Protect your staff against accidental discharge

Do you protect your assets with fire suppression systems?

Gaseous extinguishing systems protect urgently important infrastructure against special hazards, fundamental for the safeguarding of critical facilities.

If you protect critical infrastructure, then this article applies to you.

The neglect of continuous monitoring - of the fundamental protection provided by the gaseous extinguishing systems - is to the peril of the lives of occupants of the premises and at the risk of crippling financial and reputational loss to the facility comprising the critical infrastructure.

Did you know accidental discharge of fire suppression systems is dangerous?

When a person is maintaining the fire suppression system in the cylinder room and there is accidental discharge by the manual release valve, the Permalevel® MUTLIPLEX provides immediate notification.

This protection is essential, as the pressure switch and select valve may not be working, if broken. This is a prevalent issue; there is regularly cases when the select valve does not open i.e. fused and therefore the pressure switch on the delivery pipe will not be able to notify about this manual accidental discharge. If and when this select valve does not open, there is potential that accidental discharge will case the agent in the fire suppression system to accumulate. This built up pressure may cause the manifold to burst.

In cases where the select valve opens, but the pressure switch is broken – no notification will be given about the discharge. If maintenance is being carried out in the protected enclosure as well, accidental discharge would cause the protected enclosure to be filled with agent thus affecting the occupants but no notifications could be given about the discharge because the pressure switch is broken. 

High profile accidents relating to accidental discharge:

  • August 2011: An accidental discharge of carbon dioxide on board SD Nimble resulted in serious injury to a shore-based service engineer at Faslane Naval Base
  • May 2010: An uncontrolled release of fire extinguishing gas occurred on board Marsol Pride, while working in the Tui oil and gas field off New Zealand’s west coast. A valve on one of the CO2 pilot cylinders developed a leak and charged the system ready for release. A second leak in the main control valve then caused the entire system to activate, flooding the vessel’s engine room with the gas.
  • September 2004: Preparing for a routine inspection, a crew member on a Hong Kong registered ship accidentally triggered the fixed fire extinguishing system, releasing 5,060kg of CO2. Attempts to fix the situation led to the death of four officers.
  • November 2008: At least 20 people died in an accident on K-152 Nerpa, a Russian Akula II class nuclear submarine, when a Halon-based fire extinguishing system was activated by mistake during sea trials.

Having a Permalevel MULTIPLEX to monitor cylinders at it’s source will be able to address all issues related to accidental discharge.  The Permalevel® MULTIPLEX can also provide immediate notification if the cylinder has been discharged, quicker than the notification from the pressure switch on delivery pipe which could take up to 3 – 4 seconds later

With guaranteed systems operations, adaptability for purpose, 24/7 remote access to the systems status, an interruptible power supply and remote real-time monitoring, the Permalevel® offers the efficiency that is now a requirement for encompassing protection.

Constant monitoring of gaseous extinguishing systems and must be implemented, people’s lives depend upon it. We are here to help you ensure critical safety.

Discover more about Coltraco Ultrasonics’ commitment to customer care and safety on

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