Feb 13, 2017

Why Fire Suppression with Inert Gas is 100% Safe for Our Environment

There is a lot of discussion in our industry about the relative environmental impact of “clean agents” used in fire suppression systems.
Why Fire Suppression with Inert Gas is 100% Safe for Our Environment

While using chemical clean agents for fire suppression makes sense for many applications, the fact remains that there are only two clean agents that are 100% environmentally neutral: water and inert gas. Why water is safe for the environment is obvious. In this blog, I’ll explain why inert gas is just as safe as water.

Inert gases are completely natural. In fact, they make up our atmosphere. If you take the air we breathe and remove oxygen, what’s left are inert gases like nitrogen, argon and CO2. This means they are as safe as nature itself.

Inert gases are environmentally neutral, with zero ODP (ozone depletion potential) and zero GWP (global warming potential).

When using inert gas fire suppression, you can be confident that no undesirable environmental problems are created. They will not change into toxic or potentially harmful compounds when exposed to fire. Inert gas simply dissipates back into the atmosphere leaving no toxic by-products and no residue.

But how effective is inert gas fire suppression among fire extinguishing agents?

It is just as effective as chemical agents in putting out a fire. Inert gas fire suppression systems are designed to extinguish most fires within 60 seconds. They work by reducing oxygen levels within a protected enclosure to approximately 12.5%. At this level or below, combustion cannot be sustained. A fire is suppressed quickly and effectively.

Currently, there is some concern about potential regulation concerning the use of chemical fire suppression agents. This is no issue for inert gas as it will never be banned by findings from climate change agreements or governmental organizations.

Rotarex Firetec offers its customers inert gas fire protection through its INEREX® set of components. We believe that it is important to provide an environmentally friendly fire suppression alternative that is well-suited for high value risks where fires can have devastating consequences way beyond the cost of damage and lost production.

In addition, we’ve invested in achieving UL-listing for INEREX. If our inert gas components are assembled into a complete system as specified in NFPA 2001, it will be UL-certified. This makes it easier and less expensive for customers to install highly effective fire protection that is safe for our environment.

Paul Delecourt
Paul Delecourt
Connect with an Expert