The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 26, Number 4
Feb 2003

Alternatives for Halon

Jeremy Wells recently responded on the DistList to a query about alternatives to Halon fire suppression systems, saying: "I would highly recommend that you look into water mist fire suppression. It uses 10% as much water as normal sprinklers and has properties similar to a gas in that fine water particles are able to get into small cracks and crevices within a room. In addition, the piping is flexible and takes up less space than a conventional sprinkler system.

"Gas suppression only works well in very tight, sealed rooms with low ceilings that do not normally have windows and doors open to other rooms or to outside spaces. Inergen (a mixture of inert gasses) is usually preferred by most fire suppression specialists due to its low toxicity and relatively good fire suppression.

"I recently did a research project on this topic and would recommend the following resources."

Alderson, Caroline and Nick Artim. "Fire-Safety Retrofitting: Innovative Solutions for Ornamental Building Interiors." APT Bulletin, vol. 31, no. 2-3 (2000): 26-32.

"Alternatives to Halon for Special Fire Hazard Fire Protection." HARC News (Halon Alternatives Research Corporation). <URL:>

Artim, Nick. "Cultural Heritage Fire Suppression Systems: Alternatives to Halon 1301." WAAC Newsletter, Volume 15, Number 2 (May 1993): 34-36. <URL:/waac/wn/wn15/wn15-2/wn15-209.html>

-------. "An Introduction to Fire Detection, Alarm, and Automatic Fire Sprinklers." Northeast Document Conservation Center Technical Leaflet: Emergency Management, section 3, leaflet 2. <URL:>

NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resources. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2001.

NFPA 914: Recommended Practice for Fire Protection in Historic Structures. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 1994.

Mawhinney, Jack and Christian Dubay. "Water Mist: What Is It?" NFPA Journal (Jul/Aug 1999): 26-30.

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