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Presenters at today's Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) In Orlando highlighted how the U.S. Air Force has developed replacements for the fire suppression agent Halon 1301 to protect "hush houses," or jet engine noise suppressor systems.

The need to find an equivalency to Halon 1301 appears to be an environmental one--the agent is classified as an ozone-depleting substance. (The European Union discontinued use of Halon for noncritical applications in 2003.) SUPDET speakers Juan Font with the U.S. Air Force and William Meyring of 3M also outlined the steps taken to phase out the cleaning agent and develop alternative system solutions for the Air Force's critical facility. Read an overview of the presentation.

Related: Learn more about NFPA 12A: Halon 1301 Fire Extinguishing Systems

Gudrun Fay
Gudrun Fay, Minimax GmbH & CO

Gudrun Fay with the fire protection company Minimax presented on the advantages and disadvantages of cleaning agents during today's clean agents track at the Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) in Orlando.

For instance, these agents are capable of protecting sensitive electronic equipment, but their properties present challenges for designers. "To extinguish the fire, the fluid has to change from a liquid to a vapor," says Fay. Her presentation, "The Split of Two-Phase-Flow at Horizontal Side-T-Junctions in Unbalanced Pipe Systems" also discussed the effects of a specific agent superpressurized with nitrogren tested in these systems. View the abstract of Fay's presentation.

 

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Liv Astrid Bergsager of Stord/Haugesund University College in Norway+


 

Historic buildings can be a fire risk and pose a challenge for the choice of extinguishing systems. At this morning’s session on Clean Agents at SUPDET in Orlando, Liv Astrid Bergsager from Stord/Haugesund University College in Norway presented an overview of a study that looked at large air leakages in old buildings and their effects on the extinguishing concentration and hold time. The study examined how long the INERGEN (IG-541) (an inert gas clean agent) extinguishing concentration would be maintained in rooms with a large air leakage. Read an abstract of this
presentation
, which outlines the test design and methodology as well as test
results.


 

Related:


Learn more about NFPA 2001 , Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems.

An introduction to clean agent fire suppression systems , a presentation by NFPA's Barry Chase.

See a list of Research Foundation reports on clean agent systems .

Each Friday I am going to post a quick paragraph or two responding to some of the most frequently asked questions on NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, 2013 edition.  Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions!

First question: Can I put signs on my fire doors? 

Yes, you can!  However, NFPA 80, does provide some specific details regarding the sign and how you attach it to the fire door itself.  Section 4.1.4 of NFPA 80 contains the provisions for signage. Additionally, signs may be installed on the surface of fire doors in accordance with the manufacturer's publised listing.

There are two very important conditions regarding signage on fire doors.  First, the signs are for informational purposes only and must not exceed 5% of the area of the face of the fire door that they are attached to.  Secondly, the signs can only be attached to the fire door with an adhesive.  Attaching a sign by using means such as nails or screws are not permitted as they can, and most likely will, void the label on the fire door and affect its performance under fire conditions.

With regards to where on the door the sign can be located, keep in mind two additional provisions:

-signs cannot be installed on glazing material in fire doors.

-signs cannot be installed anywhere on the fire door that may impair or interfere with the proper operation of the door. 


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William Koffel of Koffel Associates, Inc.




Is the codes and standards community ready for risk assessments in NFPA documents?


 

That was one of a handful of questions posed by William Koffel of Koffel Associates, a fire protection engineering consulting firm, at the Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) in Orlando. Koffel highlighted how risk assessments have appeared in NFPA's codes and standards  and why it may become more prominent in future editions of documents.


 

For example, NFPA 101, +Life Safety Code+®+, +has included a risk assessment in the document for a number of years, but Koffel notes that the assessment is "voluntary." Additionally, NFPA 654, +Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids,+includes an optional risk evaluation to determine the necessary level of protection in facilities. 


 

However, the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, +Health Care Facilities,+ was "the first document I'm aware of that specifically says you have do a risk assessment," says Koffel.


 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has developed a guidance document that can assist NFPA technical committees in incorporating risk concepts in NFPA documents. Koffel urged SUPDET attendees to ponder the implications of requirements on risk analysis, such as whether authorities having jurisdictions and code users are ready to take on these analyses.


Standard
for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing,
Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids - See more
at:
http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=654#sthash.zrSiAu6a.dpufP


Standard
for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing,
Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids - See more
at:
http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=654#sthash.zrSiAu6a.dpuf

 

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