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Fire Suppression Systems
 
Why Special Hazards Systems?

The focus of fire protection has always been to limit the damage a fire can cause. Originally, the goal was to confine fire to a city block. Today's conventional water systems can confine a fire to a building, a floor and even to the point of containing a fire within a single room.

Water was, and still is, the primary tool to control structural fires. However, with today's technical sophistication, containing a fire to a single area is not always enough. Critical facilities require an even higher level of fire protection. 

The Gielle Srl is an organization dedicated to providing a higher level of fire protection. Gielle Srl members are specialists in protecting high value special hazard areas from fire. 

A small fire, even one contained to one area or controlled by a conventional sprinkler system can cause problems in a critical operation. Most sprinkler systems activate when temperatures reach a pre-set level, often after a fire is established and equipment damage may have begun. Water based agents are electrically conductive and cause current flow which can damage sensitive equipment. Even with the power off, water discharges often cause equipment problems. Abrupt electrical shutdowns are hard on both equipment and operations; and the cleanup process, mopping up and drying out equipment, is often tedious. 

The 1992 National Fire Protection Association Standard 75 on Electronic Computer/Data Processing Equipment offers the following guidance on minimizing water damage caused by the discharge of a sprinkler system: 

Open Cabinet doors, remove side panels and covers, and pull out chassis drawers to allow water to run out of equipment. 

Set up fans to move room temperature air through the equipment for general drying. Move portable equipment to dry air conditioned areas. 
Use compressed air at no higher than 50 psi to blow out trapped water. 

Use hand held dryers on lowest setting to dry connectors, backplane wirewraps, and printed circuit cards. (Caution: Keep the dryer well away from components and wires. Overheating of electrical components can cause permanent damage.) 

Use cotton tipped swabs for hard to reach places. Lightly dab the surfaces to remove residual moisture. Do not use cotton tipped swabs on wirewrap terminals. 

Water displacement aerosol sprays containing Freon-alcohol mixtures are effective in first step drying of critical components. Follow up with professional restoration as soon as possible. 
Even with this extensive recovery process there is no guarantee the unit will ever properly function. Other specialized extinguishing agents, such as foam and dry chemical powders, extinguish most fires but may have a long lasting effect on equipment. They can even damage equipment not affected by the fire. While very effective fire fighting agents in the right applications, these agents are not normally used to protect sensitive hazards in normally occupied areas. Fortunately there are fire protection tools that do protect highly valuable and sensitive areas; Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems. Clean agent systems not only protect an enclosure from fire, they protect the contents as well! Including people, documents, and equipment. 

Clean agent systems work on class A, B, and C fires and react quickly to extinguish a fire at its earliest stages. Using early detection and rapid extinguishment, clean agent systems eliminate the fire, reduce the damage to equipment, and increase the safety of people in the fire area . Clean agents extinguish fires as a gas, which gives them the ability to permeate into cabinets and obstructed areas. It also makes them uniquely suited to protect the electronics hidden inside a piece of equipment, a likely place for a fire to start. By thoroughly flooding the area with a gaseous fire fighting agent, even obscured or hard to reach fires are quickly extinguished, usually long before they can be seen. After extinguishment, the agent is readily ventilated from the room along with any byproducts of the fire. 

Unlike water, these fire fighting agents are non-conductive and non-corrosive, making them safe to use on and around live electrical equipment. There is no residue to cleanup, no lingering materials to slowly degrade equipment, and no need for an expensive "Disaster Recovery" process. Operations are brought back online and productive in a very short time. 

Most agents are also safe to use in occupied areas. These agents have undergone extensive toxicity testing to prove they are compatible with people. While NFPA recommends always exiting the hazard in the event of a fire, it is important that people not be harmed by the extinguishing system. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in the Significant New Applications Policy (SNAP), provides toxicity guidance for the use of new clean extinguishing agents through the use of LOAEL (Lowest Observable Adverse Effect Level) and NOAEL (No Observable Adverse Effect Level) values. Occupied hazard areas can be safely protected by agents up to an agent's LOAEL concentration, provided the area can be exited in one minute. For longer exposures, agent concentration should remain below the NOAEL level. 

The physical benefits of a clean extinguishing agent are many, but a greater value is what these fire-fighting agents can do for your business. In today's highly competitive global economy, any interruption or loss of service can be disastrous. 

Our increased reliance on sophisticated electronics, telecommunications and other valuable equipment, requires protecting those assets as effectively as possible. Clean agent systems are the best way to keep critical operations running. Historically, fires have had a significant negative impact on business. Industry studies show that 43 percent of business closed by a significant fire never reopen, and another 29 percent fail within three years. A strong testament to the value of good, effective, fire protection. 

The immediate effect is lost assets. Most people view assets in terms of tangible items: equipment, computers, supplies, and product inventory. The dollar value of these items can range into the millions. In some circumstances the value is immeasurable. Consider the effect of a fire in a museum, a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment, a library, or a record storage vault. The lost items are irreplaceable at any cost. 

For these hazards, fire damage and the collateral damage that can occur with some protection methods is simply unacceptable. Saving valuables from fire makes good sense. But destruction of tangible assets is only one problem. A study by the Network Reliability Council, an organization established by the Federal Communications Commission, found advances in technology have created a higher level of risk exposure.

It is no surprise that businesses are doing more today, with much less equipment and staff. The repercussions of a fire, even a small one, have a greater impact today than the same size fire of 10, or even five, years ago. 

Clean agent extinguishing systems are not new. For many years, fire protection experts have called upon Halon 1301 and Carbon Dioxide to protect essential property from fire. 

Halon has been a reliable, effective, and safe fire protection tool for protecting people and valuable facilities. However, due to concern over potential ozone depletion, the manufacture of Halon has been prohibited in most countries. But the need for a clean, effective, safe, and environmentally acceptable agent remains. Fortunately there are several excellent clean agents available to continue protecting critical hazards. 

Gielle Srl have been the key to developing, testing, and engineering clean agent suppression systems. In addition to the industrial workhorse, Carbon Dioxide, three new clean agents have been introduced by our manufacturing members; HFC-23, FM-200, FE-227, INERGEN and Argon. These agents are often referenced by their ASHRAE designation. 

Trade Name: Argon 
ASHRAE Name: IG-01 

more infoargon fire suppression system

Trade Name: Carbon Dioxide 
ASHRAE Name: N/A 

more infocarbon dioxide fire suppression system

Trade Name: FE 13 
ASHRAE Name: HFC-23 

more infofe 13 fire suppression system

Trade Name: FM-200 
ASHRAE Name: HFC-227ea 

more infofm-200 fire suppression system

Trade Name: INERGEN 
ASHRAE Name: IG-541 

more infoinergen fire suppression system

Fire Protection In today's world of increasing global competition, simple fire protection may not be enough. Equipment downtime and loss of records, archival storage, and ultimately ongoing operations could have a severe effect on your operation and possibly that of your customers. Through the efforts of organizations like the Gielle, the world has come to rely on clean agents to protect people, equipment, and their operations. Contact your local Gielle Srl representative to help tailor a protection plan to meet your needs.

Fire Suppression Systems: FE Family of Clean Agent Fire Extinguishants
 
Gielle Srl worked agressively to sells the FE family of clean agent fire extinguishants, designed to replace and eliminate the need for Halon in the protection of people, high-value assets, and the continuity of business. 

The FE clean agent fire extinguishants are safe for people, electrically nonconductive, noncorrosive, and free of residue. Unlike Halon, most do not contain chlorine or bromine and therefore have zero ozone depletion potential. 

With the FE products protecting what matters most, Gielle Srl continues its tradition of safety, and you get peace of mind.

FE-227 is a fire extinguishing replacement for Halon 1301 in total flooding applications. Known as heptafluoropropane or HFC-227ea, FE-227 is the most widely used clean agent replacement for Halon 1301 globally. 


FE-25 demonstrates the closest match to Halon 1301. Due to the physical similarities between FE-25 and Halon 1301, FE-25 is the best choice to retrofit existing Halon 1301 systems. Known as pentafluoroethane or HFC-125, FE-25 is also commonly used in inerting and explosion suppression applications. 


FE-36 is used as a replacement for Halon 1211 in portable fire extinguishers and as a replacement for Halon 1301 in local application systems, such as modular suppression systems. Known as hexafluoropropane or HFC-236fa, FE-36 is proving to be the standard in-kind replacement for Halon 1211 in streaming applications. 


HFC-23 is a replacement for Halon 1301 as a total flooding agent. Known as trifluoromethane or HFC-23, HFC-23 is the preferred alternative where its low toxicity provides for improved safety margins, the protected spaces are large, or where the temperatures are likely to go below 0C (32F). 


FE-241 functions both as a total flooding agent for nonoccupied spaces and as a streaming agent. Known as tetrafluoroethane or HCFC-124, FE-241 is well-suited for modular systems such as those used in engine compartments of marine pleasure craft. 

 
 
     
 
Gielle Srl will help you to select a system that is technically capable of protecting your risk. 

Fire Suppression Systems: maintenanace
Whatever system is specified, routine maintenance is essential. Gielle Srl specifies a schedule of twice yearly maintenance for all its systems and, for gas suppression systems, an integrity testing process is also offered. 

The effectiveness of a gas system is reliant on the integrity of the protected room, i.e. its ability to hold gas. Prior to 1989 discharge testing was the only practical way to prove the ability of the protected room to hold the gas, but since that date Gielle Srl has been able to offer a far less disruptive and environmentally friendly method of testing the air-tightness of protected area and to predict how long it takes for the interface between the extinguishing agent and air to descend to a given level. 

Annual integrity testing is now recommended for all gaseous fire extinguishing systemsunder BS ISO 14520. 

Finding the most appropriate solution requires a thorough discussion of numerous site specific circumstances, but the most widely accepted alternatives are as follows: 
 
 
Gielle Srl - Administrative Headsquares 
Via Ferri Rocco 1001 Z.I. - 70022 Altamura (Ba) 
Tel +39 0803118998 - Fax + 39 0803101309
E-mail: info@fm200.biz 
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