Fire Protection Systems in Aircraft

Because fire is such a serious threat for aircraft, the potential fire zones of modern aircraft are protected by fixed fire protection systems. A fire zone is an area of an aircraft designed to require fire detection and/or fire extinguishing equipment and a high degree of inherent fire resistance. “Fixed” means that there is a permanently installed system, in contrast to any portable fire extinguishing equipment. A complete fire protection system will have both fire detection and extinguishing components.

Typical zones on an aircraft that will have fixed fire protection systems include

  1. Cargo and baggage compartments
  2. Bathrooms on passenger aircraft
  3. Electronic bays
  4. Engines and auxiliary power unit
  5. Bleed air ducts
  6. Wheel wells

To detect fires or overheat conditions, detectors are placed in various zones that need to be monitored. Fires are detected in the reciprocating engine and small turboprop aircraft using one or more of the following:

  1. Overheat detectors
  2. Rate-of-temperature-rise detectors
  3. Flame detectors
  4. Observation by crew members

In addition, other types of detectors are used in monitoring other areas where materials burn slowly, such as cargo and baggage compartments. Other types of detectors include carbon monoxide detectors and chemical sampling equipment that can detect combustible mixtures that eventually lead to explosive gases accumulating.

Fires are classified by what materials are involved in combustion. Class A fires involve typical combustible materials like wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and plastics. Class B fires are flammable liquids, such as petroleum oils, greases, tars, solvents, alcohols, and flammable gases. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment in which using an extinguishing media that is electrically non-conductive is essential.

Fire protection systems on modern aircraft do not rely on observation by crew members as the primary method for fire detection. An ideal fire detector system will include as many of the following features as possible:

  1. Rapid indication and accurate location of the fire.
  2. No false warnings under any flight or ground condition.
  3. Accurate indication when the fire is out.
  4. Indication in the event that a fire has re-ignited.
  5. Continuous indications for the duration of a fire.
  6. Means for electrically testing the detector system from the aircraft cockpit.
  7. Lightweight and easily adaptable to any mounting position.
  8. Resistant to damage from water and oil exposure, vibration, extreme temperatures, or excessive handling.
  9. Circuitry that operates directly from the airpower system without inverters.

At Fulfillment 3Sixty, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the fire protection systems for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


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