When improperly identified and packaged electronics or undeclared hazardous materials end up in the cargo hold of freighter aircraft, a spontaneous fire is the worst-case scenario. AmSafe® Industries Inc., Phoenix, Az., manufacturer of safety and security products, recently introduced a cargo pallet cover that can contain a pallet fire with temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees F for four hours, giving flight crews time to get on the ground while preventing the spread of flames to other cargo.
Pallets are wrapped in a patented fire-retardant fabric and held in place by AmSafe’s QuickZip® pallet nets. This cover isolates each cargo position and prevents fires from escalating or moving from pallet to pallet, while starving the flaming pallet of oxygen. The cover has many applications, but is primarily designed for loads being shipped in Class E compartments found on the main deck of freighter aircraft and Class D under-floor holds that are still in use. Right now, the use of fire containment covers is a voluntary safety measure, but future Federal Aviation Administration technical standards may require better fire prevention.