Halon is a
liquefied, compressed gas that stops the spread of fire by chemically disrupting
combustion. Halon 1211 (a liquid streaming agent) and Halon 1301 (a gaseous flooding
agent) leave no residue and are remarkably safe for human
exposure. Halon is most effective
for flammable liquids and electrical fires (rated B:C) and is electrically
While the production of Halon ceased on January 1, 1994 under the Clean Air
Act, it is still
legal to purchase and use recycled Halon and Halon fire extinguishers. In fact, the FAA
requires all commercial aircraft to exclusively use halon.
Because Halon is a CFC, the production of new Halon ceased in 1994. There is no cost
effective means of safely and effectively disposing of the Halon that has already been
produced, therefore recycling and reusing the existing supply intelligently and responsibly
to protect lives and property is the best solution.
From protecting computer and communication rooms throughout the electronics
to numerous military applications on ships, aircraft and tanks, to ensuring safety on all
commercial aircraft, Halon is an integral and unparalleled fire-extinguishing
Halon 1211 fire extinguishers play a vital role in protecting peoples' lives as well as
property including homes, autos, boats, and RV's.
Halon, which has been in use for several
decades, is most commonly found in two forms:
1211, a liquid streaming agent found in hand-held extinguishers which gasifies under
normal atmospheric conditions, and 1301, a gaseous flooding agent which is found in
built-in flood systems.
What are the maintenance requirements of Halon Fire
Halon 1211 fire extinguishers actually require less year-to-year maintenance than the more
common dry-chemical fire extinguishers. Dry chemical fire extinguishers tend to settle
and "brick up" over time due to moisture and gravity, and this in turn sets up a dangerous
situation whereby much of the powder-extinguishing agent is unable to be propelled from
the cylinder. Halon 1211, because of its liquid form, is free of such issues. Every
Halon extinguisher should be inspected: the pressure gauge should be visually checked to
verify adequate pressure, the nozzle should be visually checked to be sure there are no
obstructions, and the cylinder should be weighed to meet the manufacturer's weight
requirement. Halon 1211 requires a six year maintenance and a 12 year hydrostatic test
by a licensed fire service professional.
The 1211/1301 blend does not require a six year maintenance, hydrostatic testing, or
The units should be visually inspected to ensure the extinguisher is fully charged and
Fullness is determined by weighing or "hefting" the unit. See name plate instructions for