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    Protect Electronics with Halotron® I and Halon 1211

    By Mark Conroy

    Dry chemical fire extinguishers are effective and inexpensive, but if your customer has a computer room, serverroom, medical equipment, robotics, or other high-valued electronics, they need “clean agent” extinguishers. NFPA10 specifically states that dry chemical extinguishers shall not be installed for the protection of delicate electronic equipment, because dry chemical can damage, beyond repair, the equipment involved in the fire and within the vicinity of the fire. Additionally, clean agents leave no residue, so the dry chemical cleanup downtime is eliminated.

    The three clean agents approved for fire extinguishers are Halon 1211, halocarbons including Halotron® I, and carbon dioxide. Unlike carbon dioxide extinguishers, Halotron and halon extinguishers are small and lightweight with a liquid stream discharge that allows the operator to stand safely away from the fire and still put it out. These two clean agents evaporate quickly and are extremely effective. Additionally, unlike water, these clean agents do not conduct electricity or corrode metals near the fire. The benefits of these extinguishers far outweigh their cost when considering the damage that can be done to expensive equipment or losses in revenue due to the disruptive dry chemical cloud and cleanup time.

    Halon 1211 is approved for use in portable fire extinguishers. And the halon extinguishers used today are in compliance with environmental regulations outlined in the Montreal Protocol, because they are filled with recycled halon, but they should only be used on fires; never for training. While both agents are still approved, extinguishers with Halotron may eventually replace those with halon all together.

    Larger Halotron and halon extinguishers are Class A rated. And since 2-A rated fire extinguishers are required for building protection by NFPA 10, Halotron and halon extinguishers with a 2-A rating or higher are the best protection for buildings and the high-value or business-related equipment in them.

    Extinguishing Agent Comparison

    Dry Chemical No No Yes Yes
    Halon 1211 Yes Yes Yes* No
    Halotron I Yes Yes Yes* No

    *Larger Halon 1211 and Halotron® I Extinguishers are listed with a Class A rating.

    Clean Agent Extinguishers for Building Compliance

    AX398 Halotron I 2-A:10-B:C
    23097B Halotron I 2-A:10-B:C
    DDPAX371 Halon 1211 2-A:40-B:C
    DDPAX361 Halon 1211 4-A:80-B:C

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