A heat-activated shut-off device for natural-gas lines (as well as for propane and butane), the FireBag is not the big round thing in the photo above but those small valves in front of it. When placed inside a co-op or condo building's natural-gas line, they automatically turn block the gas supply in the event of a fire, thereby preventing explosions and, well, more fire.
Her's how it works: When the temperature near the gas line reaches 203 to 212°F, the metal alloy that keeps plug and its cartridge together melts, and spring pressure pushes the plug against the gas opening to close it completely. No separate fire or heat detectors are required to automatically intercept the gas flow. See the cross-section illustrations below.
Sure, you can do a manual shut-off — provided that the super or someone else who knows where the shut-off valve is and how to use it happens to be on premises and can get to it in time. And maybe it's just us, but when it comes to natural-gas explosions, we're all for having a backup plan.
Naturally, this fire-safety device comes with a whole lot of certifications. Among them: the AGA (American Gas Association) ANSI Z21.15 / CGA (Canadian Standards Association) 9.1-M97, and the DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung ) 3586. You wouldn't believe how long it took us to look all that up and link to it. But that's OK: If being this compulsive about getting you such detailed information helps save one co-op or condo with a fire near its natural-gas lines, believe us, it's more than worth it.
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