Following the SAPPHIRE PLUS launch earlier this year, Gulf Fire catches up with Alan Elder from Johnson Controls and Bart Goeman at 3M, to learn more about this new product and discuss the impact on the fire protection market and related industries.
What changes have you noticed in the fire industry over the period of your careers?
Alan: When I started in industry, the assets we were protecting were mainly industrial types, whereas over time we’ve transitioned to the protection of electronics and higher value assets – data centres, art galleries, etc. In the early years of my career, one of the more popular agents was CO2. Halon 1301 was introduced early in my career, a very good fire-fighting agent and at that time considered to be the first real clean agent. There were other chemical agents prior to that, but they had issues, mainly related to toxicity. As environmental issues became better understood, Halon was eventually phased out and replaced by the next generation of clean agent – HFCs and HCFCs. They then came under scrutiny themselves as the environmental landscape shifted towards climate change, not just ozone depletion. This is where Novec 1230 fluid from 3M came in, as a ‘third generation’ clean agent.