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17) Fire Industry Association (FIA) F Gas Competency

1. What are F Gases and who is affected by the Regulation?

  • These are a range of gases all of which contain fluorine e.g Hydroflurocarbons (HFC), Perfluorocarbons (PFC) and Sulpher Hexafluoride (SF6).

  • All have a global warming potential (GWP) greater than 1 (1 being equivalent to the warming potential of 1kg of CO2 over 100 years)

  • All of us are affected by the regulation , whether through our businesses or as consumers.
  • Examples:   
  • Car Air Conditioning
  • Air Conditioning
  • Refrigeration
  • Building foam blowing – foam sealants
  • Novelty aerosols
  • Fire Protection


OZone Depletion – Montreal Protocol = Control of Use and Phase Out

  • EU Regulation EC2037/2000: restrictions on use of Halon
  • Non Critical Halon use phased out in Europe from end of 2003

Global Warming – Kyoto Protocol = Containment, prevention of leakage/emissions

  • Kyoto protocol accepted April 2002
  • EU Regulation EC 842/2006 F Gas Regulation came into force on 1 July 2007

Government Support

UK Government wants to encourage compliance, therefore there are penalties for non compliance .

For more information, please contact F – Gas Support:

Telephone: 0161 874 3663   Email:  fgas-support@enviros.com

Website:  www.defra.gov.uk/fgas

Post: F Gas Support PO Box 481, Salford, M50 3UD

2. Standard Base

ISO 14520 Gaseous fire extinguishing systems – Physical properties and system design

  • Part 1: General Requirements
  • Part 8: HFC 125 Extinguishant
  • Part 9: HFC 227ea Extinguishant
  • Part 10: HFC 23 Extinguishant
  • Part 11: HFC 236 fa Extinguishant

EN 15004 – Fixed firefighting systems – Gas extinguishing systems

  • Part 1: Design, installation and maintenance
  • Part 4: HFC 125 Extinguishant
  • Part 5: HFC 227 ea Extinguishant
  • Part 6: HFC 23 Extinguishant

Note: In the UK both standards are published by BSI as BS ISO14520 and BS EN15004. Also, with the publication of the EN it now supersedes the ISO in Europe. The regulation references the ISO so is included in this presentation, the requirements are exactly the same for both standards.

Leakage checking maximum service periods F-Gas plus Fire protection system standards

Applications Containing:

  • 3kgs to 30kgs: F-Gas 12 months – Fire protection 6 months = 6 months
  • 30kgs to 300kgs: F-Gas 6 months – Fire protection 6 months = 6 months
  • 300kgs  and above: Installed before July 2007 and no* leak detection device fitted. F-Gas 6 months – Fire Protection 6 months = 3 months
  • Leak detection device fitted – (all new systems from July 2007) F-Gas 6 months – Fire protection 6 months = 6 months 

 *Must be fitted to existing systems by July 2010

Leak checking Portable Fire Extinguishers

  • BS 5306 – 3
  • Check every 12* months

*if working in other parts of Europe the inspection periods can be different

Leakage Checking

  • Leakage inspections by CERTIFIED personnel
  • Checking of leak detection devices every 12 months
  • Repairs by CERTIFIED personnel

For systems containing greater than 300kg:

  • From July 4 2007 new systems must have leakage detection devices*
  • From July 4 2010 existing systems must have leakage detection devices*

* A calibrated mechanical, electrical or electronic device for detecting leakage of F-Gases which, on detection, alerts the operator.

Required Labelling

  • Label must contain wording eg. “Contains fluorinated greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol”
  • Chemical designation of the agent
  • Quantity of agent contained
  • Mandatory when placed on the market from 1st April 2008. May be desirable to update the label on older containers to help with the cross referencing with the log book

Form of Label

  • Information shall be clear and stand out from the background .
  • Text no smaller than that used on the existing label.
  • To remain securely in place and legible

Statutory Obligations for Compliance


  • The UK Government wants to encourage, there are penalties for non compliance.

Statutory Instrument 2008 No.41

  • Came into force 15th February 2008
  • Appointment of authorised persons
  • Enforcement and prohibition notices
  • Proceedings before a civil court
  • Penalties

Hydrostatic Testing

  • All pressurised containers must be tested every 10 years
  • All F-Gases must be recovered
  • Record the recovery and refilling in the system log book

Transporting the Containers

  • Vehicles and drivers must meet the requirements of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR 2009).
  • Vehicles used to transport the containers must be fit for purpose
  • Vehicle must be properly marked e.g. Green compressed gas hazard label for Class 2 – Gases
  • “Dangerous Goods Note” must accompany every shipment (ADR 2009 5.4.1)
  • Driver must have “Instructions in Writing” (ADR 2009 5.4.3)
  • Driver must have training (ADR 2009 8.2)

Recovery and Recycling

  • Recovery: The collection and storage of F-Gases
  • Recycling: The reuse of  recovered a F-Gas following basic cleaning
  • Reclamation: The reprocessing of a recovered F-Gas to meet a specific standard
  • Destruction: The process to permanently transform or decompose to non F-Gases

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