Title: An analytical method for halon alternative selection in fire suppression systems design

Authors: Massimo Bertolini, Giuseppe Vignali

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Parma, Via G.P.Usberti, 181/A 43124 Parma, Italy. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Parma, Via G.P.Usberti, 181/A 43124 Parma, Italy

Abstract: Cleanliness is the priority property of an active fire-extinguishing agent for protection of expensive electronic equipment and high value materials. Halon 1301 was considered the most suitable clean agent to ensure industrial fire safety because it leaves no residue and allows a high level of extinction efficiency and human safety, as with many other extinguishing media. However, over 15 years ago, several studies showed that this agent damages the atmospheric ozone layer and causes global warming. As law has ruled out halon agents, a variety of clean fire suppression alternatives has surfaced over the past decade, but none of these has become the |perfect| halon substitute. In this paper the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) approach is proposed as a tool to select the best halon alternative for fire protection. A hierarchical structure comprising 19 criteria is reported here to illustrate the performance and characteristics of several halon alternatives in order to define the most suitable agent for different fire risk situations.

Keywords: analytical hierarchy process; AHP; active fire protection; halon alternatives; clean agents; alternatives selection; fire safety; ozone damage; fire risk.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDSRM.2009.031117

International Journal of Decision Sciences, Risk and Management, 2009 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.180 - 198

Published online: 21 Jan 2010 *

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