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Qualification Testing of Spark Arrester Exhaust Systems

Photo of the back end of an All-Terrain Vehicle, with a cutout showing a closer view of the exhaust muffler where sparks could be thrown if the vehicle is not equipped with a spark arrester.

The guide for submitting equipment for testing, Manufacturer Submission Procedure for the Qualification Testing of General-purpose, Screen, and Locomotive Spark Arrester Exhaust Systems (0551–1803P–SDTDC), has been revised. Off-highway vehicles, chain saws, and other machines powered by an internal combustion engine can start wildland fires if the exhaust throws sparks or if the muffler contacts wildland fuels. Spark arresters used on these devices must be tested and qualified by the Technology and Development Program before they can be used on lands administered by the Forest Service, other Federal agencies, and in most instances, States and municipalities.

The present qualification program for small- and medium-sized engines is based on performance requirements established by the Forest Service, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Association of American Railroads.

The San Dimas Technology and Development Center (SDTDC) has a laboratory set up specifically to test the effectiveness of spark arrester systems for internal combustion engines. SDTDC is authorized to issue a qualification notice to the manufacturer of equipment that passes these tests.

For more information on qualification testing of spark arresters, contact Ralph Gonzales, project engineer, (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 212; e-mail:

To order the guide, contact Kene Owu, SDTDC publications (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 235; e-mail:

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