Sea-Fire Europe recently announced it will no longer distribute equipment that uses HFCs (hydroflourocarbons).
HFCs are a group of man-made gaseous agents that adversely impact the environment. They are frequently used in the fire-suppression and HVAC industries. The most commonly used for fire suppression is HFC227, also known as FM-200. The discharge of a cylinder of HFC227 from an average-size fire extinguisher, for example, has the CO2 equivalent of driving a car 167,000 miles, according to a Sea-Fire press release.
The 1987 Montreal Protocol that dealt with the phase-out of halon also created regulations to reduce HFCs. In 2018, there was reportedly a reduction of 37 percent from a 2015 baseline, with more reductions scheduled.
According to Sea-Fire, that phase-down will create HFC227 shortages that will drive up prices – the cost in Europe is predicted to double in the next 18 months – and adversely affect the ability to service HFC systems.
An alternative is 3M Novec 1230 fire suppression fluid, which is electrically non-conductive and non-corrosive. It reportedly has a low toxicity value, has little global warming potential, and is not part of any proposed environmental phase-down.
Baltimore-based Sea-Fire Marine and Sea-Fire Europe supply fire detection and suppression equipment to commercial, naval and recreational vessels worldwide. For more information, visit sea-fire.com.