Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 75.1107-1 through 75.1107-12 the District Manager for the District in which the mine is located may approve any other fire suppression system or device which provides substantially equivalent protection as would be achieved through compliance with those sections: Provided, That no such system or device shall be approved which does not meet the following minimum criteria:
(a) Components shall be approved by the Secretary, or where appropriate be listed as approved by a nationally recognized agency approved by the Secretary.
(b) The fire suppression equipment shall be designed to withstand the rigors of the mine environment. Where used, pressure vessels shall conform with the requirements of section 3603, 3606, 3607, 3707, and 3708 of National Fire Code No. 22 “Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection” (NFPA No. 22-1971).
(c) The cover of hose of fire suppression devices, if used on the protected equipment, shall meet the flame-resistant requirements of Part 18 of this chapter (Bureau of Mines Schedule 2G).
(d) Extinguishing agents shall not create a serious toxic or other hazard to the miners.
(e) The electrical components of the fire suppression device shall meet the requirements for electrical components of the mining machine.
(f) Where used, manual actuators for initiating the operation of the fire suppression device shall be readily accessible to the machine operator. On unattended equipment, an automatic as well as a manual actuator shall be provided.
(g) On unattended equipment the fire suppression device shall operate independently of the power to the main motor (or equivalent) so it will remain operative if the circuit breakers (or other protective device) actuates. On attended equipment powered through a trailing cable the fire suppression device shall operate independently of the electrical power provided by the cable.
(h) On unattended equipment, the sensor system shall have a means for checking its operative condition.
(i) The fire suppression agent shall be directed at locations where the greatest potential fire hazard exists. Cable reel compartments shall receive approximately twice the quantity of extinguishing agent as each other hazardous location.
(j) The rate of application of the fire suppression agent shall minimize the time for quenching and the total quantity applied shall be sufficient to quench a fire in its incipient stage.
(k) The effectiveness of the quenching agent, together with the total quantity of agent and its rate of application shall provide equivalent protection to the water, dry powder, or foam systems described in §§ 75.1107-7, 75.1107-9, and 75.1107-10.
(l) The fire suppression device shall be operable at all times electrical power is connected to the mining machine, except during tramming when the machine is in a ventilated passageway, the water hose if used, may be switched from one hydrant to another in a reasonable time and except in systems meeting the minimum special criteria set forth in paragraph (m) of this section.
(m) Systems for attended equipment which are not continuously connected to a water supply shall not be approved unless they meet the following minimum criteria:
(1) The machine shall be equipped with a firehose at least 50 feet in length which is continuously connected to the machine-mounted portion of the system.
(2) Hydrants in proximity to the area where the machine is to be used shall be equipped with sufficient hose to reach the machine at any time it is connected to a power source.
(3) The machine shall be used only where the operator (or other person) will always be in ventilated air uncontaminated by smoke and hot gases from the machine fire while extending the machine-mounted hose to connect with the hydrant-mounted hose.
(4) The machine and hydrant hoses shall be readily accessible so that the connection between the machine-mounted hose and the hydrant hose can be made and water flow achieved in not more than 3 minutes under actual mining conditions for any location of the machine while electric power is connected.
(5) The rate of water flow at the machine shall provide a minimum of 0.12 gallon of water per minute per square foot of top surface area (excluding conveyors, cutters, and gathering heads). The water shall discharge to all hazardous locations on the machine.
(6) Hose, if used on the machine, in addition to meeting the flame resistant requirements for the cover of a hose provided in §§ 75.1107-3(b) and 75.1107-13(c) shall have a minimum burst pressure 4 times that of the static water pressure at the mining machine. Fabric braid hose shall have at least two braids, and wire braid hose shall have at least a single braid.
(7) In addition to the hose located at the hydrant (which is intended to be connected to the hose on the machine) the firefighting equipment required by § 75.1100-2(a) shall be maintained.
(8) A sufficient number of trained miners shall be kept on the section when the machine is in use to connect the machine hose to the hydrant hose and achieve water flow in not more than 3 minutes.
[37 FR 15303, July 29, 1972]