Bulletin No.: 15/1995

Date (Y-M-D): 1995-10-19

Subject: Halon and Halon Alternatives as a Fire Extinguishing Medium on Canadian Vessels

1: Purpose:

The purpose of this Ship Safety Bulletin is to inform the owners and operators of Canadian registered vessels, regional Ship Safety surveyors and the Canadian marine industry, on the use of Halon 1301 ("CF3 Br "- bromotrifluoromethane) and Halon Alternatives as a fire extinguishing medium in fire extinguishing systems on board all Canadian registered vessels.

2: Introduction:

(A) In 1987 the Montreal Protocol on "Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer" was signed by Canada and ratified on June 30, 1988. Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Department of the Environment has banned the production and import of Halons 1211, 1301 and 2402 beginning January 1, 1994 in compliance with the Montreal Protocol.

(B) At present the "Fire Detection and Extinguishing Equipment Regulations" ( FDEER ) Schedule III. paragraph 3. (1) c) states that the gas used as a fire-smothering agent in cargo spaces and in machinery spaces shall be : i) CO2 or ii) Halon 1301.

(C) In the 1989 Draft "Fire Protection, Detection and Extinguishing Equipment Regulations", (an updated version of FDEER noted above) Schedule IV, section 9 and section 13 paragraphs (a) to (f) state that CO2 and Halon 1301 shall be permitted as a fire extinguishing media in machinery spaces and other spaces as mentioned in this section.

(D) On December 11, 1992, the International Maritime Organization ( IMO ) adopted a Resolution MSC 27 (61) amending the IMO - Safety of Life at Sea ( SOLAS ) 1974 Convention, which came into force on October 1, 1994. While still permitting CO2 as a fire extinguishing medium, these 1992 amendments also amended Chap. II-2 Regulation 5- Part 3. "Fixed gas fire-extinguishing systems - Halogenated hydrocarbon systems" sub-paragraph 3.1 which now states;

"...New installations of halogenated hydrocarbon systems shall be prohibited on all ships."

3. Conclusion:

In view of the above and until further notice from this Department, a Board Decision # 5975 effective September 29, 1995 has ruled that:

  1. Halon 1301 shall not be permitted to be used as a fire extinguishing medium in fire extinguishing systems installed or modified on or after:

    a) October 1, 1994 for all Canadian registered Convention vessels; and
    b) October 1, 1995 for all Canadian registered Non-Convention vessels.
  2. Vessels that have had the fire extinguishing system installed prior to these dates may continue to use recycled Halon 1301 from recognized Halon banks.

None of the Halon 1301 alternatives tested to date has been approved, by Canada's Board of Steamship Inspection, for marine use.


Year Built With Fire System

Fire Extinguishing Medium Permitted
Canadian Registered Convention Before October 01, 1994

After October 01, 1994

CO2 or recycled Halon 1301.

CO2 only.

Canadian Registered Non - Convention Before October 01, 1995

After October 01, 1995

CO2 or recycled Halon 1301.

CO2 only.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Halon 1301
2. CO2
Matthew Andrades
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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