Grain combine fires: A loss reduction approach

J. M. Shutske, W. E. Field, J. Chaplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Grain combine and tractor fires in the U.S. cause over $10 million in annual property losses. Controlling machinery fires with fire detection and extinguishing hardware is one loss reduction approach. This study included the development and testing of a fully-automatic grain combine fire detection and dry chemical extinguishing system. The automatic system was tested on a variety of fire scenarios. The system performed well when crop residue and diesel fuel fires were detected soon after ignition. However, it was not fully effective after fires were allowed to burn for longer periods of time. Airflow through the engine compartment was found to be detrimental to extinguisher effectiveness. Resulting manual fire extinguisher selection and use recommendations included having at least one 4A:40BC (U.L. rating) or larger dry chemical fire extinguisher on every grain combine, mounting the extinguisher in a protected and accessible location, and shutting off the engine before attempting to extinguish any fire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


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