Harrington, Jeff 2014Duluth, GA – September, 12 2007. The article, “Proposed Changes to NFPA 2001” by fire protection engineer Jeffrey L. Harrington, P.E., FSPE appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of the NFPA Journal®. The article discusses the importance of the proposed changes to NFPA 2001, “Standard for the Design, Installation, and Maintenance Requirements for Clean Agent Extinguishing Systems.” This type of extinguishing system uses gaseous agents that do not leave behind residue, do not conduct electricity, and include both halocarbon and inert gaseous agents.

Mr. Harrington begins the article by discussing those proposed changes relating to the extinguishment of Class C hazards; hazards that involve energized electrical equipment. These proposed changes are concerned with the design concentration, or percentage of gaseous agents, that would be released in an enclosure to adequately extinguish a fire in various situations. According to Mr. Harrington, the current requirements for Class C hazards only provide general guidance for design concentration. The proposed revisions would provide more specific requirements to help ensure effective fire extinguishment.

The article also addresses proposed changes regarding the pressure effects on enclosures using clean agent extinguishing systems. Mr. Harrington notes that while it is well known that the use of inert clean agents requires venting to prevent damage that can be caused by peak pressure released from these agents, it is not well known that the use of halocarbon clean agents can also, on rare occasion, cause damage or failure. The proposed changes would require that “clean agent system design drawings contain information related to the vent area required and provided to prevent enclosure damage due to the anticipated discharge peak pressures and the ability of the protected enclosure to withstand these pressures”.

Lastly, the article discusses the standardization of the cup-burner apparatus, as well as testing procedures and results using the apparatus. Cup-burners are used to measure extinguishing concentrations for Class B fuels. It has been found that the test results that are currently available using the cup-burner method vary due to the differences in test procedures and variations in the size of the cup-burner. It is proposed that standardized cup-burners and testing procedures will result in a more consistent method of testing extinguishing concentrations.

Mr. Harrington has more than 30 years of experience in the fire protection engineering industry. He is the President and founder of Harrington Group, Inc. in Duluth, GA, one of the Southeast region’s largest and most experienced consulting firms dedicated to fire protection engineering.