Clock ticking towards December deadline for compliance with halon gas regulations

Article date: 13 October 2003

Businesses that have not yet replaced Halon-based fire fightingsystems could fall foul of the law if they do not take immediateaction, according to Norwich Union.

The regulations governing the extinguishing agent, Halon 1301and 1211, require all Halon systems to be dismantled and thesubstance removed and either recycled or destroyed safely at aregistered disposal site. Systems can be found in data centres,computer suites, telecommunications switch centres, power plantrooms, cableways and other critical business areas.

Allister Smith, property risk manager at Norwich Union, says:“Unfortunately, our evidence shows that many businessesdon’t understand their obligations and the consequences offailing to comply.

“With less than three months before the phase-out ofHalon, businesses with a need for specific protection using gaseoussuppression systems need to allow sufficient time for designers andinstallers to remove existing Halon systems and replace them with amore suitable alternative.

“There is likely to be a significant number of companiesthat have overlooked taking action to phase out their use of Halonand implement new systems with environmentally acceptable firesuppression agents.

“With an increased demand for consultancy being placed onthe fire protection industry at this time, companies may not beable to meet the regulations in time and risk fines as aresult.”

The Department of Trade and Industry has recently produced aguidance leaflet providing advice on Halon system management, whichis available from www.dti.gov.uk/access/ozone.htm.

In addition, full assistance with replacement schemes can beobtained from Grinnell UK, with special discounts for Norwich Unioncustomers. Call the Grinnell UK helpline on 01442 411701.

-ends-

For further editorial information contact
Jon Clements at Staniforth,
tel: 0161 274 0130/ mob: 07989 414486 or
David Ross at Norwich Union,
tel: 01603 682730/ mob: 07786 526350

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