fsmt320 week 4 forum and responses

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1. Discuss the potential harm to personnel exposed to halon in a fire.

2. List and discuss safety features that are intended to protect personnel from accidental or purposeful discharge.

3.  What is your opinion?  Do you think the benefits of halon are worth the risks?


#1


Halon systems were once thought to be the pinnacle of fire suppression tech. After a period though, it was found to be a danger to those who were exposed to it. The Halon systems generally work as a total flooding agent to suffocate a fire.


Potential Dangers:

There are multiple dangers associated with Halon to include frostbite due to the low temperature that it is released at, suffocation from the starvation of oxygen, the key point of the Halon suppression system and an interruption of the central nervous system that could lead to seizures and heart attack (Faith, n.d.)


Protections:

Generally, it is understood about the dangers of Halon when someone is exposed. If someone is going to work on the systems, the must be dressed in the proper protective equipment and have an oxygen source. New standards also ensured that a system must have an emergency cut off switch in the case of an accidental discharge of the system (UNEP, 2001).


Benefits:

In certain situations, the use of Halon is a great choice due to its proven effectiveness in the suppression of fires. Halon was used by the department of defense for many years within vehicles to stop the spread of fires. After years though it was found to cause damage to humans. In this case, it should not be used only situations where the exposure to humans is absolutely minimal and protections must be in place to keep those around it safe.


Faith, K. (n.d.). THE MULTIPLE DANGERS OF HALON. Retrieved from http://spectrumfx.net/blog/the-multiple-dangers-of-halon.

UNEP. (2001). Halon Handbook. Retrieved from https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Suppression/halon_handbook_final.ashx?la=en.


#2


1. Discuss the potential harm to personnel exposed to halon in a fire.


For years halon suppression systems were state of the art and were considered necessary for areas that had high value such as computer rooms.  This was due to the fact that it was not a water-based agent.  It would effectively extinguish the fire while minimizing the damage. Halon is a residue free agent that works by, “breaking the chain reaction” ("Halon," n.d., para. 3).  Halon is a low-toxicity stable compound that has no significant effects on humans.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a study and found the most severe effects on humans consisted of light-headedness, a slight effect on judgement, frostbite of contact with the liquid. (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH], 1994). 

2. List and discuss safety features that are intended to protect personnel from accidental or purposeful discharge.


Emergency shut offs are the best way to limit discharge.  If a system trips and begins to work being able to shut down the system will limit the exposure to humans and the environment.  When installing the system gloves and proper clothing will help reduce the chances of frostbite.  Having a fresh air source when installing or working on the system will allow for the concentration in the air to be minimal which will lessen the chances of any potential human harm.

3.  What is your opinion?  Do you think the benefits of halon are worth the risks? 


It appears that the effects are human are minimal at best.  The clean agent can save thousands of dollars on high value items.  Although the human effects are minimal it is certain that halon in fact depletes the ozone layer.  This alone is enough evidence that the product should not continually be utilized.  There is no safe way to dispose of the product, so the continued use of the stored material is the best way to get rid of any remaining product. 
 

References


Basic facts about halon. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.h3rcleanagents.com/support_faq_2.htm


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (1994). Trifluorobromomethane. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/75638.html

  

    • Posted: 15 days ago
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