Carbon Dioxide Suppression Systems Safety Upgrade

Carbon Dioxide Suppression Systems
Safety Upgrade
The purpose of this brochure is to provide you the
mechanical requirements needed for upgrading existing
CO2 systems to meet the revised NFPA 12, 2011 Edition,
which addresses personnel safety and reliability. These are
mandatory upgrades for new and all existing systems that
were required to be in compliance by December 31, 2008.
Examples covered in the NFPA 12 where CO2
is suitable include:
• Where clean agent concentrations are above LOAEL
or result in oxygen levels less than 8%.
• Where energized electrical equipment is >400 volts
and have grouped cables.
These changes implemented by the NFPA 12 Standard,
reflect a continuing effort to improve “life safety” features
of both new and existing CO2 fire extinguishing systems.
• Where unclosable openings limit the ability to build
concentrations or require extended discharge not
offered by other agents.
Chemetron offers an array of Clean Agent and CO2
product lines to provide a wide selection of gaseous agent
fire protection options. When CO2 is selected as the
suitable agent, these systems can be upgraded.
• Marine cargo holds and some engine rooms.
This information is not intended to take the place of
a complete review of the 2011 edition of NFPA 12.
The current edition should be consulted for all noted
changes, exceptions and clarifications included in the
standard, but not presented herein.
All existing CO2 systems shall be upgraded by adding
new signage and hazard lockout valves as a minimum.
Further, for total flooding applications, pneumatic
pre-discharge delays and sirens are required if hazard
occupation is possible. Pneumatic pre-discharge sirens
may be a good choice for local application systems where
CO2 concentrations exceed 7.5% or where personnel
are exposed to unsafe CO2 levels. If hazards are normally
occupied rooms, a clean agent system may be a suitable
However, for high value areas that are not normally
occupied, a CO2 fire system may be a good choice.
Existing systems shall be upgraded to meet the
requirements for graphic safety signs, lock-out valves,
pneumatic time delays and pneumatic pre-discharge
alarms where suitable.
The installation of graphic safety signs does not
require any modifications to the system and should
be completed immediately.
The addition of supervised lock-out valves, pneumatic
pre-discharge alarms and pneumatic time delays may
require that the system flow calculations be verified
for proper system performance. That is, the additional
equipment adds equivalent pipe length to the system.
The pneumatic pre-discharge alarm requires carbon
dioxide flow to sound. The revised design should be
in accordance with the agent quantity requirements
of the standard. These modifications could necessitate
revisions to the pipe, the valves and/or the discharge
Predict. Prevent. Protect.
The following are the safety considerations required
for new and existing systems:
lOCkOuT vAlvEs
For all new and existing CO2 systems, manual lockout
valves shall be provided, rare exceptions apply. Status
switches for lockout valves shall report to the system
control unit or building fire alarm panel. In a low-pressure
system, the tank shutoff valve shall not be considered as
a lockout valve, except where the tank supplies a single
hazard or is protecting multiple interrelated hazards.
PrE-disChArgE AlArm ANd TimE dElAy
A pneumatic pre-discharge time delay and pneumatic
alarm shall be provided for the following enclosures:
(a) Most total flooding systems hazard spaces.
(b) Local application systems which expose personnel
to CO2 concentrations in excess of 7.5 percent for
longer than 5 minutes.
Provide automatic alarms at the entry to and within such
spaces that are protected by carbon dioxide fire systems.
Establish confined space entry procedures for CO2 system
lockout and enforce limited area access.
Addition of a distinctive odor to the discharging carbon
dioxide serves as an indication that carbon dioxide gases
are present. Personnel should be trained to recognize the
odor and evacuate spaces where the odor is detected.
Check for suitability of olfactory indication.
disChArgE PrEssurE swiTCh
A discharge pressure switch shall be installed between the
carbon dioxide supply and the lockout valve. Activation of
a pressure switch shall operate warning alarms.
A maintenance switch shall be wired into the solenoid
release circuit to permit a means of electrically disabling
the system. This meets the code requirement of a
disconnect switch.
The current NFPA 12 does not allow the use of Class 150
malleable iron fittings. All system upgrades should include
the use of Class 300 or Class 600 fittings for the modified
portion of the systems. Refer to the NFPA 12 standard for
specific requirements pertaining to low pressure and high
pressure applications.
We understand that staying on top of codes and being
current with all of the regulatory requirements can be
difficult and daunting. We are able and willing to leverage
our knowledge and experience to help you navigate the
compliance process.
here are two ways that we can help you:
(1) You can call us for a packet of information about the
current requirements so that you can assess your own
needs on your own schedule.
(2) We can arrange to meet with you at the site facility
to discuss current system status and provide a path
to full compliance.
To arrange for a visit, to obtain additional information,
to participate in a webinar or to simply speak with a knowledgeable and experienced professional, please contact:
Corporate Office
Pat Brown
You may also contact the North American Regional
Sales Manager for your area listed below:
Vernon Gross
North Central & Canada
Harold Lawson
Bruce Bowman
south Central
Shannon Porter
Don Fletcher
System Release Control Panels – Chemetron offers conventional, addressable and multiple hazard control panels,
all in conformance with UL864 listings. Enclosure options: NEMA 1, as well as industry exclusive NEMA 4, and 12
are available.
If safety concerns drive the decision for an alternate method of fire protection, Chemetron offers these four gaseous
agent systems for consideration. These options provide proven fire suppression qualities, are environmentally friendly
and cause no adverse effects to equipment.
ClEAN AgENTs: FM-200 & Novec 1230
iNErT gAsEs: Nitrogen & Argonite
16W 361S Frontage Road, Suite 125
Burr Ridge, IL 60527 TEL 708-748-1503 FAX 708-748-2847
Fire Systems™
Chemetron Fire Systems™ is a trademark of Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.
November 2013 © Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. All rights reserved.
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