Frequently Asked Questions about Halon 1301  


  What is Halon 1301  

  Chemically - BTM (bromotrifluoromethane) 1301: An excellent fire extinguishing agent (gas) currently installed in thousands of locations throughout the world protecting sensitive electronic equipment, typically found in computer rooms, telecommunications centres, data processing environments, aviation and may other places.

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  Are there other Halons  

  Yes and some are used in Fire Protection. Where could you find others? - As refrigerant gases.

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  What is the Montreal Protocol  

  An agreement reached by signatory nations in Montreal Canada on the 16 September 1987 (amended twice since signing). As part of the United Nations Environmental Program, a goal has been set to initially control and further eliminate global emissions of ozone depleting chemical compounds.

  Problem chemicals were defined into a list and a time set for their removal from production together with the agreement to ban certain products that could also introduce Ozone Depleting chemicals into the atmosphere. See

  The timescale set for the cessation of production of these chemicals was effectively the end of 1993 in the developed world and 2010 in developing countries.

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  What is the Kyoto Protocol        

  Following in the footsteps of the Montreal Protocol the Kyoto Protocol was agreed on the 10 December 1997 and committed the parties to specific reductions in the release of Global Warming Gases. The most significant for the fire protection industry being Carbon Dioxide and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

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  What are CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon)  

  They are ozone depleting substances used in fire extinguishant systems, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment including chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, collectively referred to as CFCs. This group of chemicals has been demonstrated to be harmful to the environment, specifically the stratospheric ozone layer.

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  Why does Halon need replacing  

  As a CFC based gas, Halon 1301 and 1211 are ozone depleting agents. Their release to atmosphere during manufacture, decanting to application cylinders and use or misuse in service has contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer. They also have a long atmospheric life.

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  When does it need replacing  

  The new EC Regulation 2037/2000 came into force on 1 October 2000 and states:-

  1. New halons cannot be used for refilling existing systems.

  2. Recovered, recycled or reclaimed halon 1301 / 1211 can only be used in existing systems until 31st December 2002. After this date no refilling can take place.

  3. Mandatory decommissioning of fire extinguishing systems with halons must be completed before 31st December 2003.

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  What will happen to the removed Halon 1301  

  The regulations will make it compulsory to safely dispose of any Halon recovered. This will include banking for organisations who are exempt and have "Critical Uses" which will continue.

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  Who will be exempt  

  Owners and users of halon with "Critical Uses" may be able to claim exemption if broadly speaking the application is within the aircraft industry, military / armed forces, petrochemical industry and some marine applications. Use that can claim to be connected with national security.

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  Is there a "Drop In" replacement  

  No, not directly but there are alternatives and one in particular is very similar in its installation and operation. It may also be possible to reuse some or all of your existing mechanical pipework installation.

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  What is the nearest alternative  

  The nearest alternative replacement extinguishing agent is FM200®

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  Should I look at other alternatives  

  Yes, you should evaluate all the available alternatives including whether you need a replacement at all.

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  What will it cost to replace  

  This will depend upon many factors - primarily the size of the installation but other factors will have a significant effect on the cost of replacement. Some of these you will already have the answer to - Can the installation take place in normal working hours, is the existing space occupied by the Halon equipment sufficient accommodate the new equipment, Finally - Does the supplier offer a cost effective service that produces value for money over the life of the system. Don't be taken in by cheaper quotes that have hidden cost of ownership clauses - yes even today there are companies still selling in this manner.
For a very approximate guide to the costs - please fill in our price request form.

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