www.ushalonbank.com  1.800.433.1751                                                  March 2014 - Vol 2, Issue 33              
In This Issue
Tyco is Back and Much Stronger
Aerospace Will Continue to Lift UTC Results
UTC Will Strengthen Its Competitive Position
Data Center Design: Fire and Life Safety
Montreal Protocol and HFCs
EPA Talks Fire, ODS and HFCs -- An Agenda
Exclusive Photos of FSSA Annual Forum
FSSA Elects New Officers and Board Members
Halon Tank Explodes, Two Injured
Service Restored to Dispatch Office after System Discharges
High Pressure Cylinders in Highway Explosion
Obituary: Ron Steel of Steel Fire
Most Popular Stories from January 2014
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Additional Stories

False alarms, MNS to be features of SupDet 2014

QUINCY, Mass.- The Fire Protection Research Foundation's annual Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium (SupDet) will take place March 4-7 this year and includes sessions useful for installers, such as ones on nuisance alarms and mass notification.

Click here to read the full story.

Heard on the Street

The Chinese are back in business of manufacturing halon 1301 and supplying their military and commercial aviation industry.

Did You Know?

By Shannon Esopenko

Oxygen for a fire to start -- 21% is needed for optimum burning, exactly the percentage we need to breathe.

The Air Up There: We Think It Meets Spec
By John Demeter

The National Fire Protection Association is considering a change to its NFPA 2001, the standard that covers clean agent fire suppression systems (though not halon 1301). This change could have an impact on fire equipment manufacturers and installers who operate under this standard by requiring that not only newly manufactured agent but also recycled agent meet the quality standards established in Table 4.1.2 (a) through Table 4.1.2 (d). If adopted, this requirement would be included in the 2015 Edition of NFPA 2001. (Click here to see the proposed language changes.)


The practical impact of this change would require that any "recovered" agent, defined as a Clean Agent that has been removed from a system and kept for future use or until it is destroyed, without necessarily testing or processing it in any way, shall be tested and certified to the specifications identified in NFPA 2001 before being used. Simply put, an agent (FM200, FE25, Novec 1230) could not be transferred from one cylinder to another without first sampling and testing the agent to ensure that it meets NFPA standards. 


The minimum standards are: Purity - 99.0%; Acidity - 3.0 ppm; Water - 10 ppm; NVR (non-volatile residue - such as oil. (Click here to see how these requirements compare to the more stringent ASTM standards). These tests are fairly simple and can be performed by several companies in the recycling/refrigerant business.


There are several reasons why these changes are being discussed and debated. First, independent field tests conducted two years ago showed a large percentage of system cylinders being returned for recycling contained moisture levels. In some cases, these levels were as high as 20 to 30 ppm. One cylinder tested at 276 ppm. Second, an issue - actually a crime - involving contaminated halons sold into the commercial aviation industry caused a number of groups (FAA, DOD, Transport Canada, FSSA and HARC) to begin reviewing the process of recycling and recharging systems. With all of this attention being paid to the use of clean agents, it was not surprising that something had to be done. It's hard to argue against.


The clean agent recycling business is now approaching its 20th year and has expanded from simple halon recycling to covering the entire range of clean fire suppression agents. It's been estimated that recyclers perform nearly 70 percent of clean agent recharges in the United States. Along with the rest of the fire suppression industry, we have been remarkably good product stewards of the chemicals we all handle, a fact not unnoticed by the U.S. EPA and other regulatory bodies. The continued growth in the reuse of clean agents in our industry requires that we all be more vigilant in insuring that our product meets specifications. This is one step in that direction.

We in the fire suppression industry work under demanding specifications, and rightly so --system calc's -- room integrity - nozzles drilled to exact orifice - straight pipes - detection. The quality of the clean agent used for recharge cannot be overlooked. Too much is at stake. Isn't it? Or are you ok with "We think it meets spec." Just asking.


Tyco is Back and Much Stronger

The Street  


By Richard Saintvilus  


NEW YORK -- It wasn't that long ago that Tyco International (TYC) was widely regarded as one of the best conglomerates on the market.


With end-market exposure in areas like electronics, security, medical devices, commercial fire/safety and others, Tyco went toe-to-toe with other well-diversified behemoths like General Electric (GE) and Honeywell (HON).


Unlike GE and Honeywell, Tyco lacked integrity and reliable leadership. And that's putting it mildly. Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO of the company, who has recently been paroled after serving eight years in prison,looted the company of more than $100 million.


Aerospace Will Continue to Lift UTC Results


The aerospace industry drove growth in United Technologies's (NYSE:UTX) 2013 results despite weakness from the building markets of Europe. In 2014, we figure that the global aerospace industry will continue to remain strong with higher demand from commercial aviation, partially offset by the softer US military market. Last year, United Technologies (UTC) generated about 45% of its revenues from the global aerospace industry comprising of the commercial and military aviation markets. The industrial conglomerate's Pratt & Whitney segment, which produces and services airplane engines, and the Aerospace Systems segment (UTAS), which makes airplane parts like landing gears, nacelle, cockpit and electronic systems, constitute roughly equal shares of its aerospace revenues.

Read the full article here.

UTC Will Strengthen Its Competitive Position


Late last year, United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) announced the formation of a new organization structure which combines its existing commercial businesses - Otis elevators and escalators, Carrier heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and Kidde/Chubb fire prevention and security systems - into a single business unit. This year, as the company executes the formation of this new business unit, we figure it will add growth to its results. More importantly, in the long term, this new organization structure will help strengthen United Technologies's (UTC) position in the global building market by accelerating development of its new integrated building systems.


Click here to read the full article.


Data Center Design: Fire and Life Safety


In the information age, data centers are one of the most critical components of a facility. If the data center isn't reliable, business can't be done. Fire and life safety issues are tackled here.


CSE: What trends and events have affected changes in fire detection/suppression systems in data centers?


David E. Wesemann, PE, LEED AP, ATD, President, Spectrum Engineers Inc., Salt Lake City: The highly sensitive air sampling systems are very common for data centers due to their early detection of potential fires. This coupled with a gaseous clean-agent type suppression system helps to avoid the risk of introducing water from wet sprinklers into the data center (although many codes and jurisdictions still require traditional sprinkler systems even if clean agent suppression systems are present).


Terrence J. Gillick, President, Primary Integration Solutions Inc., Charlotte, N.C.: To varying degrees, philosophical, code, and insurance trends all have affected changes in life safety/fire suppression systems in data centers. From a fire detection standpoint, we are seeing the deployment of early detection warning systems, such as very early smoke detection apparatus (VESDA), which detect the elements of combustion at the atomic level and indicate a pending fire. Another area in which we've seen significant change is within the data center enclosure, where we are being asked to commission various combinations of water, dry-pipe reaction, and gaseous suppression systems depending on the facility. Additionally, many of the medium- and high-density rack enclosures require fire suppression systems within the enclosure, which vary by local jurisdictions and code requirements.


Click here to read the full article.


Montreal Protocol and HFCs - An Update


On Friday, February 14, the State Department and EPA hosted a stakeholder meeting to begin discussions for 2014 on the issue of HFCs in the Montreal Protocol. Participants included Janet McCabe, Sarah Dunham, Drusilla Hufford, and Cindy Newberg of EPA, along with Dan Reifsynder and John Thompson of State. There were about 40 attendees representing industry and environmental NGOs.

It appears that the United States, Canada and Mexico will again propose an amendment by the mid-May deadline to add HFCs to the Montreal Protocol and slowly phase down their production. The amendment is likely to be similar to the 2013 proposed amendment, although changes could be considered to the schedule and baseline. Any proposed amendments would be discussed at the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting in July and at the Meeting of Parties (MOP) in November.

Read the full statement here

EPA Talks Fire, ODS and HFCs -- An Agenda

The purpose of this sector workshop was to foster dialogue between stakeholders and EPA and discuss information on the current and future use of various alternatives in fire protection applications.




1. Welcome & Introductions


2. Background


a. Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program

b. President's Climate Action Plan


Click here to view the complete agenda. 


Exclusive Photos of FSSA Annual Forum

Check out some photos that we took at the 2014 FSSA Annual Forum that took place from Saturday, February 22, 2014 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA. Click here to see all of the pictures.


FSSA Elects New Officers and Board Members

At its 2014 Annual Conference in San Diego, the Fire Suppression System Association elected new officers for the coming year. They are:
  • Eric Burkland (Healy Fire) President
  • Tim Carman (Tyco) Vice President
  • Steve Carter (Orr) Secretary/Treasurer
  • Dale Kent (3M) Immediate Past President 

The following directors were elected for a two year term from the Manufacturing Division:
  • Tim Carmen (Tyco)
  • John Demeter (Wesco) 
  • Todd Stevens (Minimax USA)
The following Manufacturing Division Officers were elected for a one-year term:
  • Kevin Murray (Siemens) Chair
  • Mike Kiamanesh (Waysmos USA) Vice Chair
The following directors were elected for a two-year term from the Installers Division:
  • Steve Carter (Orr)
  • Bill Blanchard (Great Lakes Building Systems, Inc)
  • Matt Euson (3S)
The following Installer Division officers were elected for a one-year term:
  • Anna Gavin (Fireline Corp.) Chair
  • Scott Bailey (Koorsen Fire and Security) Vice Chair
Joining this group on the FSSA Board are the following existing members:
  • John Lawlor (Keystone)
  • Helen Lowery (DuPont)
  • Rick Scott (BFPE)
  • Bill Howerton (Fike)
  • Tina Nelissen (Amerex)

Halon Tank Explodes, Two Injured

CBS6 Albany

ALBANY - State Police were at the scene after a small explosion at building 12 of the Harriman State Office Campus Thursday evening.

Battalion Chief Mike Burns of the Albany Fire department said at around 8:00 p.m., two workers, Carlton Smith and Michael Lambertsen, were removing an old halon tank when it exploded outside at a loading dock.

According to authorities, the stem of the tank fractured, causing the Halon to escape. Both of the workers suffered chemical burns to their legs, and Smith suffered a fracture to the leg. Burns said the workers' injuries were "pretty serious" and not life threatening. The tank could be seen in the rear of a truck bearing the company name SimplexGrinnell. A phone call to the company at a number in Clifton Park produced no new information.

Burns said besides the injuries the explosion caused no damage. Even the tank appeared to be mostly intact. One person on scene who worked for the state said it appeared the top of the tank may have blown off. About an hour after the explosion, Burns said the cause of was unknown.

Halon is a chemical used to extinguish a fire without damaging computer equipment.

Service Restored to Dispatch Office after System Discharges

Daily Press

Operations center down 12 hours after Halon gas system set off

HESPERIA, CA - The High Desert Public Safety Operations Center communications system was up and running on Tuesday after being down for 12 hours Monday because the Halon gas system activated in the computer server room, an official says.


The Valley Control Center in Rialto assumed operation control of 911, non-emergency and radio traffic for county patrol operations in the High Desert during the outage time without any disruption to services, San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.


Click here to read the full article. 


High Pressure Cylinders in Highway Explosion

Check out this Great Icebreaker video for a HAZMAT Class demonstrating the dangers of insecure high pressure cylinders in a highway accident. This was an accident that occurred in Russia. Russians have dashcams in order to provide additional evidence in court due to guard against police corruption and insurance fraud.

You can view the video here.

Obituary: Ron Steel of Steel Fire

Sadly, on January 24th 2014, Ron Steel passed away at Sunnybrook Hospital during a procedure to replace a heart valve. There were some complications and his heart was not strong enough at the end despite the doctors' best efforts.


A Celebration of Life memorial was held on Saturday February 1st from 1:30-3pm at the Elgin Mills Cemetery Visitation Centre.


Read more about Ron's life and memories of him here


Most Popular Stories from January 2014 



If you have any questions, comments, would like to be featured in a future Halon Herald, or would like to be added to our mailing list for this newsletter, please contact Kari Buser at [email protected].


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