Brought to you by MagneGrip

What you need to know when purchasing a diesel exhaust removal system

NFPA, NIOSH address limiting firefighter exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions in your fire station


Sponsored by

MagneGrip Group

MagneGrip Group

Get info

We're making good progress in reducing firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens and toxic chemicals during interior structural fire suppression activities. But another area of exposure risk is not being adequately addressed in too many fire stations: exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions.

The World Health Organization first designated diesel exhaust emissions as a carcinogen in 1998. So, why isn’t every fire department doing what needs to be done to eliminate this known carcinogen from their fire stations, particularly in the apparatus bay?

Let’s look at how to purchase the most effective and efficient diesel exhaust removal and air purification system for your fire station.

The World Health Organization first designated diesel exhaust emissions as a carcinogen in 1998. (Photo/Evansville Fire Department)
The World Health Organization first designated diesel exhaust emissions as a carcinogen in 1998. (Photo/Evansville Fire Department)

NFPA, NIOSH standards regarding diesel exhaust removal and purification

NFPA 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety, Health, and Wellness Program specifies that fire departments contain all vehicle exhaust emissions to a level of no less than 100 percent of effective capture. This recommendation also complies with NIOSH’s requirement to reduce emissions to the lowest feasible level to limit impact on firefighters’ health.

The International Building Code specifically addresses the need for fire departments to invest in a diesel exhaust source capture system that connects directly to the motor vehicle exhaust system.

Diesel exhaust removal: Source capture systems

For this discussion, we’ll focus on those source capture systems which use an exhaust hose to capture the vehicle’s diesel exhaust emissions as they exit the exhaust pipe.

Such systems use a proprietary collar or adapter that’s attached to the vehicle’s exhaust pipe; the exhaust evacuation hose then attaches to the collar or adapter via a magnetic connection or pneumatic collar that inflates around the collar or adapter.

A source capture system begins exhausting diesel exhaust emissions when a sensor in the hose near the coupling with the exhaust pipe detects diesel exhaust. The system continues to exhaust diesel emissions until the fire apparatus reaches the disconnect point where the hose automatically disconnects.

The exhausting system only activates for the fire apparatus during startup, saving energy. The activated system typically runs for several minutes after the hose disconnects from the fire apparatus as it exits the fire station to ensure that all the emissions have been removed from the station.

Where to locate exhaust removal and purification equipment

If fire apparatus must be backed into its bay at the station, a single bay system (back-in system) is typically the best installation option. The exhaust hose is attached to a stationary point on the ceiling over the parked apparatus. The exhaust hose is suspended over to the exhaust pipe side of the apparatus using dynamic cabling.

For stations with drive-through apparatus bays, the exhaust hose is connected to a slide rail that’s installed above and parallel to the apparatus as it is parked in the bay. As the vehicle leaves the station, the exhaust hose slides along the rail until it reaches the point of disconnect from the fire apparatus. These systems can be designed for up to four vehicles on a single rail.

For fire apparatus that have vertical exhaust pipes, a source capture system exists that uses an overhead rail pipe with a channel down the middle that’s installed in alignment with the vehicle’s vertical stack as the vehicle is parked in the bay. The system begins exhausting diesel emissions upon activation of sensors located in the rail pipe.

When the apparatus is backed into its bay, a V-shaped “catcher” guides the vehicle tailpipe into the rail profile. These systems typically have a sway in either direction to accommodate the position of the apparatus deviating from the installed location.

NFPA, NIOSH standards regarding diesel exhaust removal and purification

NFPA 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety, Health, and Wellness Program specifies that fire departments contain all vehicle exhaust emissions to a level of no less than 100 percent of effective capture. This recommendation also complies with NIOSH’s requirement to reduce emissions to the lowest feasible level to limit impact on firefighters’ health.

The International Building Code specifically addresses the need for fire departments to invest in a diesel exhaust source capture system that connects directly to the motor vehicle exhaust system.

Diesel exhaust removal: Source capture systems

For this discussion, we’ll focus on those source capture systems which use an exhaust hose to capture the vehicle’s diesel exhaust emissions as they exit the exhaust pipe.

Such systems use a proprietary collar or adapter that’s attached to the vehicle’s exhaust pipe; the exhaust evacuation hose then attaches to the collar or adapter via a magnetic connection or pneumatic collar that inflates around the collar or adapter.

A source capture system begins exhausting diesel exhaust emissions when a sensor in the hose near the coupling with the exhaust pipe detects diesel exhaust. The system continues to exhaust diesel emissions until the fire apparatus reaches the disconnect point where the hose automatically disconnects.

The exhausting system only activates for the fire apparatus during startup, saving energy. The activated system typically runs for several minutes after the hose disconnects from the fire apparatus as it exits the fire station to ensure that all the emissions have been removed from the station.

Where to locate exhaust removal and purification equipment

If fire apparatus must be backed into its bay at the station, a single bay system (back-in system) is typically the best installation option. The exhaust hose is attached to a stationary point on the ceiling over the parked apparatus. The exhaust hose is suspended over to the exhaust pipe side of the apparatus using dynamic cabling.

For stations with drive-through apparatus bays, the exhaust hose is connected to a slide rail that’s installed above and parallel to the apparatus as it is parked in the bay. As the vehicle leaves the station, the exhaust hose slides along the rail until it reaches the point of disconnect from the fire apparatus. These systems can be designed for up to four vehicles on a single rail.

For fire apparatus that have vertical exhaust pipes, a source capture system exists that uses an overhead rail pipe with a channel down the middle that’s installed in alignment with the vehicle’s vertical stack as the vehicle is parked in the bay. The system begins exhausting diesel emissions upon activation of sensors located in the rail pipe.

When the apparatus is backed into its bay, a V-shaped “catcher” guides the vehicle tailpipe into the rail profile. These systems typically have a sway in either direction to accommodate the position of the apparatus deviating from the installed location.

Partner with surrounding departments to fund purchases

For your fire department’s stations, the equipment and components needed should be part of the package that you select: single bays; drive-through bays; or apparatus with vertical stacks.

For stations where mutual aid fill-ins are common, you should factor in hardware for those departments to install on the exhaust pipes for their apparatus. You don’t want their apparatus sitting outside your station when they’re helping you out in 20-degree weather, right?

Better yet, partner with your surrounding fire departments to select and buy the same system. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) gives higher priority to grant requests for regional projects during the grant evaluation process.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2019 FireRescue1.com. All rights reserved.