Introduction to Clean Agents

$ 29.00

Continuing Education Units (CEU): 0.10

Expected Duration: 1 Hour

This self-paced online course discusses how clean agents work to cause extinguishment, the clean agents currently available, and clean agent hardware components.

Upon completion you should be able to:

  • Explain the mechanisms clean agents use to cause extinguishment
  • List and explain clean agent chemicals that have been used in the past, including:
    • carbon dioxide
    • Halon 1301
  • Explain why the use of these older clean agents has changed
  • List and explain new clean agent chemicals, including:
    • new halocarbon clean agents
    • new inert gaseous clean agents
  • Explain standards and regulations governing the use of clean agents, including:
    • Undewriters Laborabories
    • FM Global
    • NFPA 2001
  • Explain the components of clean agent systems and how they operate to achieve extinguishment

Who Will Benefit

Anyone whose job involves designing, reviewing, evaluating or installing fire protection systems, including: designers, installers, engineers, electrical contractors, technicians, project managers, fire marshals, and architects.

Course Summary

  • Clean agents work to cause extinguishment by displacing oxygen, increasing heat losses from the fire through increased heat capacity and (for halocarbon based clean agents) through endothermic decomposition reactions. Some agents, most notably Halon 1301, utilize radicals liberated during decomposition to interfere with combustion reactions.
  • Halon 1301 and carbon dioxide have been used extensively in the past. Halon 1301 has been banned from production due to its link to stratospheric ozone depletion. Carbon dioxide is limited in application by the toxicity of the agent at its minimum design concentration.
  • Alternative agents developed in response to the production ban of Halon 1301 are grouped into two main categories based on their reliance on the endothermic decomposition mechanism to cause extinguishment:
    • The halocarbon-based agents, which rely on the endothermic decomposition mechanism, include HFC-227ea (FM-200 or FE-227), HFC-125 (FE-25), HFC-23 (FE-13), and FK-5-1-12 (Novec 1230).
    • The inert gas agents, which do not undergo decomposition reactions, include IG-541 (Inergen), IG-55 (Argonite), IG-01 (argon), and IG-100 (nitrogen).
  • The U.S. EPA SNAP evaluates clean agents for environmental impact and exposure limits in the context of a clean agent fire suppression system.
  • Underwriters Laboratories in their standards on clean agents, UL-2166 and UL-2127, develop the minimum agent requirements and system specific performance requirements.  FM Global, in their approvals process specifies similar performance requirements.
  • The National Fire Protection Association in their standard on clean agent systems, NFPA 2001, provides a comprehensive design, installation, and performance standard for the utilization of these systems.