Fire Protection Industry Issues Voluntary Code to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

March 28, 2002
Four major associations representing the fire protection industry announced their commitment to a voluntary code of practice to minimize unnecessary emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, greenhouse gases used as fire protection agents.

Four major associations representing the fire protection industry, in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced their commitment to a voluntary code of practice to minimize unnecessary emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse gases used as fire protection agents.

As part of the partnership, industry and EPA are initiating a program to monitor emissions of HFCs from the fire protection sector. The program launch was announced at the 13th Annual Earth Technologies Forum in Washington, D.C.

"HFCs are essential substitutes for ozone-depleting halons, especially where space, weight, and speed of extinguishment are important," stated Stephen Summerill, vice president for business development of Kidde plc, a major fire equipment manufacturer that led the effort to develop the industry code of practice. "The fire protection industry is committed to the responsible use of these critical agents and to developing practices that minimize emissions."

The Fire Equipment Manufacturers' Association (FEMA), Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA), Halon Alternatives Research Corporation (HARC) and National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED) worked together with EPA to develop the voluntary code and will encourage each of their members to follow the emission reduction strategies. The emission reduction strategies focus on following all applicable government regulations and industry standards, limiting use for testing and training and minimizing emissions from false discharges and during storage, handling and transport.

The halons used for fire protection were phased out of production two years before any other ozone-depleting substance and programs were instituted by the fire protection industry prior to the phase-out to eliminate their use for testing and training.

"The fire protection industry played a leading role in the transition from ozone-depleting chemicals. They are demonstrating continued leadership by minimizing emissions of those newer substitutes that are greenhouse gases," said Jeff Cohen, chief of the Alternatives and Emissions Reduction Branch of EPA's Global Programs Division. "We look forward to continued collaborations with the industry in implementing the voluntary code of practice."

The HFC Emissions Estimating Program (HEEP) is a data collection effort intended to estimate emissions of HFCs from fire protection applications. It provides a format to help industry minimize emissions by setting benchmarks, by providing the incentives to make improvements to current standards and practices, by documenting the industry's commitment to safety and responsible use and by providing data to support these substitutes for halon systems.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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