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SAER-6119

SAER-6119

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Previous Issue: NewPage 1 of 13Primary contact: Ashoor, Esam Ahmed on 966-3-8728431
Copyright©Saudi Aramco 2007. All rights reserved.
 
Engineering Report
 
SAER-6119 19 May 2007Guidelines for Removal or Replacementof Halon 1301 Fire Extinguisher Systems
Document Responsibility: Loss Prevention Department
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards
 Table of Contents
 
1 Executive Summary...................................... 22 Scope............................................................ 23 History........................................................... 24 Approved Alternative Clean Agents.............. 35 General Philosophy for Existing Facilities.... 46 Recommendations for Specific Typesof Facilities............................................ 77 Halon Disposal Procedures.......................... 9Appendix – Types of Smoke Detection.............. 10Bibliography........................................................ 11Glossary............................................................. 12
 
Document Responsibility: Loss Prevention SAER-6119Issue Date: 19 May 2007 Guidelines for Removal or Replacementof Halon 1301 Fire Extinguisher SystemsPage 2 of 13
1 Executive Summary
This report covers the general philosophy and recommendations for the phase-out of Halon gaseous fire extinguishing systems. Saudi Aramco has many facilities which stillhave Halon fire extinguishing systems in place. Proponent organizations can use thisreport to determine where clean agent systems are still needed and where replacementmay not be justified because the fire hazard or function of the room has changed. Alsothe technology for fire detection has changed. Instead of using gaseous fireextinguishing, modern fire prevention techniques are now recommended including theuse of high-sensitivity smoke detection and training of operating personnel for response,increased segregation of equipment into multiple fire zones, and providing a certainlevel of backup facilities for disaster recovery and business continuance.
2 Scope
This report covers the general philosophy and recommendations for the removal orreplacement of existing Halon 1301 gaseous fire extinguishing systems in SaudiAramco facilities to comply with Saudi Aramco environmental policy and the MontrealProtocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.
3 History
3.1 Since the 1970's, Halon 1301 (bromotrifluoromethane CBrF3) was thepreferred gaseous fire extinguishing agent used to protect a number of companyassets. The systems were primarily installed in the raised subfloor areas of communications buildings, computer rooms, control rooms, and other facilitieswhere there was a large density of subfloor cables and electrical loads weresignificant. The justification for using Halon gaseous fire extinguishing systemswas to avoid business interruption if a fire were to develop in the subfloor area.Many communications facilities were also protected by total flooding, especiallyunmanned, remote facilities where a timely manual response was not possible.This was desirable since control systems, computer and telecommunicationsfacilities required a relatively large amount of electrical power and there was aconcern about the potential overheating of the wiring or other poweredequipment possibly causing a fire. Halon was preferred over water or drychemical extinguishing systems because the water or chemical would cause arelatively large amount of damage and require clean-up, resulting in relativelylong business interruption. Halon gas, by comparison, could extinguish a flameyet leave no residue. It would not damage electrical cables or equipment.
 
Document Responsibility: Loss Prevention SAER-6119Issue Date: 19 May 2007 Guidelines for Removal or Replacementof Halon 1301 Fire Extinguisher SystemsPage 3 of 13
3.2 SAES-B-014, Safety Requirements for Plant and Operations Support Buildings,was revised in 1996. The 1996 revision discouraged the installation of newHalon 1301 fixed fire extinguishing systems. Instead of depending on Halon,modern facilities are designed with more fire separation, higher-rated fire walls,highly sensitive fire detection systems, and noncombustible materials to avoidthe need for gaseous fire extinguishing systems.3.3 In 1998, Saudi Aramco started to use FM-200 [HFC 227ea; heptafluoropropane]for new facilities where gaseous clean agent fire extinguishing was required.This was primarily due to its wide use in the world, including its selection andprior use by the Saudi Government in installations that Saudi Aramco nowoperates. At the time, FM-200 was the most widely used clean fireextinguishing agent in the world.3.4 In 2006, Novec 1230 [C
6
-fluoroketone] was the second Halon alternative fireextinguishing agent approved for use in Saudi Aramco facilities. InformationTechnology (IT) engineers investigated many Halon alternative agents to beused in place of Halon systems for new and existing facilities in consultationwith the Chief Fire Prevention Engineer. They chose Novec 1230, an ozonefriendly gas that is also electronics friendly.
4 Approved Alternative Clean Agents
4.1 Both Novec 1230 and FM-200 have been accepted as clean fire extinguishingagents for use in Saudi Aramco facilities, whether manned or unmanned. Bothhave an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of zero. Both are listed as cleanagents in the Significant new Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program approvalfrom the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. The use of FM-200 may bereconsidered in the future because hydrofluorocarbons (materials that consist of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon), have been identified in the Kyoto Protocol asgreenhouse gases targeted for emission reduction because of their high globalwarming potential. Some companies have stopped using FM-200 and nowspecify Novec 1230 or other inert agents because it is a hydrofluorocarbon.
Table 1 - Environmental Properties of Halon 1301,Novec 1230, and FM-200
Properties Halon 1301 Novec 1230 FM-200
Ozone DepletionPotential (ODP)12 0 0Global WarmingPotential (GWP)6900 1 3500Atmospheric life (Years) 65 0.014 33

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