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Old 26-03-2016, 18:29   #16
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Re: Weighing Halon Fire Extinguishers

Originally Posted by Djarraluda View Post
For anyone with FM200, sadly the effects of it's use on a fire are the production of toxic by-products. Be very careful if one has gone-off in an engine compartment. Commercially, we vent the space before opening the door. Also commercially, we are removing FM200 to replace with an inert gas (IG55 being one of the best).
Hum, Inert gas displacement suppression systems such as the argon/nitrogen mix in IG55 will do the job. Like FM200 and the Old 1301 halon all are safe when properly designed. However as is the case with many systems, most are somewhat oversized to allow for gas leakage. A slightly oversized IG55 system is not any safer the a fm200 or 1301 system. Vessel engine spaces are not aire tight due to the nature of the beast.

All CFC and HFC's produce highly toxic byproduces when they come in contact with flame. That is the case with fm200 and with halon 1301. However FM200 and the old Halon 1301 were quite effective in stopping the combustion process very very quickly. That is prior to decomposition in flame. A undersized system would be more of a danger there.

While the production of halon 1301 Like R12 and R22 and other hfc'S were banned by the Montreal protocol that does not mean that existing halon 1301 or fm200 suppression systems need to be removed. Many telephone switch centers still use 1301 and FM200 (large systems).

Myself were I to find a 1301 or Fm200 system aboard, I would leave it be, if the bottle looks to be in good condition with no corrosion on the tank or valve. Odds are the 1301 and FM200 bottles are leak free. It's fairly rare for one to leak.

Edit: I should clarify. The typical dry power extinguishers will compact and may not function if too old and not serviced. Servicing being to tap around the cylinder loosening the power. (I actually do that with mine) 1301 and fm200 are a liquid under pressure and do not have that issue. As most small systems have a simple fusable link there is little to go wrong. If you have a electric activated system, what fails is wire and the detectors. The tank is fairly bullet proof

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Old 27-03-2016, 02:51   #17
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Re: Weighing Halon Fire Extinguishers

Yeah when I bought my yacht in Portugal I found it had a fleural something extinguisher (some sort of haylon). I researched it and found that all worldwide manufacture of it was stopped in the early 80's as it is an ozone depleting gas. In the EU it was banned for yachts and you will be fined if caught with one as you are suppose to pay the authorities to dispose of it. However there is no economical means of disposing of it and it is the most effective fire extinguisher out there. The EU authorities simply sell it to the airlines whom are still allowed to use it.
So as you can gather in the EU airline passenger lives are more important than sailors and it is more of a money making exercise!
In the US they just say only use in an emergency since they know eventually it will all end up in the atmosphere anyway.

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