In recent years, it has been recommended by MSUK that fire extinguishers and suppression systems used in motorsports events were serviced regularly, but it wasn’t actually a requirement.
However, in the last few years, as governing body Motorsport UK has phased in homologated Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) fire suppression systems, the regulations have been updated so that, for all competition cars, fire suppression systems must be serviced at regular intervals.
The risk of fire remains a significant concern across the motorsport industry. Belgian-Dutch Formula 1 racing driver Max Verstappen, for example, found his brakes were smoking heavily before a small fire started in his car at Silverstone recently.
Meanwhile, driver Jack Perkins’ Holden Commodore sustained heavy front-end damage during the recent opening Super2 race in Townsville, Australia, before a fire took hold in the engine bay of the stricken car. These are just two examples.
Why does MSUK now require servicing of all fire safety systems?
MSUK is moving the motorsports industry forward in terms of updated fire safety regulations, to bring them in line with FIA standards. This process began in 2019 with the new servicing requirement, which is one of the fresh regulations, as mentioned above.
The changes are all about enhancing fire safety, minimising risk to drivers and others, and being sure that all race car fire systems and extinguishers are working at their maximum potential.
Regular extinguisher and fire suppression system servicing ensures this equipment is properly maintained, performing at its best and, most importantly, will function properly when you need it.
How often do you need to service your fire suppression system?
MSUK fire safety rules state that it is mandatory for all fire suppression systems in competition cars to be serviced every two years.
The latest rules on servicing fire suppression systems, which require all new completion cars to have a plumbed-in FIA fire suppression system, came into effect in 2019, will be followed by the requirement for all competition cars to be fitted with an FIA homologated fire suppression system from January 2022, while rally cars also need to have a handheld fire extinguisher as well.
If you turn up at a track-ready to race without having your fire safety system serviced within the last two years, MSUK scrutineers will withdraw permission for you to race.
What’s more, if you don’t keep your system serviced, your manufacturer may not be willing to service it, in which case you will need to completely replace it.
Who can service plumbed-in fire extinguishers?
MSUK expects all fire suppression systems to be serviced by the relevant manufacturer’s own engineers, or by one of their approved service agents, for the product to retain its FIA homologation status in the case of FIA fire extinguishers.
If you have your fire safety system serviced by a different provider, this will invalidate your FIA homologation. From January 2022, fire suppression systems must be FIA homologated for all competition cars, or similarly to if your system hasn’t been serviced within the past 2 years, MSUK scrutineers will prevent you from taking part in your race. (This rule has applied to new vehicles since January 2019.)
Servicing your FEV fire suppression system
When you purchase a FEV fire extinguisher, you can have your system serviced by one of our own engineers, or approved service agents, as long as:
- The fire extinguisher in question is not more than 10 years old
- It is in good condition and free from rust, corrosion and other damage
- An unapproved service agent has not previously serviced it
Looking to have your FEV fire suppression system serviced?
If you currently own a FEV fire suppression system or extinguisher and are looking to have it serviced by one of our approved FEV service agents, please visit our service agents page to find your nearest agent:
Check out our MSUK/FIA fire suppression systems
At FEV, we’re specialists in motorsport fire safety and produce lightweight, professional fire suppression systems which comply with Technical List 16 of extinguisher systems homologated by the FIA according to its standard for plumbed-in fire extinguisher systems.
Products also comply with the imminent MSUK changes, which require an FIA fire extinguisher system in all competition cars from the very start of next year.
Get in touch right now for a chat about servicing your race car fire extinguisher – and look forward to a prompt, efficient and professional service.