Fire Safety Consulting: Many Clean Agent Suppression Concentrations IncreasingPosted by Todd VanGorder on Feb 10, 2012 in Fire Safety & Fire Code Consulting | 0 comments
With the release of the new NFPA 2001 (2012 edition) there are now new rules for the calculation of the minimum effective design of clean agent suppression concentrations. These new rules mainly impact the minimum concentrations for class A fires and a higher minimum concentration for class C fires.
Meridian’s research has revealed that not all manufacturers are recommending the same minimum clean agent suppression concentrations even for the same chemical agents so it’s important to check with the specific manufacturer’s guidelines to insure you are estimating your projects at the proper minimum design concentration.
Let’s take a moment to look at the two leading chemical agents, FM-200 (FE-227), and Novec-1230 Fire Protection Fluid. The FM-200 (FE-227) minimum concentration for class A fires has increased for most manufacturers to 6.7%. (Where you could use a multiplier of .0325 times your room volume to get minimum agent weight in lbs. for 70◦ F.) The Novec-1230 Fire Protection Fluid minimum design concentration has increased, again for most manufacturer’s to 4.5% (Where you could use a multiplier of .0407 times your room volume to get the minimum agent weight in lbs. for 70◦ F.). However, if we are to consider a class C hazard, at least one where the voltages on the equipment would remain under 480V, then we would see minimums increase to 7% to 7.2% depending on the manufacturer of hardware for the FM-200 (FE-227) clean agent. Finally, we see Novec-1230 increasing to 4.7% for Class C for most manufacturers.
The Inert Gas systems did not remain immune either to the new rules. While our research has shown that most Class A concentrations do remain unaffected, we are seeing an increase for both Inergen and Argonite agents for the Class C fires.
It’s also important to note that with the introduction of any new standard, it takes time, depending on the jurisdiction in which you work, for the standard to become adopted. While Meridian Integrations always recommends looking ahead and designing to the latest standards, a competitor may not necessarily be “wrong” to design to the old standard until such a time that the new standard takes effect. Take some time to make sure your customers understand the difference.
We realize all of these new concentrations can be a bit overwhelming, but Meridian Integrations would like to remind all of you that we are at your disposal. If you’d like to double check what the proper clean agent suppression concentration is that you should be using for your specific application feel free to contact our fire code consultant.
As always, if you have a specific fire code question please fill out our ask the fire code expert form.
Learn more about our fire safety consulting services here.