UL Extends Listing Services for Halon 1211 Fire Extinguishers

November 22, 2013

TO: Subscribers to UL’s Standards Service for CAN/ULC-S512, Halogenated Agent Hand and Wheeled Fire Extinguishers, Members of the UL Standards Technical Panel (STP) on Portable Fire Extinguishers, (STP 605), and Subscribers to UL’s Listing Service for Categories Halogenated Agent Fire Extinguishers Listed under the Categories of Liquefied Gas-type Extinguishers (GMBY), Liquefied Gas-type Marine Extinguishers (GPGZ), and Halogenated and Clean Agent Extinguishers, (GAOMC)

SUBJECT: Extension of the Withdrawal Date for Halogenated Agent Fire Extinguishers Listed under the Categories of Liquefied Gas-type Extinguishers (GMBY), Liquefied Gas-type Marine Extinguishers (GPGZ), and Halogenated and Clean Agent Extinguishers, (GAOMC)

Summary of Topics

UL announces the extension of the withdrawal date for certifications of Halogenated Agent Fire Extinguishers under the categories of Liquefied Gas-type Extinguishers (GMBY), Liquefied Gas-type Marine Extinguishers (GPGZ), and Clean Agent Extinguishers, (GAOMC).  All current products covered under these categories and manufactured in compliance with UL’s requirements will continue to be authorized to bear the Listing Mark of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and the Listing Mark of Underwriters Laboratories of Canada on the product until January 1, 2025.

Discussion

Due to the presumed lack of halogen extinguishing agent marketplace availability as a result of the Montreal Protocol, industry expected to eliminate the production of halogen agent fire extinguishers in 2009. However, despite the termination of new production of the halogen agent, significant quantities of agent produced prior to the moratorium and agent reclaimed for resale still exist in the marketplace. It is understood that these types of Halogen Agent Fire Extinguishers continue to be produced using available agent for use almost exclusively in aircraft and for isolated applications required by the military. This type of extinguisher is currently permitted by U.S. FAA regulations, and aircraft manufacturers continue to specify the installation of portable halogen agent extinguishers on transport airplanes. Substitute clean agents are currently in the development process for use in extinguishers for this application.

As indicated in previous bulletins, UL withdrew the Standard for Halogenated Fire Extinguishers, UL 1093 in 2009. However, manufacturers of halogen agent fire extinguisher under the category of Liquefied Gas-type Marine Extinguishers (GPGZ) were permitted to continue to offer UL certifications for Extinguishers using Halogenated Agent due to the ability of current UL subscribers to obtain compliant agent in the marketplace, until October 1, 2014. In addition ULC Standards is currently in the process of withdrawing the Standard for Halogenated Agent Hand and Wheeled Fire Extinguishers CAN/ULC-S512-M87, ULC is also permitting these extinguishers to be certified until October 1, 2014.

Extension of the Withdrawal Date

UL was approached by numerous government agencies from the US and Canada, extinguisher manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers and Halon suppliers requesting reconsideration of the date to discontinue certification of extinguishers based on: 1) the current status of the development of an alternate extinguishing agent and lack of “drop-in” alternate extinguishing agents, 2) the ample supply of Halon, 3) the need for replacement of existing extinguishers on aircraft and 4) addressing the disparity issues of halogen agent fire extinguishers and other types of extinguishers.

Several extension dates to withdraw certifications were provided to UL for consideration. The current date to cease installation and retrofit existing aircraft by the European Aviation Safety Agency is 2025. Consequently, to permit a transition to other extinguishing agents in extinguishers, UL will continue to certify extinguishers using Halogenated Agents until January 1, 2025. UL will withdraw the Listings for these specific products at that time.

Disparity Issues

Extinguisher manufacturers agreed to address the disparity issues through the following:

1) Requiring routine Follow-Up Service discharge testing of halogen agent fire extinguishers at the manufacturing facility using recovery devices, and not permitting the Halon to be discharged into the atmosphere, and;

2) Developing a Class A fire de-rating formula and applying the de-rated Class A Fire value to those halogen agent fire extinguishers with Class A ratings that would have required testing and compliance with the latest revised requirements to the Class A fire tests described in ANSI/UL 711/ CAN/ULC-S508.

The implementation of the new de-rated Class A rating will require a review of the Listed extinguisher ratings, the revision of the Listing information and application of revised nameplates to be applied to the extinguishers by June 30, 2014. Listings not reviewed and the above actions implemented before the June 30, 2014 date will be removed from Listing.

Summary

Based on the above, and in consideration that government agencies and other interested parties do not object to extending the date to withdraw certifications, UL is agreeable to extending the date to withdraw certifications on halogen agent fire extinguishers past October 1, 2014 to January 1, 2025. This is with the understanding that the above disparity issues are addressed and implemented before June 1, 2014.

UL will continue the process to withdraw the Standard for Halogenated Agent Hand and Wheeled Fire Extinguishers CAN/ULC-S512-M87, and will not accept submittals of new or revised constructions for products covered under the product categories of Liquefied Gas-type Extinguishers (GMBY), Liquefied Gas-type Marine Extinguishers (GPGZ), or Clean Agent Extinguishers, (GAOMC).

Questions regarding this announcement should be directed to the attention of George E. Laverick as noted below:

UL LLC REVIEWED BY:
George E. Laverick
Principal Engineer for Portable Extinguishers
UL’s Northbrook Office
Phone: 847-664-2665
e-mail: george.e.laverick@ul.com

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