The Latest Edition of NFPA 2001
The NFPA 2001 Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems contains requirements for total flooding and local application clean agent fire extinguishing or suppression systems. This code is intended for those who purchase, install, inspect, operate, and maintain the gaseous agent fire suppression system to ensure the system will operate effectively in the event of a fire. This code is for clean agent fire suppression systems only and does not pertain to fire extinguishing systems that use carbon dioxide or water. The current edition of the code is 2015, updated from 2012.
Don’t Ignore These Two Requirements
Two requirements in NFPA 2001 that are commonly overlooked are the requirement for supervision on fire suppression systems and training for all personnel working in an enclosure protected by a clean agent suppression system. While the training requirement is not new, the requirement for supervision is. It did not become effective until January 1, 2016.
Supervision of Electric Actuator Requirement
According to NFPA 2001, Section 18.104.22.168
“Removal of an electric actuator from the agent storage container discharge valve that it controls shall result in an audible and visual indication of system impairment at the system releasing control panel.”
Detaching the electric actuator from the clean agent discharge valve is a common procedure when technicians inspect and test the clean agent suppression system. This is done so as to not accidentally discharge the clean agent during inspections and maintenance. By detaching the actuator from the cylinder discharge valve, technicians are also able to test the actuator to ensure that it works properly when the system is activated.
Prior to the requirement of a supervision device, detaching the electric actuator did not result in any system alarm conditions. The only person who was usually aware that the actuator was detached and the system was inoperable was the person who detached it for inspections or maintenance. If the technician had forgotten to reattach the actuator, then the system was unable to function even though the control panel viewed the system as operational.
With a supervision device, the fire suppression system now creates an audible and visual signal of system inoperability at the system control panel. With this new requirement, fire suppression system failure due to human error is greatly reduced. The supervision device can also help in preventing tampering of the suppression system.
Training of Personnel Working in Area Protected by a Clean Agent
According to NFPA 2001, Section 7.6.1-2
“All persons who could be expected to inspect, test, maintain, or operate fire extinguishing systems shall be trained and kept trained in the functions they are expected to perform.
Personnel working in an enclosure protected by a clean agent shall receive training regarding agent safety issues.”
While it is understandable that technicians inspecting, testing and maintaining clean agent fire suppression systems should be properly trained, most businesses do not realize that any employees who work in a sensitive environment that is protected by a clean agent suppression system should also be trained. Employees working in areas where a clean agent suppression system is present need to know how to:
- Operate the clean agent fire suppression system
- Follow the Standard Operating Procedures for the facility
- Safely evacuate the area if the system is activated
- Diagnose the panel alarm conditions and/or trouble conditions
With proper training and understanding of the clean agent system, personnel in the area can react more efficiently if the system is activated. It is also important to brief any contractors or other employees that may come into the clean agent protected area on the fire suppression system.
Contact Koorsen for Your Clean Agent Fire Suppression System Needs
Since 1946, Koorsen Fire & Security has been helping to protect and secure businesses of all sizes. Koorsen has the knowledge and expertise to help with all your fire suppression needs from design to installation to inspection to training. Contact Koorsen Fire & Security today to learn more.