Halon Does Not "Suck Up The Oxygen"!

Halon Does Not "Suck Up The Oxygen"!

Post by up to his ultrix 20-May-1991 10 » Wed, 22 May 1991 00:21:52

Quote:>    "Halon Sucks Up The Oxygen"...

Nothing of the sort ... combustion requires four things: a source of
fuel, some amount of heat, an oxidizer, and a chain of free radical
reactions.  Remove any one of the four, and the fire will be
extinguished.  Halon (and other CFCs) functions by blocking the free
radical chemical reactions, not by oxygen displacement.

One can breath in a room that has been Halon flooded. This is one
reason why halon is a good fire suppression system.  (OSHA would have
*kittens* otherwise.  It's the Ozone layer and the EPA that don't like
Halon and the other CFC compounds.)

In terms of the duration of exposure, the combustion products of a
fire (smoke) are a much larger risk.  Various plastics, when burned,
can produce some really * gases.  (Like cyanid.)  THIS is why
evacuation is a "good thing".

Stephen Hoffman   Engineer/Firefighter/EMT    Digital Equipment Corp.