Are the Halon Bandits back?
July 2014, News
A few years ago when Halon gases were banned, the industry saw a brief rise of what it termed ‘Halon Bandits’. Unscrupulous companies would offer to remove Halon gas filled cylinders at no cost, only to grind off the serial numbers and re-spray the cylinders before labelling them as a new ‘Halon alternative’ that was then sold on to unsuspecting customers.
According to Alien Systems & Technologies (AST), yes, the Halon Bandits are back.
Though this time they are wearing the guise: Occupational Health & Safety Act: Pressure Equipment Regulations (2012) Regulation 6.2 – Duties of Users stipulates that the user must ensure that any pressurised equipment has a valid safety certificate that includes a verification signature by an independent SANAS accredited Authorised Inspection Authority (AIA). It is a legal requirement that all pressure equipment manufactured or imported into South Africa be categorised in terms of the OHSA: PER (2012) under Regulations 3, 4 & 5.
This regulation is applicable to all gaseous fire extinguishing systems in South Africa.
However, AST says that it is well aware that many of all gaseous fire extinguishing systems being sold and installed in South Africa, are not compliant with the above mentioned regulations. So what does this mean for the end user? For starters, it is illegal, but there is also a chance that the system may not work correctly when it is required. And, of course, any resulting insurance claims will not be met if the fire extinguishing system is found non-compliant with the local regulations.
The company confirms that its Pyroshield System’s pressure equipment, as defined in the OHSA: PER (2012), has been categorised as per South African National Standard 347: Categorisation and Conformity Assessment Criteria for all Pressure Equipment (2012) and has been verified by an independent SANAS accredited AIA in South Africa.
It is also able to confirm that all Pyroshield piping designs are signed off by a Professionally Registered Person with the Engineering Council of South Africa (Pr Eng, Pr Tech Eng or Pr Cert Eng) as per the requirements of the OHSA: PER (2012) Regulation 3.3 referring to the requirements laid out in SANS 347 (2012) Annexure B.
All gaseous fire extinguishing systems are subjected to these criteria, so it is in the best interests of consultants, contractors and suppliers to become well versed with these regulations. It is as important for end users, so that you are not caught breaking the law or conned into purchasing bottles of ‘snake oil’.
For more information contact Samantha Wright, Alien Systems & Technologies, +27 (0)11 949 1157, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.astafrica.com