Safety Demonstration Focuses on Fire Protection Systems

 

NASA Kennedy Space Center employees observed a fire safety demonstration Oct. 8  presented by the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association during the National Fire Protection Association's Fire Prevention Week. Kennedy Space Center firefighters were on hand to extinguish the fire. Photo credit: NASA/Greg Harland
NASA Kennedy Space Center employees observed a fire safety demonstration Oct. 8 presented by the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association during the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week. Kennedy Space Center firefighters were on hand to extinguish the fire. Photo credit: NASA/Greg Harland

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10. NASA Kennedy Space Center takes the safety of each employee seriously.

Just how quickly can a fire spread? NASA and contractor employees saw firsthand as Kennedy Space Center Fire Safety personnel illustrated the importance of having fire protection systems in buildings and homes during a live demonstration conducted Oct. 8 in the Launch Complex 39 area.

Two small trailers containing typical home furnishings for one room were staged for viewing by Kennedy workers. One trailer was equipped with a smoke alarm and sprinkler system, while the other was not. Fires were set in each trailer to show the difference between having a sprinkler system and just how quickly an unchecked fire can spread in a structure that does not have fire sprinklers. The room without sprinklers was engulfed in flames and smoke in under three minutes, while the sprinkler system in the other room extinguished the fire in about one-and-a-half minutes.

Kennedy Firefighters used Fire Engine No. 2 to extinguish the fire in the trailer lacking a fire sprinkler system. The demonstration also showed how having working fire sprinklers in a building allows the needed time to escape a burning building alive.

According to Lorrell Bush, executive director for the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association, it can take anywhere from six to nine minutes for the Fire Department to arrive at your home, and that’s after the call for assistance has been received.

At home, nearly half of fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. The key message of the NFPA 2015 Fire Prevention week is to “hear the beep where you sleep.”

“People need to make sure that they not only have smoke alarms, but that they are working,” said Jenni Ginsburg, a mechanical engineer in the Project Integration Office on the Institutional Services Contract at Kennedy. “We hope this live fire demonstration will help people realize just how important it is to have a working fire protection system in their homes and at the office.

Umbilical for Mobile Launcher Prepped for Testing

A heavy-lift crane is used to lift the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Umbilical (ICPSU)
A heavy-lift crane is used to lift the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Umbilical (ICPSU) on Sept. 28 at the Launch Equipment Test Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Preparations are underway to move the ICPSU for installation on the A Tower mobile launcher simulator for testing. Photo credit: NASA/Glen Benson

The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Umbilical (ICPSU) for NASA’s Space Launch System was lifted and attached to the A Tower mobile launcher simulator Sept. 28 at the Launch Equipment Test Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The ICPSU will provide super-cooled hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage, or upper stage, at T-0 for Exploration Mission-1.

Kennedy engineers and technicians from the center’s Engineering Directorate and Ground Systems Development and Operations Program prepared the large 70,000-pound steel structure to be lifted by crane for installation on the test tower. The umbilical will be prepared for load and functional tests.

During four months of testing, beginning in 2016, engineers will check the ICPSU’s swing arm function and its primary and secondary retraction systems to ensure they are working properly. Simulated fueling tests using liquid hydrogen and liquid nitrogen also will be performed.

The ICPSU is one of the umbilical arms that will be attached to the mobile launcher for EM-1. The umbilical will be located at the 240-foot level of the mobile launcher and will supply fuel, oxidizer, gaseous helium, hazardous gas leak detection, electrical commodities and environment control systems to the upper stage of the Space Launch System rocket during launch.