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Old 11-21-2011, 08:36 PM   #1
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Halon Fire Suppression System

I would like to install 2 halon systems. 1 in the engine compartment (DP) and 1 behind the absorption refrigerator. Both systems will be the automatic type (temperature activated).

A couple questions for those of you that have already done this:
1) Where did you purchase the system?
2) For the engine compartment did you just install the bottle or did you install manifold piping to cover the larger area more effectively?
3) How much did you spend on the bottles, they seem rather pricey?
4) Is halon the correct solution?

Thanks
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:46 AM   #2
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I am searching my memory banks on Halon systems. If memory serves me correct, Halon if effective in close environments. Halon consumes the oxygen thus smothering the fire. It seems an engine compartment is too open to the environment for Halon to work. Not too sure about behind the fridge, but I would think it would also fill the living area too.

One thing with Halon is that you MUST exit the area immediately once the system activates. I also seem to recall that Halon system were being removed from service about 15 years ago. Not sure if it was due to change of regulations or safety concerns. I remember one time responding to a fire alarm in the computer room of a local company (Halon was used big time in computer rooms but changed to something else - co2??). I stupidly walked into the computer room without my mask on. Well the Halon system has dumped. I couldn't breath and couldn't get the mask on fast enough.

Personally, I would consider other fire suppression systems. For the engine compartment, check out what NHRA teams use. Once you have an engine fire, it is pretty much toast anyway.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:58 AM   #3
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Here's all the info you're looking for he's been doing this a long time. Fire Extinguisher Education for RVers
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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his explanation of Halon shows my age.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:49 AM   #5
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halon systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdennislee View Post
I would like to install 2 halon systems. 1 in the engine compartment (DP) and 1 behind the absorption refrigerator. Both systems will be the automatic type (temperature activated).

A couple questions for those of you that have already done this:
1) Where did you purchase the system?
2) For the engine compartment did you just install the bottle or did you install manifold piping to cover the larger area more effectively?
3) How much did you spend on the bottles, they seem rather pricey?
4) Is halon the correct solution?

Thanks
the old halon type 1211 &1301 was banned in 1994 as it was ozone unfriendly, it took 75 years to breakdown in the atmosphere, they now use products such as Haylonaire & haylatron which is supossed to break down in 5 years.
now what is halon? it is a liquid,when fired turns to a gas which mixes with the air dispursing oxygen molecules lowering the air around the fires ability to support combustion,it reduces the oxygen content from about 21% to about 8-10% in about 10 seconds, problem is YOU need 21% to breath, if you stay in a closed area with haylon to long You go out too. You will start gasping for air in about 30 seconds to a minute.
Places where haylon is used because of its rapid oxygen depletion is -
1- multi million dollar main frame computers,to save info and because there is no mess to clean up.
2- race cars, the driver usually has own breathing supply.
Haylon is very expensive to install and expensive to recharge, about $300.00 for a 5 pound bottle.
don't forget all fire extinguishers must be recharged after using, so if you give it a 5 second shot and it seems like it's still full ,forget it, it must be recharged.
I would recommend a closed CO2 system, it works the same and after installation costs about 60% less to recharge, and also leaves no mess to clean up.
It operates on the same principal as haylon by lowering oxygen molecules but allows YOU more time in a enclosed area! it is also easier to get recharged by most fire extinguisher companies.
another option you might look into is SUPER "K" used in kitchens and pizza parlors.

NOW my confession! I have been in the fire extinguisher business for 25 plus years (now retired) and i have fire extingushers in my home 2 of which are haylon but i know when,where and how to use them.
my MH is ABC and CO2 only. (portable type)
Hope this helps!
Just a note- christmas is coming. A fire extinguisher is cheap and lasts 20 years with maintainance, so buy one for your loved ones, it's the best gift they can get next to your love.
Carl
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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I too recommend Mac the Fire Guy (Fire Extinguisher Education link above) Man knows what he's talking about.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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Crazycanuck just for accuracy, the manufacture of 1301 was banned. I know because I just got quotes for replacement of a 600lb 1301 cylinder from multiple vendors.
I agree with the rest. "Clean Agent" is for "sensitive" product.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:35 PM   #8
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Posters are pretty much on about halon. When I had a paying job, one of my duties was to maintain the facility fire systems. We had two halon systems, large system in the computer center and a smaller one in the tel. equipment room. They do work well in a closed area. Air handlers shut off to cut out air movement so they "dump" into dead air.
I know they are being sold and installed behind the fridge., but I do question their worth in an open air area. Stand to be corrected on this but don't most RV fridges have fans to move air across the cooling unit. If one is installed, it would be best to have a way to cut the fans
A foam system would be harder to clean up but it may better for your application.
Also, in my plans are additional small ext.'s and a large unit stored in an outside compartment.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:56 PM   #9
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Thanks to each of you for responding with such good information.

The link to Mac the Fireguy was very educational.

I have decided to go ahead with both fire suppression systems but not use halon. I have also decided it's no longer a DIY project. I will pay the experts to install.

I realize the engine compartment system will not save the engine but hope for a few hundred bucks it might save the coach and the family.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
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A help is keeping the engine clean. While not generally the cause of a fire, grease, dust and oil help hold heat and provide fuel for a fire. Despite being required the only fire the extinguishers in a rv are good for would be a pan on the stove.
If I remember right the suggested amount of water for a car fire went from 250 gallons to 500 (due to plastics and exotic metals).
When I was a EMS Captain I arrived on a Class C RV fire as it was starting. My 10 lb dry chem slowed the fire long enough for the people to grab their valuables and disconnect the toad. The rest was a not pretty.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCooke View Post
A help is keeping the engine clean. While not generally the cause of a fire, grease, dust and oil help hold heat and provide fuel for a fire. Despite being required the only fire the extinguishers in a rv are good for would be a pan on the stove.
If I remember right the suggested amount of water for a car fire went from 250 gallons to 500 (due to plastics and exotic metals).
When I was a EMS Captain I arrived on a Class C RV fire as it was starting. My 10 lb dry chem slowed the fire long enough for the people to grab their valuables and disconnect the toad. The rest was a not pretty.
This is one of the reasons I want to go with an automatic system, hopefully to minimize the damage and stop it before it gets out of hand.

BTW I'm an EMT in Alaska. Work there but live in Ohio so no local Ohio FD affiliation to get advice from.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdennislee View Post
I would like to install 2 halon systems. 1 in the engine compartment (DP) and 1 behind the absorption refrigerator. Both systems will be the automatic type (temperature activated).

A couple questions for those of you that have already done this:
1) Where did you purchase the system?
2) For the engine compartment did you just install the bottle or did you install manifold piping to cover the larger area more effectively?
3) How much did you spend on the bottles, they seem rather pricey?
4) Is halon the correct solution?

Thanks
This subject has been talked before on this site. I will give you my 2 cents. I am in the fire sprinkler business and have been for 46 years. I have install halon in computer rooms many times. As the reply below yours said and very correctley Halon is for self contained areas. Cold fire looks like the best way to go.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #13
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First off, you do NOT want to install any Halon in your engine compartment. It will not be effective in such a large compartment. The only fire suppression system you should use is the AFFF system, Aqueous Film Forming Foam for your engine area.

Next, I purchased both of my systems, Norcold rear cavity Halon, and the AFFF for my diesel engine compartment from Mac the Fire Guy. He is a very knowledgeable guy who will give you straight forward answers to your questions.

I have a 1 liter Halon with a 165 F automatic dispersion head for the fridge and a 3 liter AFFF with a 285 F automatic remote head for the engine compartment. The head is situated directly over the fuel delivery system and injectors. The tank is located on the rear of the closet wall in the engine compartment.

I also purchased the portable Cold Fire Package from Mac to have portable units at the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the car and a larger one at the front door entry way.

Give him a call and Google his web site.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:10 PM   #14
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Thanks Dr4Film. I see you are from Anchorage. I just brought my MH to the lower 48 for the winter. I like having it in Anchorage in the summer months but just to cold to have any fun in it in the winter.
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