Aircraft Fire Prevention

Leaking fuel, hydraulic, deicing, or lubricating fluids can be sources of fire in an aircraft. This condition should be noted and corrective action taken when inspecting aircraft systems. Minute pressure leaks of these fluids are particularly dangerous for they quickly produce an explosive atmospheric condition. Carefully inspect fuel tank installations for signs of external leaks. With integral fuel tanks, the external evidence may occur at some distance from where the fuel is actually escaping. Many hydraulic fluids are flammable and should not be permitted to accumulate in the structure. Sound-proofing and lagging materials may become highly flammable if soaked with oil of any kind. Any leakage or spillage of flammable fluid in the vicinity of combustion heaters is a serious fire risk, particularly if any vapor is drawn into the heater and passes over the hot combustion chamber.

Oxygen system equipment must be kept absolutely free from traces of oil or grease, since these substances spontaneously ignite when in contact with oxygen under pressure. Oxygen servicing cylinders should be clearly marked so they cannot be mistaken for cylinders containing air or nitrogen, as explosions have resulted from this error during maintenance operations.