Hand Fire Extinguishers for Use in Aircraft, dated August
25, 1982, is canceled.
FAR SECTIONS AND CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, (CFR).
- a. FAR
- b. FAR
- c. FAR
- d. FAR
- e. FAR
29.561; 29.851; 29.853 (e) and (f).
- f. FAR
- g. FAR
- h. FAR
125.119 (b) and (c).
- i. FAR
- j. FAR
- k. Title
46 and 49 of the CFR
short derivation for "halogenated hydrocarbon"
whose chemical structure is identified as a four digit
number representing, respectively, the number of carbon,
fluorine, chlorine, and bromine atom present in one molecule.
Halon fire extinguishing agents approved for use include
Halon 1211, Halon 1301, and a combination of the two (Halon
1211/1301). Both are liquefied gases and typified as "clean
agents," leaving no agent residue after discharge.
Halons extinguish fire by chemically interrupting the
combustion chain reaction rather than by physically
Halon 1211. The chemical name is bromochlorodifluoromethane.
CBrClF2. Halon 1211 is a multipurpose, Class A, B, C rated
agent effective against flammable liquid fires. Due to its
relatively high boiling point (-4ºC/+25ºF). Halon 1211
discharges as an 85 percent liquefied stream offering long
agent throw range.
Halon 1301. The chemical name is bromotrifluoromethane,
CBrF3. Halon 1301 is recognized as an agent having Class A,
B, C capability in total flooding systems; however, Halon
1301 offers limited Class A capability when used in portable
Hand Fire Extinguisher (Aircraft Hand Fire Extinguisher/Portable
Fire Extinguisher). An approved, portable fire extinguisher
as outlined in paragraph 6 of this AC, which can be used by
aircraft occupants to combat accessible, incipient, on-board
APPROVED HAND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS.
extinguishers are acceptable under FAR Sections 25 .851 (a)
(1), 29 .851 (a) (1), 121 .309 (c), 127 .107(c) and 135 .155
if they have been approved in accordance with FAR 21,
Section 21 .305. In accordance with Section 21 .305 (d) of
the FAR the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepts
hand fire extinguishers approved by Underwriters'
Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Research Corp., or
approved by the U.S. Coast Guard under Title 46 of the CFR
for use in aircraft. Although Parts 91 and 125 do not
require FAA approval of hand fire extinguishers, the
information in this, AC is considered acceptable for use by
Parts 91 and 125 operators. Operators of non-transport
category aircraft should become familiar with the
information in this AC and the precautions listed in
paragraph 8f for the different types of fire extinguishers.
In addition, the recommendations of the extinguisher
manufacturer should be considered.
Fires. To properly select an appropriate extinguisher for
use in an aircraft, it is recommended that consideration be
given to the following classes of fires (as defined in the
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 10)
that are likely to occur:
Class A. Fires in ordinary combustible materials, such
as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and plastics for which the
quenching and cooling effects of quantities of water, or of
solutions containing a large percentage of water, are of
Class B. Fires in flammable liquids, oils, greases, tars,
oil base paints, lacquers, and flammable gases for which
extinguishing agents having a blanket effect are essential.
Class C. Fires which involve energized electrical
equipment and where the electrical non-conductivity of the
extinguishing media is of importance.
Class D. Fires which involve combustible metals, such as
magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and
potassium, and require extinguishing agents of the dry
powder types. The recommendations of the manufacturer for
use of those extinguishers should be followed because of the
possible chemical reaction between the burning metal and the
Extinguishing Agents Appropriate for Types of Fires. The
following extinguishing agents are recommended, as
appropriate, for use on the types of fires specified below
and as defined in paragraph 7a of this AC:
- Carbon Dioxide - Class B or C.
- Water - Class A.
- Dry Chemicals - Class A, B, or C.
- Halogenated Hydrocarbons - Class A, B, or C.
- Specialized Dry Powder - Class D.
Note: Only "all purpose" or A, B, C dry chemical
powder extinguishers containing monoammonium phosphate have
a UL Class A, B, C rating; all other powders have a Class B,
C rating only.
Numeral Ratings. Numerals are used with the identifying
letters for extinguishers labeled for Class A and Class B
fires. The "numeral" indicates the relative
extinguishing effectiveness of the device on a given size
fire which is dependent on the agent, the capacity of the
device, discharge times, and design features. For example,
an extinguisher rated as 4A should extinguish about twice as
much Class A fire as a 2A rated extinguisher. A 2 1/2-gallon
water extinguisher is rated 2A. On an extinguisher rated for
Class B fires, the numeral rating precedes the letter
"B". Numeral ratings are not used for
extinguishers labeled for Class C or D fires. Extinguishers
that are effective on more than one class of fires have
multiple "numeral-letter" and "letter"
classifications and ratings; for example, 5B:C.
Halogenated Agents. For hand fire extinguishers employing
halogenated agents, only Halon 1211, 1301, or mixtures of
the two should be used. The following Military
Specifications cover the requirements for halogenated agents:
- Halon 1211 should meet the requirements of Military
- Halon 1301 should meet the requirements of Military
Halon 1211 Extinguishers.
occupied spaces on aircraft, Halon 1211 extinguishers should
not be less that 2 1/2 pounds (1.2 kg) capacity. These
extinguishers should have a minimum 5B:C rating: not less
than 8 seconds effective discharge time; not less than a
10-foot (3 m) range; and may be equipped with a discharge
For occupied spaces on small aircraft only, with a
maximum certificated occupant capacity of one to four
persons, including the pilot, a Halon 1211 extinguisher may
be used as an option in place of the recommended Halon 1301
For accessible cargo compartments of combination
passenger/cargo aircraft and cargo aircraft, Halon 1211
extinguishers should not be less than 13 pounds (5.9 kg)
capacity, and have a minimum 2A, 4OB:C rating.
Halon 1211 extinguishers are installed in a non-ventilated,
passenger-occupied compartment, and the compartment cannot
be vented, and the occupants cannot leave if the
extinguishers are discharged, then the total Halon 1211
agent available from all the extinguishers should not be
capable of producing a concentration greater than 2 percent
by volume at 120ºF (49º) in the compartment. For
compartments where egress is possible within one minute, the
maximum design concentration can be 4 percent by volume. for
ventilated compartments the guidelines in paragraph 8f(5) of
this AC can be used.
Halon 1211 extinguishers have their greatest
effectiveness on Class B and C fires. Extinguishers with 9
pounds (4kg) or greater capacity are also rated for Class A
fires. Extinguishers with a capacity of less than 9 pounds
(4kg), although not rated for use on Class A fires. Detailed
information on Halon 1211 agent characteristics,
concentration requirements, health hazards, and
extinguishing limitations may be found in NFPA Standard 12B,
Halon 1211 Fire Extinguishing Systems.
Halon 1211 extinguishers of less than 9 pounds (4 kg)
capacity are not always furnished with a discharge hose.
However, for access to under seat, overhead, and other
difficult to teach locations, consideration should be given
to suing extinguishers equipped with a discharge hose of a
minimum length of 12 inches (304 mm). An extinguisher with a
discharge hose is more likely to result in the extinguisher
being properly held in an upright position during use.
Halon 1301 Extinguishers.
For occupied spaces on
aircraft, Halon 1301
extinguishers should have a minimum 2B:C rating, and
should have an effective discharge time of not less
than 8 seconds.
If Halon 1301 extinguishers are installed in a
non-ventilated, passenger-occupied compartment, and
the compartment cannot be vented, and the occupants
cannot leave if the extinguishers are discharged,
then the total Halon 1301 agent available from all
the extinguishers should not be capable of producing
a concentration greater than 5 percent by volume at
120ºF (49) in the compartment. For compartments
where egress is possible within one minute, the
maximum design concentration can be 10 percent by
volume. For ventilated compartments the guidelines
in paragraph 8f(5) of this AC can be used.
Halon 1301 extinguishers are effective on Class
B and C fires. Halon 1301 extinguishers are not
rated for Class A fires at this time. Detailed
information on Halon 1301 agent characteristics,
concentration requirements, health hazards, and
extinguishing limitations may be found in NFPA
Standard 12A, Halon 1301 Fire Extinguishing Systems.
For occupied spaces on small aircraft where neat
states (undecomposed) Halon concentrations will be
approaching allowable limits, Halon 1301 is the
halogenated agent of choice for the following
Both Halon 1211 and Halon 1301 decompose when
exposed to flame producing toxic products of
decomposition. Halon 1211 produces some
decomposition products which are not produced by
Halon 1301 and is, therefore, also considered more
toxic in the decomposed state.
Health and safety advantages associated with
similar volume occupied spaces on larger aircraft
(flight decks) do not usually exist for the smaller
aircraft. These advantages are a forced ventilation
system, availability of oxygen masks, and
availability of a second individual capable of
flying the aircraft.
Location and Mounting of Hand Fire Extinguishers in
Passenger Compartments. It is acceptable to install
fire extinguishers in passenger compartments
according to the following criteria:
general, locate hand fire extinguishers
adjacent to the hazardous area (i.e., galleys,
accessible baggage or cargo compartments, electrical
equipment racks, etc.) they are intended to protect.
If no clearly defined hazardous area
locate the hand fire extinguishers as follows:
When one extinguisher is
used, locate it at the
flight attendant's station or, where no flight
attendant is required, locate the extinguisher at
the passenger entrance door.
When two or more extinguishers are
one at each end of the passenger compartment and
space the remainder uniformly within the cabin area.
Mount hand fire extinguishers so that they are
readily available. If they are not visible in their
mounted position, a placard (with letters at least
3/8-inch high) may be used to indicate their
Due to the weight of hand fire
the aircraft structure and extinguisher mounting
brackets should be capable of withstanding the
inertia forces required in Section 23.561, 25.561,
27.561, and 29.561 of the Federal Aviation
Regulations, with the hand fire extinguisher installed.
The weight of the hand fire extinguisher and its
mounting bracket should be added to the aircraft
empty weight and a new weight center of gravity
(4) Fire extinguisher selection should be made with
regard to the type of fire hazard (Class A, B, C, or
D) to be encountered. If extinguishers intended for
different classes of fire are grouped together,
their intended used should be marked conspicuously
to aid in the choice of the proper extinguisher at
the time of the fire.
Location and Mounting of Hand Fire Extinguishers in
Small Single Engine and Multiengine Aircraft.
Locate hand fire extinguishers so that they are
easily accessible to the flight crew and passengers.
Hand fire extinguishers should not be allowed to
lie loose on shelves or seats. Fire extinguishers
and mounting brackets should be properly mounted to
the airframe structure capable of withstanding the
inertia forces required by the Far Sections listed
in paragraph 7g(3) (a) of this AC.
Agent Toxicity. Since the toxicity groupings of
various fire extinguishing agent are no longer
considered valid comparisons, the Underwriters'
Laboratories, Inc., classification of comparative life
hazards of various chemicals has been eliminated.
by Extinguishing Agents. Carbon dioxide is not
corrosive and will have no damaging effect other than
cold shock effect on ceramic electronic components.
Water itself is not corrosive, but may be rendered
corrosive by the addition of antifreeze solutions.
Various dry chemical agents are corrosive to most
sensitive electronic components and instruments.
Hand Fire Extinguishers. Hand fire extinguishers may
be winterized down to a -65ºF (-54ºC). Extinguishers
containing plain water only can be protected to
temperatures as low as -40ºF (-40ºC) by the addition
of an antifreeze stipulated on the extinguisher
nameplate. Some extinguishers that use nitrogen as an
expellant gas rather than carbon dioxide are approved
or listed for temperatures as low as -65ºF (-54ºC).
Sealed ("Disposable Type") Fire
Extinguishers. Disposable type fire extinguishers
should be maintained and inspected in accordance with
the nameplate instructions.
disposable fire extinguishers have plastic discharge
heads installed. Care should be exercised in the
location of this type of fire extinguisher to
disposable fire extinguishers are exempt from the
periodic hydrostatic test requirements.
type of fire extinguishers are normally charged with a
dry chemical extinguishing agent and have the same
fogging effect and chemical reaction as standard dry
chemical fire extinguishers.
Advantages of Using Halogenated Agent Extinguishers.
1211, Halon 1301, or 1211/1301 is similar to CO2 in
that it is suitable for use in cold weather and leaves
1211, Halon 1301, or 1211/1301 is three times as
effective as a CO2 extinguisher having equal weight of
1211 is a liquefied gas which leaves the nozzle in a
stream that is about 85 percent liquid and 15 percent
gas. This gives the agent a range of 9-to-15 feet and
offers significant advantages in fighting fires in
large aircraft cabins. Halon 1301 is gaseous upon
discharge and has a more limited throw range. Mixtures
of Halon 1211 and Halon 1301 have discharge
characteristics dependent on the component weight
it is a gas, at normal temperatures, Halon 1211, Halon
1301, or 1211/1301 leaves no chemical residue behind
to contaminate or corrode aircraft parts or surfaces.
advantages of Halon 1211, Halon 1301, or 1211/1301 are
lower cold shock characteristics on electronic
equipment, no degradation of visual acuity, and lower
chemical extinguishing agents when discharged in crew
compartments of confined areas may cause serious
impairment to visibility. In addition, they may cause
temporary breathing difficulty during and immediately
Tests indicate that human exposure to high levels of
Halon vapors may result in dizziness, impaired
coordination, and reduced mental sharpness. Exposure to
natural agents is generally of less concern than is
exposure to the decomposition products. Exposure to
undecomposed halogenated agents may produce varied central
nervous system effects depending upon exposure
concentration and time. Halogenated agents will also
decompose into more toxic products when subjected to flame
or hot surfaces at approximately 900ºF (482ºC). However,
unnecessary exposure of personnel to either the natural
agent or to the decomposition products should be avoided.
The decomposition products of the Halon have a
characteristic sharp, acrid odor, and an eye irritation
effect, even in concentrations of only a few parts per
million. Generally, decomposition products from the fire
itself, especially carbon monoxide, smoke, heat, and
oxygen depletion, create a greater hazard than the thermal
decomposition products of Halon. See NFPA Standard 12A,
Halon 1301 Fire Extinguishing Systems, and NFPA Standard
12B, Halon 1211 Fire Extinguishing Systems, for more
Never discharge Halon 1211 on Class D (burning metal)
Under non-ventilated conditions, Underwriters'
Laboratories, Inc., recommends that the maximum
concentration of Halon 1211 not exceed 2 percent in an
enclosure, and the maximum concentration of Halon 1301 not
exceed 5 percent. For sea-level altitude and a temperature
of 120ºF (48.9ºC), the compartment volume in cubic feet
that will result in these concentrations, for a given
weight of agent, is found by multiplying the agent charge
weight in pounds by 124.7 in the case of Halon 1211, and
by 52.6 in the case of 1301.
Carbon dioxide extinguishes fire by reducing the
concentration of oxygen and/or the gaseous phase of the
fuel in the air to the point where combustion stops.
Carbon dioxide will not support life when used in
sufficient concentration to extinguish a fire, and it
should not be used in habitated, non-ventilated aircraft
compartments. Due to oxygen deficiency, prolonged
occupancy can produce unconsciousness and death at higher
concentrations. A concentration of 9 percent is about all
most persons can withstand without losing consciousness
within a few minutes. At concentrations about 9 percent,
occupants would quickly lose consciousness. At
concentrations of about 20 percent, death would follow in
about 20-to-30 minutes, unless the victim was removed to a
source of fresh air. (Ref. NFPA Standard 12, Appendix A).
Carbon dioxide must be at a 34 percent concentration to
effectively extinguish a gasoline fire.
ventilated compartments, the monographs shown in Appendix
1, Figures 1, 2, and 3 of this AC can be used to find safe
extinguisher sizes when compartment volume and ventilation
rates are known. The monographs are based on allowable
doses of 4 percent minutes, 10 minutes, and 25 percent
minutes for Halon 1211, Halon 1301, and CO2 respectively.
Because of the effect of CO2 on human respiration rate,
the allowable CO2 would have to be reduced by a factor of
six from the amount allowed by the CO2 monograph to reduce
changes in human respiration rates. The Halon 1211 and
1301 monographs are entirely consistent with recognized
standards. If extinguishers larger than those indicated by
the selected monographs are installed, use of protective
breathing equipment should be considered. These monographs
are essentially for aircraft for which rates are
controllable and known. To use a selected monograph,
extend a straight line across the three vertical scales,
crossing the air change and compartment volume scales at
the figures appropriate for the aircraft, and crossing the
agent scale at weight appropriate for that air change time
Extinguishers containing a given weight of a mixture of
Halon 1211 and 1301 should be treated as if the total
agent weight were completely Halon 1211 in terms of
quantitative guidelines cited in paragraphs 7e(4), 7e(5),
8f(3), and 8f(5) of this AC. For all aircraft applications
in habitated compartments, Halon 1211, 1301, and mixtures
of the two should be agents of choice as compared to CO2.
Rest results in fire fighting are generally obtained
by attacking the base of the fire at the near edge of the
fire and progressing toward the back of the fire by moving
the fire extinguisher nozzle rapidly with a side-to-side
The effective discharge time of most hand-held fire
extinguishers ranges from 8-to-25 seconds depending on the
capacity and type of the extinguisher. Due to this
relatively short effective time span, the proper selection
and use of the fire extinguisher must be made without
Care must be taken not to direct the initial discharge
at the burning surface at close range (less than 5 -to- 8
feet) because the high velocity stream may cause splashing
and/or scattering of the burning material.
Ventilate the compartment promptly after successfully
extinguishing the fire to reduce the gaseous combustion
and gases produced by thermal decomposition.
Inspection, Hydrostatic Test and Life Limits. Recommended
procedures for the inspection, hydrostatic test and life
limits of pressure cylinders are outlined in Part 173,
Chapter 1, Subparts B, and G of CFR 49 currently in effect.
See CFR 49, Part 173.306 (c) (5) regarding retest
intervals for fire extinguishers.
fire extinguishers are sold through aviation distributors
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