Safety

Editor's choice: Halon discharge nozzles

Hospital Safety Insider, November 22, 2012

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Q: We have a large computer center that has a halon system in the room. We know in a sprinkled area that they must keep items 18 inches below the sprinkler, but does the same requirement apply for halon discharge nozzles?

A: Section 19.3.5.1 of the LSC requires compliance with section 9.7, and section 9.7.3 says alternative fire suppression systems must be installed, inspected, and maintained in accordance with appropriate NFPA standards. A halon system is required to be installed, inspected, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 12A, Standard on Halon 1301 Fire Extinguishing Systems, 1997 edition. According to section 3-8.1 of NFPA 12A, "Nozzles shall be of the type listed for the intended purpose and shall be placed within the protected enclosure in compliance with listed limitations with regard to spacing, floor coverage, and alignment." Therefore, the conclusion that I draw is while there may not be a specific 18-inch rule to follow as there is with water-based automatic sprinklers, you do have to follow the requirements for the listing of the nozzle type. You will find these requirements in the manufacturer's installation manual, or contact the installing agency.

This brief was excerpted from the November issue of Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.
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