Mining Publication: Evaluation of Deep-Seated Crib Block Fires and Direct-Application Fire Suppression Agents
Unlike other types of mining accidents, where an incident generally involves only a few workers, the danger of a mine fire extends to every person working in the underground environment. Mine fires can trap or kill those working underground by blocking avenues of escape and rapidly creating heat, asphyxiating gases and toxic fire products that can quickly spread throughout the mine. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), is conducting research to test, evaluate and improve or modify coal mine fire-fighting strategies and methodologies through large-scale tests. Because wood is the second most abundant fuel available during a coal mine fire, it was decided that a series of large-scale wood crib fire tests was needed to measure the products of combustion and to observe the capability of commonly available direct application fire suppression equipment, namely, fire extinguishers, water and gas-enhanced foam. This paper discusses the wood crib fire tests, provides insight into the products of combustion and describes observations made during the application of the fire suppression agents.