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Industry Meeting in Full Swing March 2, 2009

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Systems.
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FSSA’s 27th Annual Meeting is is full swing here in Orlando, Florida.  The first day was a tour de force of industry experts providing an excellent overview of technical issues facing our industry.

FSSA’s technical director, Tom Wysocki, provided a synopsis of relevant NFPA codes and standards that are in various stages of approval including NFPA 850 – Power Generation. Turns out this recommended practice (as opposed to a standard) is soliciting Requests on Proposals (ROP) until August 28 of this year. The next revision to 850 will incorporate new alternative power generation plants including wind, solar and geothermal.

Next, Dr. Mack McFarland of DuPont gave an excellent presentation on the Implications of Actions to Address Climate Change.  He did a super job of distilling the myriad scientific issues surrounding climate change into a simple, easy to access hour-long presentation.

Dr. Mark Robin, also of DuPont, shared results of live fire test comparison testing of clean agents versus sprinklers.  To no one’s surprise, the clean agent system provided complete suppression within seconds of detection while sprinklers did what they were supposed to do – control the fire.  Of course, the test room was heavily damaged by heat, smoke and – you guessed it – water damage.

One of the more interesting aspects of Dr. Robin’s report dealt with the environmental impact of a “controlled” fire from sprinklers.  Turns out that there are numerous nasty chemicals that are released during a fire event plus the nasties that are contained within the spent sprinkler water.   Needless to say, suppressing fires with water creates its own environmental impact risks.

Finally, Tom Cortina, of the Halon Alternative Research Council, laid out the regulatory landscape that is affecting several of our fire suppressing agents.  Given the recent change in Washington leadership and other states, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see more aggressive action on limiting  fire suppression -based greenhouse gases  regardless of their extremely limited emissions and benefit to preservation of mission critical functions and life safety.

FSSA is planning on making these entire video presentations available on-line for a fee in the very near future.   Check-out out www.fssa.net for more information in the coming weeks.

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