Fluorocarbons & Sulphur Hexafluoride: Firefighting applications

Fire Extinguishing Agents

Hydrofluorocarbons are used to replace both Halon 1301 and 1211 in total flooding and streaming fire protection applications.

As both Halons have an ozone depletion potential they are regulated substances and to be phased out in all non-critical uses, by 31-12-2003.

The benefits of using HFC's in fire protection are :

  • HFC's at extinguishing concentrations are safe and can therefore be used in normally occupied spaces. They are used at well below toxic levels
  • HFC systems require only a small amount of gas and achieve design concentrations in under 10 seconds . In many cases speed is critical to preserving life, property and the environment and maintaining continuity of operations.
  • HFC systems are compact with little storage space required for cylinders. This means they offer the most effective solutions in terms of space/weight considerations.
  • HFC's are non-conductive, clean agents and therefore leave no residue.

HFC fire extinguishing systems are needed for fire protection in a limited but vital number of cases where speed , space and safety are critical. Typical applications are telecommunication facilities, computer rooms, process control centres, military vehicles , aircraft , etc.