The time is right to upgrade foam fire suppression systems to fluorine free
Fire is a significant risk for many industries and ensuring safety solutions are maintained is not only mandatory, but also crucial to helping protect life and minimise the potential loss or damage to property should a fire occur. Compliance is an ongoing challenge and key changes to State environmental regulations affect all industries.
Wormald works tirelessly to educate customers and partners about these changes, including changes in Fire Fighting Foam (FFF) policies, which ban or restrict the use of foam containing fluorinated compounds. In Queensland, full compliance with the new FFF policy will be enforced from July 7, 2019 and in South Australia a ban will take effect from January 30, 2020. Find out more here.
In response to concerns about the environmental impact of Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs), Wormald has introduced a number of environmentally sensitive Fluorine Free Foam products that have been approved by UL, and FM and meet the requirements of ICAO B and C and EN 1568. We also have a fluorine free solution that meets the performance requirements of the revised Australian Standard for vehicle fire protection AS 5062 – 2016 and has been approved by Global Mark.
Wormald is encouraging customers to take an equally proactive approach to ensure existing fire suppression systems, including fire extinguishers and vehicle fire suppression systems, are fluorine free and ready to comply ahead of regulatory changes.
Converting an existing AFFF system to a Fluorine Free Foam system can provide continued protection against challenging flammable liquid fires, while minimising impact on the environment. New Fluorine Free Foam systemsperform very effectively and avoid the persistent, bio-accumulative and potentially adverse effects of AFFFs that contain fluorine.
Wormald has a range of FFF solutions that are PFAS free, solvent free and siloxane free. They are not only important for industries that rely on vehicle fire suppression systems, such as forestry and mining, but are also important for hazardous locations where there is a risk of class B hydrocarbon fuel fires. For example, areas where petrochemicals are present such as airport hangars, petroleum refineries, chemical plants and fuel tank farms.
With selection of an appropriate fluorine free foam, upgrading existing suppression systems to fluorine free and solvent free foam can be simple and may require only minor modifications. A foam concentrate can be selected that is essentially a ‘drop in’ replacement, making the conversion process easy to implement.
Wormald engineers can assess existing suppression systems and develop a tailored plan to convert to Fluorine Free Foam in line with the new regulations. In the conversion process, existing AFFF can be decanted from the system and tanks and pipes flushed to remove any residual PFAS. Working with licenced and accredited waste providers, any PFAS-contaminated waste is disposed of appropriately in accordance with state regulations.
As a leading fire protection specialist in Australia, Wormald has extensive experience in managing the fluorine free foam upgrades for a range of different industries. For more information on Wormald’s commitment to sustainable fire suppression systems, including the legislation in Queensland and South Australia and how this affects businesses, visit www.wormald.com.au/fff or call us on 133 166.