Halon Fire Suppression Systems

A History on Halon as a Fire Suppression Agent

When Halon 1301 came on the market in the 1960s it was used as the most effective gaseous fire fighting agent ever developed. It found widespread application in the protection of data processing rooms, telecommunications switches, art and historical collections, process control rooms, and many others. However, by the late 1980s a great deal of scientific evidence indicated that the agent was an ozone depleting chemical and the Montreal Protocol of 1987 required a phaseout of new production. Eventually, a handful of viable alternative agents were introduced to the commercial marketplace.

The new agents, including FM-200,  will all rapidly extinguish all classes of fire without causing any damage or requiring any extensive clean-up when discharged. They are all approved for use in occupied areas. They are environmentally sound and are all listed as approved replacements for Halon 1301 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency with no scheduled future phase-out. Each of the agents listed above have qualities that lend themselves to particular applications. National Fire Protection can help in the decision making process, by examining the fire protection need our sales staff can presents options as to the best system for you.

So What’s Wrong With My Existing Halon 1301 System?

Beside the fact that Halon 1301 is a known ozone depleting chemical, there is absolutely nothing wrong with existing Halon systems if they are properly maintained. As stated previously, Halon 1301 is an excellent fire suppression agent. It is versatile and effective on all classes of fire. It is clean, leaving no harmful residue behind to clean up after discharge. And it is cost effective, especially when compared with the cost of replacing damaged equipment or loss of the use of your business facility. But there is one very important thing to remember regarding Halon 1301 – it is no longer being made.

That means that the only Halon 1301 that is commercially available was produced prior to January 1st 1994. There is reclaimed Halon 1301 available if your existing systems discharges, but the supply is indefinite so the price can fluctuate widely depending on availability. Call Swartz Fire & Safety to review your system and the alternatives available.

Current Status of Halon 1301 Systems

If you have halon systems currently installed in your company facilities and they are located in the United States, you need to know the following facts:

  • You are under no legal obligation to remove systems from service.
  • There is no federal legal requirement to remove systems from service by any specific date.
  • You may legally recharge your system in the event of a discharge
  • Recycled agent is still commonly available for fire system recharge.
  • No new agent 1301 is being manufactured
  • You should plan the replacement of your systems with a halon alternative.

Please call us to discuss your current fire suppression systems and alternatives that are available.