Fire extinguisher technical update

Regulation (K)3 in the MSA Yearbook has been amended to require all fire extinguishers to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturers' guidelines, or every 24 months, whichever is sooner. This regulation change was ratified by Motor Sports Council for 1 January 2018 implementation. Please see the regulation wording at the bottom of the page.

Unfortunately, there was an error in the rule changes notification sheet published in October 2017, which indicated an incorrect date of implementation of 01 January 2019. To confirm, this regulation is as per the MSA Yearbook, effective as of 1 January 2018. An extinguisher must now be serviced in accordance with (K)3.

So what does that mean for us? The MSA is transitioning over a four-year period from the current MSA-approved extinguishers to new FIA-approved extinguishers. So you can continue to use an MSA extinguisher until 2022, however you must now ensure that it is serviced every 24 months.

MSA-Approved extinguisher ^

This makes perfect sense to anyone who's ever emptied an old extinguisher to find a load of gunk and not much extinguishing effect. For the sake of £25-£30, perhaps less, really it was essential before the regulations came into force anyway.

FIA-approved extinguisher ^

If you are buying a new extinguisher now, you should probably choose an FIA-approved type to ensure that A) You'll be definitely be OK to compete at Zandvoort later this year, and B) you'll be future proofed for when the new rules come into force in 2022.

Here's the official wording:

3. A fire extinguisher/extinguishing system must be carried on all vehicles, the minimum requirement being that the system be charged with one of the permitted extinguishants and be operable by the driver whilst normally seated either by manual operation or by a mechanically/electrically assisted triggering system. All extinguishers must be serviced in accordance with the manufacturers' guidelines, or every 24 months, whichever is sooner.

Reason: Regulation K3 As an interim measure before the proposed requirement for FIA homologated extinguishers is in place (FIA homologation mandates a service requirement). This proposal will ensure that the non-homologated systems are serviced at least every 2 years which is advised the manufacturers.

Section K Appendix 3
3.1 Plumbed-in Fire Extinguisher Systems
3.1.1 Where a plumbed-in fire extinguisher system is required the vehicle must be equipped with an extinguishing system in compliance with FIA Standard for plumbed‐in Fire Extinguisher Systems in Competition Cars (1999) or with FIA Standard 8865‐ 2015. The system must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and with FIA Technical Lists n°16 or n°52.

Reason: To adopt FIA fire extinguisher regulations from 2019, whilst allowing existing vehicles to use their non-FIA extinguishers until 2022, at least two service cycles. The extinguisher manufacturers have confirmed that they will no longer be producing non-FIA systems due to the small market, FIA systems are now of comparable cost and size-weight to non-FIA systems

Racing • 13th Feb, 18 •

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