A Closer Look at Clean Agents

clean agents

Special hazards can be complicated when it comes to fire protection.  The property is not the only thing considered.  A very important element of fire protection is the assets that are inside the property.  We’re taking a closer look at when clean agents are the appropriate fire protection solution.

Answer these questions honestly:

1.     Can the items in the property be easily replaced?

2.     Can your company afford the downtime a fire would cause?

3.     Do you have redundant fire protection systems?

4.     Can the business still operation if the system goes down?

If you answered no to these questions, you need to take a closer look at your fire protection system to ensure that you are not only protecting the property, but also the assets INSIDE the property.

What is a clean agent?

Much like Halon 1301, clean agents inhibit the chemical interaction of free radicals and use a cooling effect to extinguish fires.  Clean agents reach the level to extinguish a fire in 10 seconds or less.  FM-200 is a clean agent and Halon replacement.  It is gaseous, leaves no residue behind, safe to use around humans, and is safe for the environment. 

See FM-200 discharge.

 

What are clean agent alternatives?

The main clean agent alternative is inert gas.  Inert gas removes oxygen from the fire triangle (heat source, fuel, oxygen), which extinguishes the fire.  While inert gas is effective in snuffing out a fire and is safe for the environment, it is deadly to humans.  It removes the oxygen from the space, so inert gas should only be used in a space that is enclosed and where people can easily evacuate.  Extra safety measure are taken when inert gas is used as the fire protection agent.

Inert gas is less expensive than a clean agent; however, storage cost is more for inert gas and additional safety measures need to be made for inert gas.

See an inert gas discharge.

 

What types of facilities should use a clean agent?

Clean agents are generally seen in battery storage areas, computer rooms, and control rooms with electronics.

FM-200 is a great alternative to traditional fire suppression when a vulnerable area needs to be protected from fire. 

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