clean agent fire suppression

Clean Agent Fire Suppression

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Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems

During any fire event, a facility is at risk of damage caused by the fire itself, smoke or water from a fire sprinkler system protecting the space.  To keep buildings and their occupants safe, facilities teams count on smoke alarms, wet systems and other fire protection services.  In certain buildings however, often mission critical areas requiring round-the-clock access and protection, even minimal downtime or damage can produce costly and catastrophic results.  

Clean agent fire suppression systems, commonly known as special hazards, utilize early warning technology and non-water based substances to detect and extinguish fires.  When released, clean agents are non-toxic, electrically non-conductive, leave no residue and are completely safe for interaction with people and equipment.  The end result is a fully-controlled and extinguished fire that was detected before people or areas are harmed.

Clean Agents Fire Suppression System


There is a lot to learn about clean agent systems & special hazards.  Here are a few common questions:

  • What are special hazards?
  • What do I need to know about installing a clean agent fire suppression system?
  • Is it safe to have a Halon 1301 clean agent system? 
  • How do I replace a Halon system?

What are Special Hazards?

Fire protection systems that use early warning detection and gaseous, chemical-based clean agents to extinguish fires are referred to as special hazards.  Special hazards solutions can include:

  • Early warning smoke and fire detection
  • Air sampling systems
  • Clean agent systems
  • Inert gas systems
  • Carbon dioxide systems
  • Watermist systems

Installing a Clean Agent Fire Suppression System

Designing and installing a clean agent system is a collaborative process performed by a system manufacturer and a licensed, authorized clean agent fire suppression system installer.  A typical system includes:

  • Above-floor fire protection piping and discharge nozzles
  • Below-floor fire protection piping and discharge nozzles
  • Release panel with associated detection sensors and controls
  • Container for clean agent

Is it safe to have a Halon 1301 clean agent system?

Halon 1301 is safe to use in occupied areas and allows people and companies to continue business as usual within a space even after the agent has discharged.  Halon 1301 is one of the most effective clean agents used in fire protection.  Some believe that Halon is toxic and can steal oxygen from your lungs or pull out all the oxygen from a room, but these are unsubstantiated claims.  

Despite its successful track record in fire suppression, it has been discovered that chemicals within Halon 1301 – specifically chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs - pose a danger to our atmosphere.  As a result, Halon was added to the Montreal protocol and phased out of production in 1994.

How do I replace a Halon system?

With Halon 1301 out of production, it is in very limited supply and has high costs associated with refilling existing systems that have discharged.  Fire protection contractors recommend taking a proactive approach to replacing halon systems.  There are many effective clean agents available  that can be substituted for Halon.  To get started, look for a special hazards fire protection contractor that is a manufacturer-authorized installer of clean agent systems.


 RESOURCES: Special Hazards Fire Protection

special hazards

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Looking for More Information?

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Common Misconceptions about Halon 1301 & the One Thing You Do Need to Know

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