage is it high/low. Batteries? If anybody can point me in the right direction that would be great.
In those huts you will find a mix componets that use 120vac, 240vac, as well as 12 and 24 vdc. Most will have large batteries throughout the racks as well as line power from the street. Some have backup generators with automatic transfer switches.
The best thing would be CO2, Halon, or something of the sort. Water and or dry chem will damage the equipment that the fire hasn't already toasted.
We have a pretty simple plan for them. RECCO, if no rescue we try dry chem, if that dosn't work we protect exposures and let if go. If the tower is compromised than we evacuate to 1.5 times the height of the tower. Theres not a lot we can do with them.
They have too many things that can hurt us for very little saved.
In my area, most of the electronics shacks next to the tower are portable containers, with CO2 fixed flooding systems for fire protection.
If the CO2 doesn't put out the fire, we would just protect exposures. The cell company can have a new container full of electronics in 24-48hrs on site and in operation.
At our sites, none of the facilities have fire supression any more. Many companies after a few incidents decided the cost benefit just was not there. This is pretty much the industry standard. You may find some old sites that
still have a system, but they are rare.
Halon or one of its derivatives is best, followed by CO.
Standing back and watching it cook - if you do not have the
proper equipment - is a good option also.
Water or dry chem? You are going to do as much damage as just
letting it burn.
This is assuming its a building. If the fire is actually on the tower,
rest assured it will burn out pretty quickly. If it is in a monopole, I
would stand back and let it smoke. A monopole fire quickly weakens the
integrity of the tower - its going to fall anyways, either right then, or
a few days later with help.
Stand back to say the lest. If you've never seen a radio tower collapse, it is quite the sight and not something you want to be anywhere near. If the fire is involving the tower support structure, you have a collapse zone that is at least 1.5 times the height of the tower. Most standard unlit towers are 180ft. Round up and keep back a good 300ft and makes sure video tape is rolling!
I cut the guy wires on a 340 foot Grasis M54 tower. 6 10 foot dishes at the top.
Amazing... Its all I can say.
Landed within 6 inches of where I said it would.
Well said, I'll add that to say that any gas based extinguishing system will work. Some of our larger towers might have extinguishing cartridges, but fixed CO2 or Nitrogen systems are way to expensive.
Originally Posted by LVFD301
We have one CO2 extinguisher, if that does not work, we try powder. But we will always put the fire off, once power-off can be safeguarded.