Halon has a higher CFC "tax" on it than R12, I imagine it is $100 a pound if
you could actually find it. This stuff wasn't cheap when it was thought of as
A typical computer room "dump" was $30,000 or more. I saw one once, a sight to
behold ... and it didn't kill us.
Flying debris was more dangerous than the gas and nobody stayed in there long
enough to breathe much of it. The claxon horn ran most folks off. ;-)
Actually a search on the website shows text from the law that banned halon.
It also lists exemptions from the ban on discharging the stuff and one of
the exemptions was fighting a fire for which the system was designed.
Must I now dismantle my halon fire protection system?
No. It is legal to continue to use your existing halon system. It is even
legal to purchase recycled halon and halon produced before the phaseout to
recharge your system.
However, due to the fact that halons deplete the ozone layer, users are
encouraged to consider replacing their system and making their halon stock
available for users with more critical needs.
Are there any federal laws on emissions of halons?
EPA's final rule published March 5, 1998 (63 FR 11084) prohibits the intentional
release of Halon 1211, Halon 1301, and Halon 2402 during the testing, repairing,
maintaining, servicing or disposal of halon-containing equipment or during the
use of such equipment for technician training. The rule also requires appropriate
training of technicians regarding emissions reduction and proper disposal of
halon and halon-containing equipment (see the guidance document for more
The rule became effective April 6, 1998.
In absence of language prohibiting it, it is allowed. It's clear from the
text and the rest of the FAQ that using Halon for its intended purpose is
perfectly legal so long as the Halon is reclaimed/recycled or was manufactured
prior to the ban.
Halon is good sometimes.
It's really bad if you use a lot of it and don't have a clear path
out. The fire may be out cold, but so will you. <G>
Halon also stinks if you need to use it outside, like just outside the
shop door, or in an automotive situation. The slightest breeze
carries the gas away. DAMHIKT.
"patriarch email@example.comDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message
I have the Home Depot "Kidde" brands in my gara^H^H^H^Hshop. But get ready
for anyone with an expertise in fire fighting to weigh in on the quality of
By my informal data gathering metrics, almost all Professionals tell you to
get hooked up with a firm that sells and services quality devices.
One thing they all advocated was periodically shaking the dry chem ones to
loosen up the powder. Evidently it can get packed down.
Nope - but I wouldn't want one. My shop smoke detector goes off more
frequently than I had anticipated when I do some sanding. Seeing as how my
shop time is early am and late evening, that wouldn't work for me.
When you get your extinguisher, do yourself a favor and read the
directions before you have to use the thing. Too many times folks crack
that thing, rush into the fire and blow the whole thing right past the
fire! If the extinguisher says "Spray from 10 feet" then spray it from
10 feet, not 2 feet! Besides, there is no reason to go and make your
Works great...unless it's an electrical fire at which point life gets lively.
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for
President. One hopes it is the same half." Gore Vidal
I still think that in a wood shop you are most likely to have a wood fire.
Water is the best way to fight that.
If you are sloshing flamable liquids around to the point that you really have
to worry about water spreading the fire you should tighten up your flammable
liquid procedures or think about calling it a class 1 div 2 and using explosion
proof electrical fittings.
If you really think your biggest danger is an electrical fire you need to get
an electrician out there. My shop is virtually 100% GFCI so a small splash of
water will shut it down.
I have already said you should have a big ABC extinguisher but I still say a
pressurized water is also handy.
To start with refills are free and you don't have to refill it everytime you
use it. If you squirt a teaspoon of dry powder you are going to be paying to
have it cleaned and recharged. The powder keeps the valve from sealing again
and it will be dead within a day or two.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Greg) wrote in message
As a volunteer FF, I can affirm that water is really the way to go.
Better yet, buy a compressed air/water extinguisher, and some class-A
foam mix, and make a couple percent foam/water solution. The foam
causes the water to lose it's surface tension, and it will soak into
the wood faster, stopping the spread to unburnt wood faster, and then
the water will cool off the fire itself.
These are the only extinguishers we carry. We use dirt for flammable
liquids, much easier.
What I can't comment so readily on is the fire cause. Sources I can
easily see are:
- sawdust lit by a cigarette or spark from "finding" a nail/screw with
- pile of oily rags in a hot, enclosed shop
- electrical fire (overloaded circuits)
- flammable liquides/vapors
The first list is mostly handled well by an A extinguisher, but not if
electrical is involved. There you either need GFCI (which you
probably need in your garage shop in the US anyways after the 1999
NEC, and I'd still have a master switch for the room that kills
everything but lights, and hit that before grabbing the extinguisher.
Most fires I've been to have been electrical in origin, or heat caused
by faulty wiring/ventilation of something electrical (one propane leak
was "fun"). Don't forget that thick sawdust (or plane shavings) + hot
lights = fire.
I'd get both. Use the water for non-electric stuff, and the ABC for
anything that might be live.
If the shop is wired right hitting live electrics with water won't be a
problem, if it isn't the power should still go off, just taking out a
breaker/fuse further back. As our visiting firemen tell us "in the event
hit it with whatever suits, fuse/breakers will open" they've been know
to hit a mains incomer with water to take down the supply in a factory
as it was thought to be the ignition source!
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