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Fire Suppression Systems from Wormald Address Global Warming Issues

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Leading fire protection specialist Wormald offers two fire suppression systems containing environment-friendly agents that do not contribute to ozone depletion and global warming.  

According to The Climate Group1, the global average temperature has increased by approximately 0.74ºC during the last century. With CO2 concentration levels also increasing, the global temperature could increase further by a few degrees, posing an even greater threat to the environment.  

Recognising that measures needed to be taken sooner rather than later, the government introduced legislation with the objective of reducing the amount of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG) emitted into the environment.  

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 (as published 24 July 2007) considers it an offence to handle ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gas fire extinguishing agents without an appropriate licence.  

The regulations also deem it an offence to trade in these agents or possess the environmentally damaging agent, Halon without appropriate permits and approvals.  

To guide the fire protection industry in the application of this legislation, the Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board introduced a Code of Practice for the reduction of emissions of ODS and SGG fire extinguishing agents.  

This Code of Practice applies to all fire system practitioners who handle the extinguishing agents, the fire companies which trade in them as well as the facility owners and managers who have installed fire protection systems.  

ODS and SGG agents include FM200, Halon 1211 and Halon 1301, NAF-S-III and NAF-P-III as well as FE13, FE25 and FE36.  

According to Roger Thomas, Director of Engineering, Tyco Fire Protection Services Asia-Pacific, the Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board has taken much-needed measures to limit the use of the harmful agents.  

He feels, however that there is still a considerable education process required to ensure that businesses understand the implications of using such agents compared to more environment-friendly alternative agents as part of their fire suppression systems.  

The two fire suppression systems offered by fire protection specialist Wormald contain agents that are more environment-friendly than common ODS and SGG agents, and therefore do not contribute to ozone depletion and global warming.  

The two fire suppression systems, SAPPHIRE and Inergen are particularly ideal for mission-critical data centres or facilities consisting of electrical equipment as they are dry, electrically non-conductive and leave behind zero residues to clean up.  

Key features of SAPPHIRE fire suppression systems: 

  • Consists of fluorine, oxygen and carbon
  • Classified as a third generation chemical agent
  • Sustainable chemical agent suitable for occupied spaces
  • Stored in liquid form and formulated to instantly vaporise at the discharge nozzle when released, flooding the protected space and suppressing the fire
  • Though similar in appearance to water, it does not cause damage usually associated with water as it contains no moisture
  • Clean and non-corrosive agent
  • Has an atmospheric lifetime of only 5 days compared with the closest chemical alternative having an atmospheric lifetime of 33-36 years  

Key features of Inergen fire suppression systems: 

  • Patented composition of nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide
  • Combination allows the system to smother a fire by diluting the oxygen concentration from the usual 21% to around 12.5%, a level at which most ordinary combustibles won’t burn
  • Eliminates thermal shock to sensitive equipment
  • No hazardous decomposition products result from its use as the natural gases simply return to the atmosphere after being released
  • No Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)
  • No Global Warming Properties (GWP)
  • Zero Atmospheric Lifetime (ALT)
  • Suitable for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint  

According to the head of MediaHub, an ABC and WIN Television Network joint venture, installing a system that would protect extensive electrical equipment while addressing environmental considerations was vital.  

The company chose to install the Inergen fire suppression system not only to minimise potential fire damage to their equipment but also to help them reduce their carbon footprint.  

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