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Old 02-20-2018, 01:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cruising7388 View Post
IIRC. one big difference between halon and CO2 is that CO2 can kill you. Unlike CO, it isn't toxic but it can displace sufficient air in a confined space to starve you of oxygen resulting in suffocation. Halon doesn't displace air and consequently is much safer for fire control in limited spaces.

I think discontinuing the availability of halon is an example of bureaucracy gone berserk. Shutting down a CFC like R-12 was understandable. There were millions of AC units with hoses that migrated R-12 into the atmosphere plus facilities that wouldn't trouble themselves to recover R-12 when servicing AC units. But none of these issues present themselves with a Halon extinguisher which is in as sealed container and is released only during relatively rare emergency conditions. How often could this fire control equipment ever need to be used that would result in a significant release of halon into the atmosphere? Instead, we are mandated to use ABC chemical extinguishers that for all intents and purposes, destroys the equipment you are trying to protect, relegating it to a junk yard.
I actually went through the whole CO2 hazard issue with our safety consultant at the time. Long story short, regulations changed to require a 60 second delay from fire alarm to CO2 discharge to allow personnel to get out of the affected enclosure and we had one of the fires under the new rules almost right away. The delay made it so the building nearly burned down. In our case, because the enclosure was small and could be cleared in seconds (if people weren't out in 5 seconds they were incapacitated and time wouldn't help), we decided to move the manual CO2 release override to right by the enclosure from the normal location at the bottles so we could trigger ASAP. The enclosure was on a roll coating machine so full of toluene, and paper, even some MEK so burned very quickly if ignited. Our decision was based on the fact that if someone hadn't gotten out, they were better off being knocked out by the CO2 than being burned for a minute, or longer if the fire got away and was too big for the fire system. The safety guy was an EMT, so said that CO2 overcome people can be revived with CPR pretty readily, so that is the way we wrote the instructions and trained. Luckily, we never had anyone trapped in an area during a fire so it never got tested. We had on very small fire after that and the operators we out is seconds and triggered the CO2 manually and we got no damage and no injuries. That was the last fire, as the machine manufacturer finally figured out what was causing the fires.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:23 PM   #12
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I am familiar with CO2 flood systems on ships where they are used in engine and switchboard rooms. They could be released manually or automatically by a thermal. A horn would sound when released and personnel exited ASAP.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:43 PM   #13
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I am familiar with CO2 flood systems on ships where they are used in engine and switchboard rooms. They could be released manually or automatically by a thermal. A horn would sound when released and personnel exited ASAP.
Very similar, except our rules dictated that the horn sound first, then a delay to let people out of the room before the CO2 went off. That is what nearly made us lose the building.
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