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Subject: Fire suppression systems

Fire suppression systems

From: David Tremain <david_tremain>
Date: Monday, December 16, 1996
Espen Hernes <espenh [at] nomusu__no> writes

>Has anyone gone through a survey looking at fire-fighting systems and
>their effect on museum objects?
>
>Considering fire extinguishers (water, CO2, chemical powder. others),
>sprinkler and watermist-systems, what effect do they have on
>various types of materials/objects when used. How easy is it to
>clean the objects afterwards (sticking to surface, penetration) when
>the extinguishing media has worked together with the
>fire/smoke/other compounds.

In answer to the recent query on the effects of fire suppression
systems I spoke to Paul Baril, Fire Protection Advisor at the
Canadian Conservation Institute. This is his reply:

   "I brought up this issue at the NFPA Technical Committee on
    Cultural Resources more than a year ago. We are seeking help
    from various organizations in the UK, Scotland and the US to
    test the effects of fire suppressants on various types of
    collections. This is going to be a long process though, and I
    would guess nothing will be available for a couple of years.

    However, we do know from museum fires that dry chemical powders
    are nearly impossible to remove from metal objects. These
    powders are designed to adhere to hot surfaces to cut out the
    oxygen supply. In doing so, they also keep heat from escaping...
    causing even more damages."

Hope this helps,

David Tremain
CCI

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:58
                Distributed: Tuesday, December 17, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-58-004
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 16 December, 1996

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